Göttingen Collection of Mathematical Models and Instruments

Picked string

Model 846

40 × 12 × 20Saint-VenantJ 48


Picked string


This model depicts the solution of the one-dimensional oscillation equation: \[ \frac{\partial^2 y}{\partial t^2}= c^2 \cdot \frac{\partial^2 y}{\partial x^2}\ .\]

This equation describes for example the oscillation of a piano string or a guitar string. For this model, a triangular shaped displacement in one of the intervals was selected as initial condition.

This kind of displacement happens frequently while picking strings. Additionally it is assumed that the string is fixed at the endpoints. This displacement happens for example at guitar strings.

According to his account Saint Venant provides this modell with the Sociètè Philomathique de Paris

Text written by: Tim Bodenstein

Translated by: Lea Renner

Showcase of this model is Case number 52


Journal universel des sciences et des savantes en France et à l'etranger(1859), Construction de la surface décrite par une corde vibrante transportèe d'un mouvement rapide perpendicular à son plan vibration p. 22.

Separataband im Mathematischen Institut, D8, Katalog Collection Muret, Modell 344.