Letter | Published:

Musical Sands

Naturevolume 81page99 (1909) | Download Citation



IN an interesting letter Mr. Carus-Wilson gives us the results (NATURE, July 15) of further observations made by him on a phenomenon on which he has written from time to time. I believe I have suggested to him in years gone by—if not, perhaps you will allow me to suggest now—the possibility of the musical ring of certain sands in motion being due to their consisting largely of grains of hyaline quartz. That fact, if ascertained, would account for the ring of the grains in motion, while the smoothness of their glassy surfaces would facilitate their motion, and so increase the force of their mutual impact, tending to raise the pitch of the note produced. I have never had an opportunity myself of making a microscopic examination of such sands, but I venture to commend such an examination to Mr. Carus-Wilson's consideration. The assortment of the sands by the wind into possibly more rounded and more angular grains may also throw some light upon the matter.

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  1. Bishop's Stortford

    • A. IRVING


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