National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Savart's Bell and Resonator
Observe a demonstration of Savart's Bell and Resonator from the Physical Science Collection at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. In the second quarter of the 19th century, the French scientist Felix Savart invented this apparatus to demonstrate resonance. It consists of a "bell" (or brass bowl) and a moveable wooden resonator. In the demonstration the bell was activated by being either bowed or struck. As the bell rang, its' loudness could be increased or diminished by moving the resonator closer or further away. When the sound of the bell became barely audible an effective demonstration was to quickly move the resonator right next to it. The increase in loudness -- the "resonant effect" -- was striking.