How can you Shatter Glass with Voice?

What is the Phenomenon behind Breaking Glass? What is the Resonant Frequency of a Wine Glass? Can you break a Glass with your Voice? How to break a Glass with a Voice?
how can you shatter glass with voice
Image by Marcela Bolívar from Pixabay

Humans have voices that they use for various purposes. Do you know that on average a person speaks about 7,000 words in a day? Although, some of us speak even more than that. But how many of us think before speaking? Despite all the talks and gossip, have you ever broken something with your voice, for example, shatter glass with voice? Have you ever wondered about the resonant frequency of wine glass? Today you will get to know about all this and also how to break glass with your voice. 

1. What do you call when you shatter Glass with Voice?

When someone uses a human voice to break a glass, it is known as resonance. It is the quality of the sound being full, deep, and reverberating. This phenomenon increases the amplitude, that in turn increases the frequency of an applied periodic force. This force can be equal to or close to the natural frequency of the system on which the person is applying resonance. (See Gases that Change your Voice)

2. What is Resonant Frequency?

It is the natural frequency when a medium vibrates at the highest amplitude. This vibration is the cause behind the breaking of glass when it is exposed to sharp sound.

3. What is the Resonant Frequency of Wine Glass?

A glass full of wine: how can you shatter glass with voice 2
Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

Wine glasses are basically stemware, which means they consist of three parts, a bowl, stem, and foot. There are different types of wine glasses, namely, red wine glasses, white wine glasses, boccalino, and sherry glasses. The resonant frequency of wine glass is between 20 and 20000 hertz. This is one of the major reasons why you can hear the sound of the singing glasses. (See How Does A Magnifying Glass Work?)

4. Can you Break a Glass with your Voice?

According to physics, a voice is capable of shattering a glass because every piece of the glass has its resonant frequency. As per researchers and physicists, if someone sings sharply and loud enough, then the voice can shatter the glass. In the words of Jeffrey Kysar, a mechanical engineer at Columbia University, it can be done, but a person has to be good and lucky enough in this context. It is possible to shatter glass with voice as it may excite the glass, but its complete breaking is not guaranteed. (See What are Coloured Glass Blocks?)

5. What causes a Glass to Shatter with Voice?

Since the glass can vibrate due to its resonant frequency when exposed to sharp sound, it can shatter. According to Jeffrey Kysar, the breaking of the glass depends largely on the initial defects in the manufacturing of the glass. The glasses that are prone to break with sharp voices have some microscopic defects. These defects make the vibrations vigorous, resulting in cracks and ultimately breaking the glass. (See Some Cocktails that Glow under Black Light)

6. What plays an important role in Shattering Glass?

According to Kysar, volume is the key element when it comes to shattering glass. This is because the volume of your voice travels in waves, that displace molecules in the air as it travels. So, if the voice is loud, it will displace more molecules and spread over a large area. The louder voice pushes more molecules towards the glass, breaking the glass at last. (See How To Sound Louder?)

7. Do Wine glasses have Defects?

Wine glass: how can you shatter glass with voice 1
Photo by Guillermo Nolasco on Unsplash

Invisible chinks (a narrow opening that lets light enter) and cracks are present on every surface irrespective of the material used to make it. The only difference is that the size of these defects varies from material to material. Similarly, when you shatter glass with voice, all the wine glasses may appear identical to naked eyes. But they could have fractures with different strengths, which means that some of them may withstand higher volumes without breaking while the others cannot. Must read about the 26 Lesser Known Wine Cork Art Ideas.

8. How to break Glass with your Voice?

Now that you know the tricks and the concept of breaking the glass, you can try the following ways to know how to break glass with your voice.

  1. Begin by putting on your safety eyeglasses.
  2. Make sure there are no pets or kids around when you are trying this. Keeping pets away is necessary as their hearing can be affected by such loud voices.
  3. Keep the amplifier away from you if you are using a microphone to record the voice.
  4. Now, test the glass by touching its rim with a damp finger. You can hear a ring sound as you do so.
  5. Begin singing the ah sound at the same pitch as the sound produced by the glass by keeping it close to your mouth, but not too close.
  6. Slowly increase the duration and volume of the sound, and keep shifting the glass away from your mouth little by little as you do so.
  7. After you succeed in your attempt, make sure to clean the pieces and dispose-off the shattered glass carefully. (See How to make Voice Sound Better?

9. What are the Tips to succeed?

how can you shatter glass with voice 3
Photo by Vidar Nordli-Mathisen on Unsplash

Consistency is the one thing that you need to keep in mind when you shatter glass with voice because it may take several attempts and different glasses. However, if the glass has a large number of microscopic defects, it is possible to succeed on your 1st or 2nd try. Still, it might be useful to take a look at the following tips to keep your chances high.

  • Are you unsure about the intensity of your voice, or whether it is acting on the glass or not? Place a straw in the glass. Now slide the pitch up or down as required until the straw vibrates. Now, this is the pitch you need to break the glass. (See How do I Sound When I record Myself?)
  • Understand the type of glass that you have. Pure crystal glass needs more than 100 decibels of sound to break while ordinary glasses can be vibrated at 80 to 90 decibels.
  • If you are still unable to match the pitch of the glass, remember that a higher or lower octave can help you shatter the glass.

And in this way, with practice and determination, you can shatter glass with voice. Now you must have understood about the resonance and resonant frequency of wine glass. It is time to share how to break glass with your voice and challenge your friends or family member for a glass breaking duel

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