The Sounds of Science - The God Particle

Creation began with a tone from which all else emerged.

Do these sounds ring a bell for you?

  Physicists simulate sounds of the Higgs boson   PhysOrg - June 23, 2010

  God particle signal is simulated as sound   BBC - June 23, 2010

These tones do not connect for me. They are wrong.

God particle tones are beyond human frequency until the end.

Music of the Spheres? Stand by for the Boson Sonata

Reuters - June 24, 2010

Do you enjoy Mike Oldfield's "Music of the Spheres?" Are you uplifted by Gustav Holst's "The Planets" suite? Well soon you can fall in love with the Higgs Boson Sonata, the Dark Matter Cantata and perhaps eventually the Black Hole Symphony -- or something like them. Such compositions could emerge in the coming months from the unlikeliest of sources - the LHC Large Hadron Collider at the CERN particle physics research center on the Franco-Swiss border near Geneva.

Scientists there are converting the cosmic phenomena they are chasing through the huge underground machine into musical sound in their state-of-the-art computers. To do it, they use a sonification technique that converts pure data gathered from the LHC experiments into sound, says physicist Lily Asquith.

The detectors in the machine, which is probing the origins of the universe, can reconstruct the pathway of the particles after they are smashed together at near light-speed and calculate how much energy each leaves along its path. "If you use the right software, you can get really nice music out of the particle tracks," explains Asquith, who works on the LHC's Atlas, one of its six detectors, and was one of the originators of what is called the LHCsound project.

A key aim of the project is to help promote awareness among people outside of the work of CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, and especially the high-cost LHC experiment.

The Sounds of Science

To this end the project team has launched a chatty website dubbed "The Sounds of Science" with a nod to the 1960s hit song by Simon and Garfunkel, "Sounds of Silence."

"We want everyone to be able to share in the wonder and excitement of what we are doing, and this seems a good way of showing the awe-inspiring magnificence of it all," says Asquith.

The enthusiasm is directed at a global public. CERN, founded in 1954 as a European body and now with 20 nations from the continent on its ruling Council, recently decided to open membership to the rest of the world. Some of the sounds created so far can he heard on the website, including a musical embodiment of the Higgs Boson -- the mysterious particle that is believed to give mass to matter and without which no universe would have emerged from the primeval "Big Bang" explosion 13.7 billion years ago.

The LHCsound team are also working on applications for Apple Inc and ringtones for mobile telephones. But there is more to this project than the simple -- or not quite-so-simple -- and sometimes eerie sounds that resemble the discordant notes of an avant-garde serial music composition. Later in the summer CERN plans a public performance of the sound of the erstwhile silent particles by musicians from among its scientific community.

Music of the Spheres

Johannes Kepler Music of the Spheres