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Forced vibrations lead to a phenomenon called entrainment. If you have two vibrating objects with the same natural frequency or corresponding harmonic, they will both have a forced vibration affect on each other. This process, given time, normally leads to a condition where both objects automatically synchronize. Once complete synchronization has occurred both oscillators are able to vibrate with less energy.
Of interest, both oscillators do not, necessarily, have to have exactly the same natural frequency. If there is good "conduction" between the oscillators, they will sometime "lock-in" with one another at a slightly shifted frequency. This requires the objects to find a frequency that they both can resonant with.
A real life example of this is the propensity for women who live or work together to begin menstruating on the same cycle. Although they each may have their own natural cycle when separate from the group, once together they may eventually lock-in to the same timing.
So, in technical terms, entrainment is the mutual phase locking of two oscillators. It might be easiest to think of entrainment as two bodies dancing together.
This entrainment process is also possible with oscillators at vastly different frequencies if there is a harmonic relationship between the two frequencies. The natural frequencies have to match even more closely to create entrainment in this situation.
Resonance Quality or Q plays an important role in entrainment. If two objects both have high Q, they are not able to entrain with each other and, therefore, are destined to never experience the dance. However, if one of the objects has a wide enough Q band, it can oscillate with the first object, thereby creating a mutual dance.
Note, that the object with the narrow Q band will set the frequency of mutual oscillation, since it is not resonant at frequencies outside of its Q band. In our work with sound therapy, we use a tonebox specifically designed for its extreme frequency accuracy.
The concept of entrainment is at the heart of sound therapy healing work. By using a high Q resonant oscillator, like a tonebox or tuning fork, we gently provide input to assist the client in vibrating at the specific frequency.
The more fluid human body is able to find resonance at a wide frequency range. Through the process of entrainment, sound therapists seem to be able to assist our clients in learning to resonate at frequencies where they previously did not.
Click to read more about tuning forks.
Experience This For Yourself
If you take someone with a lot of tension, you can gradually help ease the tension by gently rocking them back and forth. When they are holding on to the tension, they rock stiffly back and forth, but as the muscles gradually relax, their body learns to move fluidly in resonance.
We've developed our vibrating transducer to provide this kind of entrainment input. Through electronic means, the transducer gently provides a vibratory input that naturally entrains the body into a state of resonance.
Longitudinal Wavelength Sound Waves Pitch and Frequency Speed of Sound Doppler Effect Sound Intensity and Decibels Sound Wave Interference Beat Frequencies Binaural Beat Frequencies Sound Resonance and Natural Resonant Frequency Natural Resonance Quality (Q) Forced Vibration Frequency Entrainment Vibrational Modes Standing Waves Law of Octaves Psychoacoustics Tacoma Narrows Bridge Schumann Resonance Animal BioAcoustics More on Sound
Law Of Octaves Sound Harmonics Western Musical Chords Musical Scales Musical Intervals Musical Mathematical Terminology Music of the Spheres Fibonacci Sequence Circle of Fifths Pythagorean Comma
DrumsDrum Vibrational Modes
Aristotle Copernicus Einstein Fibonacci Hermann von Helmholtz Kepler Sir Isaac Newton Max Planck Ptolemy Pythagoras Thomas Young
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