Oscillating String
Light, Sound and Waves

TV Strobe Light

At home for 11-14 14-16

M&M - TV Strobe Light

What you need

  • A cathode ray tube television (turned on!)
  • A rubber band


  1. Stretch the rubber band between your thumb and first finger
  2. Holding the band between you and the television screen, pluck one side

Results and Explanation

You should see the band make zig zag shapes. The television picture is made up of tiny dots flashing on and off. It acts like a strobe light, freezing the band's vibrations at different positions so it looks like it's moving in slow motion.

These experiments have not been specifically safety tested for home use but we believe them to be safe if the instructions are followed. Adult supervision or direction is recommended as appropriate. All experiments are carried out at your own risk.

2023 IOP Awards

Teachers of Physics Awards

Recognising and celebrating outstanding contributions to the field of physics education.

Learn more