You can't hear the shape of a drum

Citation metadata

Authors: Carolyn Gordon and David Webb
Date: January-February 1996
From: American Scientist(Vol. 84, Issue 1)
Publisher: Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society
Document Type: Article
Length: 7,393 words

Document controls

Main content

Abstract :

The field of spectral geometry contends that spectral signatures may be used to obtain geometrical information about vibrating systems. Unlike astronomical spectroscopy, however, a single example that it is valid has yet to be proven, especially since the answer to Mark Kac's 1966 question 'can one hear the shape of a drum?' is negative. The latter is based on an examination of two different drumheads that exhibited identical vibration frequencies.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A18067602