Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Listening to the Big Bang – in High Fidelity

08.04.2013
A decade ago, spurred by a question for a fifth-grade science project, University of Washington physicist John Cramer devised an audio recreation of the Big Bang that started our universe nearly 14 billion years ago.

Now, armed with more sophisticated data from a satellite mission observing the cosmic microwave background – a faint glow in the universe that acts as sort of a fossilized fingerprint of the Big Bang – Cramer has produced new recordings that fill in higher frequencies to create a fuller and richer sound.

A 100-second clip is at https://soundcloud.com/uw-today/bigbangsound100. All of the sound files, which range from 20 seconds to a little longer than 8 minutes, are at http://faculty.washington.edu/jcramer/BBSound_2013.html.)

The effect is similar to what seismologists describe as a magnitude 9 earthquake causing the entire planet to actually ring. In this case, however, the ringing covered the entire universe – before it grew to such gargantuan proportions.

"Space-time itself is ringing when the universe is sufficiently small," Cramer said.

In 2001, Cramer wrote a science-based column for Analog Science Fiction & Fact magazine describing the likely sound of the Big Bang based on cosmic microwave background radiation observations taken from balloon experiments and satellites.

A couple of years later that article prompted a question from a mother in Pennsylvania whose 11-year-old son was working on a project about the Big Bang: Is the sound of the Big Bang actually recorded anywhere?

Cramer answered that it wasn't – but then began thinking that it could be. He used data from the cosmic microwave background on temperature fluctuations in the very early universe. The data on those wavelength changes were fed into a computer program called Mathematica, which converted them to sound. A 100-second recording represents the sound from about 380,000 years after the Big Bang until until about 760,000 years after the Big Bang (that recording and others are at http://faculty.washington.edu/jcramer/BBSound_2003.html.

"The original sound waves were not temperature variations, though, but were real sound waves propagating around the universe," he said.

Cramer noted, however, that the 2003 data lacked high-frequency structure. More complete data were recently gathered by an international collaboration using the European Space Agency's Planck satellite mission, which has detectors so sensitive that they can distinguish temperature variations of a few millionths of a degree in the cosmic microwave background. That data were released in late March and led to the new recordings.

As the universe cooled and expanded, it stretched the wavelengths to create "more of a bass instrument," Cramer said. The sound gets lower as the wavelengths are stretched farther, and at first it gets louder but then gradually fades. The sound was, in fact, so "bass" that he had to boost the frequency 100 septillion times (that's a 100 followed by 24 more zeroes) just to get the recordings into a range where they can be heard by humans.

Cramer is a UW physics professor who has been part of a large collaboration studying what the universe might have been like moments after the Big Bang by causing collisions between heavy ions such as gold in the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider at Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York.

Creating a sound profile for the Big Bang was something to do on the side, Cramer said.

"It was an interesting thing to do that I wanted to share. It's another way to look at the work these people are doing," he said.

For more information, contact Cramer at jcramer@uw.edu.

http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/04/04/listening-to-the-big-bang-in-high-fidelity-audio/

Vince Stricherz | Newswise
Further information:
http://www.uw.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht When fluid flows almost as fast as light -- with quantum rotation
22.06.2018 | The Henryk Niewodniczanski Institute of Nuclear Physics Polish Academy of Sciences

nachricht Thermal Radiation from Tiny Particles
22.06.2018 | Universität Greifswald

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core

In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.

Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...

Im Focus: Overdosing on Calcium

Nano crystals impact stem cell fate during bone formation

Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...

Im Focus: AchemAsia 2019 will take place in Shanghai

Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.

Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...

Im Focus: First real-time test of Li-Fi utilization for the industrial Internet of Things

The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.

Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.

Im Focus: Sharp images with flexible fibers

An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.

Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Munich conference on asteroid detection, tracking and defense

13.06.2018 | Event News

2nd International Baltic Earth Conference in Denmark: “The Baltic Sea region in Transition”

08.06.2018 | Event News

ISEKI_Food 2018: Conference with Holistic View of Food Production

05.06.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Graphene assembled film shows higher thermal conductivity than graphite film

22.06.2018 | Materials Sciences

Fast rising bedrock below West Antarctica reveals an extremely fluid Earth mantle

22.06.2018 | Earth Sciences

Zebrafish's near 360 degree UV-vision knocks stripes off Google Street View

22.06.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>