Thursday, July 01, 2010

Higgs Boson: sounds like science fiction (no really)

God particle signal is simulated as sound

Their aim is to develop a means for physicists at Cern to "listen to the data" and pick out the Higgs particle if and when they finally detect it.

Dr Lily Asquith modelled data from the giant Atlas experiment at the LHC.

She worked with sound engineers to convert data expected from collisions at the LHC into sounds.


The team is only now feeding in real results from real experiments.


But Richard Dobson - a composer involved with the project - says he is struck at how musical the products of the collisions sound.

"We can hear clear structures in the sound, almost as if they had been composed. They seem to tell a little story all to themselves. They're so dynamic and shifting all the time, it does sound like a lot of the music that you hear in contemporary composition," he explained.


"Its so intriguing and there's so much mystery and so much to learn. The deeper you go, the more of a pattern you find and it's fascinating and it's uplifting."

The article comes with three samples of what the Higgs boson may sound like, and what strikes me is that we've been hearing these sounds for years. I'm fairly certain the harmonic signature features in the Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy radio play.

The Higgs boson also sounds like it hasn't yet had its morning cup of tea.

Make sure you always keep your boson onside.

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