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Ernst Chladni

Ernst Florenz Friedrich Chladni (1756-1827) was a German physicist born in Wittenberg. With his work on vibrating plates and the calculation of the speed of sound for different gases, Chladni was the founder of acoustics. The patterns formed by a thin layer of sand on a vibrating plate are called "Chladni patterns".

In 1794 he published a book in German Über den Ursprung der von Pallas gefundenen und anderer ihr ähnlicher Eisenmassen und über einige damit in Verbindung stehende Naturerscheinungen, in which he proposed that meteorites have their origins in outer space. This was a very controversial statement at the time, and with this book Chladni also became one of the founders of modern meteorite research.

Further Reading

Rossing T.D. (1982) Chladni's Law for Vibrating Plates, American Journal of Physics 50, 271-274

Marvin U.B. (1996) Ernst Florenz Friedrich Chladni (1756-1827) and the origins of modern meteorite research, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31, 545-588