CymaScope.com has a history stretching back to 1969, the year when man first walked on the moon. And while Neil Armstrong was taking his giant leap for mankind John Stuart Reid, who had studied pure electronics at University, was founding his small acoustics business. Across a span of almost 50-years his company has pioneered many innovations. A significant turning point came in 1997, 20- years ago, when Reid carried out a series of acoustics tests in Egypt’s Great Pyramid.
One of the experiments was designed to identify the resonances in the sarcophagus, by stretching a PVC membrane across its top and sprinkling on some sand–the first cymatics experiment to be conducted in the pyramid. A speaker excited the sarcophagus with a series of pure sounds. Reid explained, “As I bent low over the membrane, watching the sand grains move, they suddenly took up the form of a shape that strongly resembled an ancient Egyptian hieroglyph. At this point the antiquities inspector became very excited and we proceeded to take photographs and change the frequency of the tone. With each new sound a new hieroglyphic-like form emerged. In effect each “hieroglyph” in the sand represented a sound made visible. I knew then, within this simple technology, lay the essence of a new type of scientific instrument.”
Following the events of 1997 his company, Sonic Age Ltd, began researching methods of making sound visible and in 2005 the first prototype CymaScope was borne, along with the CymaScope.com web site. The latest model, the CymaScope Pro, has the widest bandwidth and sensitivity to date and has attracted the attention of scientists worldwide. Early in 2017 his company was presented with an award by Acquisitions International Magazine for best acoustics research company and most advanced acoustic imaging device. Reid commented, “We were thrilled to receive the award from Acquisition International Magazine. I think it is fair to say that all individuals and organisations who dedicate themselves to their passion and to excellence, deserve recognition for their efforts and a full measure of acknowledgement of the difference that their work has made. We will continue refining the CymaScope instrument and in the words of Sir Humphry Davy: Nothing tends so much to the advancement of knowledge as the application of a new instrument“.