How I broke a wine glass with my voice (using science!)

Share it with your friends Like

Thanks! Share it with your friends!


If you sing at a wine glass at its exact resonant frequency, you can break the glass without the help of a speaker! Learn the physics behind that.
To learn more about Brilliant, go to
and sign up for free. First 200 people will get 20% off the annual Premium subscription.

Mike Boyd Learning to Break a Glass:
Mike Boyd’s channel:

More Physics Girl:

MIT breaking wine glass video

Creator: Dianna Cowern
Animations: Kyle Norby
Editor: Jabril Ashe
Thanks to Kyle Kitzmiller, Dan Walsh and Mike Boyd!
And to my parents and roommates to endured the screeching.

PO Box 9281
San Diego, CA 92169


Karun AB says:

Couldn't you use a machine that produces a fixed frequency sound at a fixed amplitude (power of the wave?) to experimentally prove if the small blemish needs to be extended over time because it would take the uncertainty away. If multiple glasses break at different delays when the frequency and amplitude is the same (under roughly the same temperature and air pressure), it should prove that it's the different amounts of defects in the glass themselves.

Now all we need is some expensive equipment and some phantoms.. Destin has some. So do the SlowMo guys. Both of them do amazing slow motion videos (that I love) about sciency stuff. Destin seems to love destroying glass (Prince Rupert drops) in slow mo 😉
Doesn't Derek have one too? 🙂

Seshasai Majeti says:


Chris Edwards says:

Why does YouTube keep removing my subscriptions

jsfbr says:

"What's up, dude?"
"Yo, I was watching this video with a lovely smiling gorgeous blonde shouting madly at a glass until it broke, man!"
"No way!"

Matt Rez says:


rochr4 says:


Angel Gonzalez says:

What Kyle refers to is called fatigue. What happens for every material is that it's ultimate stress decreases over time as it receives repeated amounts of stress over time.

Edward Cabaniss says:

That look on your face at 6:577:12… Priceless!!!

Angel Emmanuel Perez Muniz says:

Great job Dianna the Grey Beards would be very proud of you. If you keep working that hard maybe some day you may become a Dovah-Zul master.

hytlerson says:

break-a-wine-glass-with-your-voice challenge INCOMING

Rémi Desrochers-Guérin says:

I wonder if putting water in the glass would make it harder or easier to break.

Le Passant says:

You realize you've started the ultimate Glaspocalipse ? The glass economy is thanking you

Carson Hall says:

I see your parents have Roku

George Mason says:

Might be helpful to cool the glass down in the freezer or something before you try it. I imagine the hotter it is, the more plastic it becomes, and subsequently the harder it becomes to break with vibration. But if the glass is cooler, it might resist the vibration more, putting more stress on the small cracks in it's structure, and break more quickly.

It also may not matter at all. It might just be that the difference between the plasticity of glass is too minute between room temperature, and freezing to make much of a difference at all. But I'd be interested to see if it did.

George Mason says:

You gotta clean up that dingy lookin guitar

Niamh O'Connor says:

6:46 Meanwhile at the lunatic asylum…

aocidicoa says:

You’re using the weight of it to break off. Put the glass upwards and you’ll get a “like” from me, otherwise, you’re a cheat.

My NaMe JET says:

I think i laughed a little harder than i should have…

William O'Dell says:

Diana, what if you took a set of the same "crystal" glasses and a signal generator connected to a speaker (w/ an amp). Then dial in the frequency on one glass and then try to use that freq on a brand new glass and see if there is a difference in time it takes to make the glass crack?

MineBloxGaming Pie says:

So, if a piccolo plays that note in a wine glass store, will all of those glasses break?

Rich Laue says:

Now you understand the 1940 Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapse

Orbifant says:

Pretty cool. Do you think it would make it easier to see the frequency you have to hold and your own live frequency while singing the note?

Andrew Sharkey says:

Here’s a burning physics question.

If the event horizon of a black hole is the point at which it’s gravity becomes too strong for light to escape; then would the proximity of 2 black holes cause each other’s event horizon to decrease in radius (essentially helping to pull light/matter/energy out of its neighbor)?

Epifunke says:

this video resonates with me!

Write a comment