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Isospectral Drums

Application ID: 119


Striking a drum excites a spectrum of vibration modes that together make up the instrument’s characteristic sound or acoustic signal. These vibration modes correspond to the eigenmodes, or eigenfunctions, of the drum’s membrane. Thus you can study this problem by solving eigenvalue problems for stretched membranes.

Two different geometric shapes are modeled, with all other parameters being equal. If you can find two differently shaped membranes that have identical eigenvalues—in other words, they are isospectral—then it’s not possible to “hear” the shape of a specific drum.

This model is included as an example in the following products:

COMSOL Multiphysics®

The combination of COMSOL® products required to model your application depends on several factors and may include boundary conditions, material properties, physics interfaces, and part libraries. Particular functionality may be common to several products. To determine the right combination of products for your modeling needs, review the Specification Chart and make use of a free evaluation license. The COMSOL Sales and Support teams are available for answering any questions you may have regarding this.