Dancing Strings

A poem by Ricky Musci (Fall 2003)

The normal mode
of an oscillating string
is just a code
for how it swings.

Like Eliot's mermaids,
the peaks of the string
each to each are swayed,
and at each frequency omega they sing.

Many modes, when summed
can then bring
the motion plumbed
of any string.

The inner product takes place,
like all things waving,
in Hilbert Space,
and says which modes are quaking.

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