Jingle Bells, jingle bells,

Jingle all the way …

Sleigh bells clipart 6 » Clipart Station

Sleigh bells used to be attached to the harness of horses pulling sleighs through the snow.  The characteristic sound was a signal that a person of importance was approaching and also to warn pedestrians that a sleigh was around, because the sound of sleigh runners and horse shoes are deadened by snow.

Sleigh bells come in various shapes and sizes, allowing different sounds to be produced and are officially classed as rattles.  Each bell is a small pellet trapped inside a hollow globe.  As the sleigh moves, so does the bell and the pellet inside hits the metal of the globe, which, in turn, vibrates.

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Santa’s reindeer have sleigh bells on their harnesses

The harder the pellet hits the metal, the more energy is transferred and the louder the sound that is produced.  The sound, however, is also affected by a number of different variables, including, but not limited to, the size and shape of the bell and the composition of the alloy of metal it is made from.

Cars which run on fossil fuels have engine noise, which warns pedestrians of their approach, but with the lack of engine sounds from fully electric cars, could we see the evolution of a modern version of sleigh bells?

Until next time, keep calm and apply some Science!

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