When played on certain laptops from around 2005, Janet Jackson’s song ‘Rhythm Nation’, from her 1989 album Janet Jackson’s Rhythm Nation 1814, caused some computer hard drives to crash. Not only did the song break the laptop it was playing on, but it could also cause nearby laptops using the same hardware to crash. How did this happen? Engineers studying this phenomenon discovered that ‘Rhythm Nation’ contains a frequency that matched the natural resonant frequency of specific laptop hard drives.
The same effect happens when an opera singer hits the resonant frequency of a wine glass causing it to break.
The effect where a second laptop crashed was caused by sympathetic resonance, the same as one tuning fork vibrating at a set frequency will cause another one also to vibrate if tuned to the same frequency.