Félix Savart

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Sound waves of the trapezoidal violin

Félix Savart / saˈvaːr / (born June 30, 1791 in Charleville-Mézières , Ardennes , † March 16, 1841 in Paris ) was a French doctor and physicist who, in the early 19th century, worked with Jean-Baptiste Biot on the connection between electricity and studied magnetism ( Biot-Savart law ).

Savart also investigated the properties of vibrating strings , so the unit of measurement Savart was named after him. He built a trapezoidal violin , but its sonic properties were not convincing (the original is in the Museum of the École polytechnique in Paris; an improved replica from 1909 is in the Deutsches Museum in Munich ).

The well-known French violin maker Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume worked closely with Félix Savart to improve the quality of his instruments. On wooden strips of 180 mm × 25 mm × 2.5 mm taken from the bottom of Stradivari and Guarneri violins, Savart strewed sand and ran a violin bow along the edge of the wooden strip. The note e always sounded, and two parallel lines formed in the sand. He undertook the same experiment with strips taken from the top and found that with these high-quality violins the tone produced with the top strip was a whole tone higher than that taken from the floor. In experiments with conventional violins, the difference was at least a third and could be more than a fourth .

In 1827 he became a member of the Académie des Sciences and in 1839 a foreign member of the Royal Society .


Cape. 8.1: The work of Savart, in: Dieter Ullmann: Chladni and the development of acoustics from 1750-1860. Basel 1996. pp. 163-171. ISBN 3-7643-5398-8

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ List of members since 1666: Letter S. Académie des sciences, accessed on February 25, 2020 (French).