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In the Beginning, Nothing... Then God Said "Let There Be Noise" -- An Introduction to Acoustic Cosmology

07/07/2017 10:57AM

In the Beginning, Nothing... Then God Said "Let There Be Noise" -- An Introduction to Acoustic Cosmology

Is there a musical equivalent to the curvature of space-time? Gavin Starks thinks so. Yesterday he presented his findings at the Royal Astronomical Society's National Astronomy Meeting held at the University of Hull in the UK. Starks, who has a background in radio astronomy and electronic music, has been working on "Acoustic Cosmology" for more than 20 years in collaboration with Professor Andy Newsam of Liverpool John Moores University in the UK. Their aim is to test whether mathematical relationships that describe cosmology and quantum mechanics can be applied to a Sonic Universe, or "Soniverse."


Comments:

  • ks1u [George Blahun]
  • 07/08/2017 04:00PM
This is really amazing, but probably not a huge surprise to musicians. Composers like Bach, Mozart et al seem to be tuned into something more fundamental than an earthly existence. My dad was a professional musician and I started piano lessons at age 7. Playing Bach for the first time, at that age, seemed both ethereal and mathematical. When I first heard Walter Carlos (now Wendy) perform Switched On Bach, I played it until the tape nearly burned up. My Ham radio friends would poke fun at me for listening to white noise, solar and Jovian signals, but I couldn't stop from spending hours listening to the sounds of the universe.<br><br>Thanks for posting this and especially for the link to the actual lecture. This made my day!
George:<br><br>Thanks for your comments -- I'm glad you enjoyed the News Item. It seemed a bit off the beaten path of typical astronomical topics, but it caught my eye and I wanted to share it.<br><br>In a way, it reminds me of a Friedrich Nietzsche quotation:<br><br>"Those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."<br><br>Thanks,<br><br>Guy<br><br><br><br><blockquote class="blockquote"><div class="italic"><i>George Blahun said:</i><br><br>This is really amazing, but probably not a huge surprise to musicians. Composers like Bach, Mozart et al seem to be tuned into something more fundamental than an earthly existence. My dad was a professional musician and I started piano lessons at age 7. Playing Bach for the first time, at that age, seemed both ethereal and mathematical. When I first heard Walter Carlos (now Wendy) perform Switched On Bach, I played it until the tape nearly burned up. My Ham radio friends would poke fun at me for listening to white noise, solar and Jovian signals, but I couldn't stop from spending hours listening to the sounds of the universe.<br><br>Thanks for posting this and especially for the link to the actual lecture. This made my day! </div></blockquote>


For more than 50 years now, there have been at least primitive computer generated images produced from sound waves. Background noise? It sounds to me (no pun intended), that we are starting to make more sense of the cosmos than we ever thought we could. And certainly music is part of it. Questions answered lead to more questions left over. I love seeing these questions turn into well thought out hypothesis and made accepted theory and then proven to be fact. It would be nice to live long enough to have all the questions answered and made fact. But that's impossible! Or is it........?