Vibrating Pinscreen

The waves of sparkling light that whirl around the top of this exhibit reveal the path of a traveling disturbance. When the motor is turned on, more than 170,000 hanging pins jiggle and jounce. As they bounce the pinheads act like mirrors, reflecting the nearby colored lights into viewers’ eyes. In some places the vibrations build, creating sinuous, rolling waves. In other places, the pins interact to minimize movement, creating relaxed areas that are peaceful and calm.