1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Vibrate a string with electricity? Best ways?

  1. Sep 23, 2015 #1
    Is it possible to vibrate a string with electricity? I'm guessing an electro-magnet placed close to the string would be able to vibrate it.

    If the electro-magnet is used to vibrate the string, I'm guessing the electro-magnet should be pulsed at the fundamental resonate frequency of the string? Maybe different frequencies or harmonic intervals are more efficient? And I wonder should the electro-magnet be fed a sine-wave or is some other wave more appropriate to excite the string?

    Also is there anything that would tell me where the most efficient placement of the electro-magnet would be?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 23, 2015 #2
    As far as I know, an electromagnet will do nothing to string. Absolutely nothing, unless you physically hit the string with the electromagnet.
  4. Sep 23, 2015 #3
    Here's a project where electro-magnets are used to actuate strings on a piano.


    Unfortunately I haven't been able to find much else on the internets.
  5. Sep 23, 2015 #4
    Ohhhh, you're talking about metallic strings, I was thinking of the rope thingies. In that case yeah. But you have to vary the field of the electromagnet. Doesn't have to be resonant frequency though. As long as you have a changing magnetic field, you'll move the wire. So, if your current to the electromagnet oscillates( like a.c , which is sinusoidal, but it doesn't have to be), the string will vibrate
  6. Sep 23, 2015 #5


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    An EBow is one such device:


    I used one a few years ago, great fun.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook