Chladni was born in Wittenberg. His work on vibrating plates and the calculation of the speed of sound for different gases made him the founder of acoustics. The patterns formed by a thin layer of sand on a vibrating plate are called "Chladni patterns" or "Chladni figures".
In 1794, Chladni published, in German, Über den Ursprung der von Pallas gefundenen und anderer ihr ähnlicher Eisenmassen und über einige damit in Verbindung stehende Naturerscheinungen, (On the Origin of the Pallas Iron and Others Similar to it, and on Some Associated Natural Phenomena), in which he proposed that meteorites have their origins in outer space. This was a very controversial statement at the time, and with this book Chladni also became one of the founders of modern meteorite research.
- Rossing T.D. (1982) Chladni's Law for Vibrating Plates, American Journal of Physics 50, 271-274
- Marvin U.B. (1996) Ernst Florenz Friedrich Chladni (1756-1827) and the origins of modern meteorite research, Meteoritics & Planetary Science 31, 545-588
- Chladni Plate Mathematics by Paul Bourke