Science

What The Higgs Boson Sounds Like

Considering there’s nothing anyone can really do with the Higgs boson discovery data right now besides dive back into theoretical research, we’ll have to settle for weird abstractions of the data gleaned from the Large Hadron Collider. Naturally, someone took that data and translated it into music.

According to Discovery News, Scientists working at the European research network GÉANT decided to look at the increase and decrease in energy levels coming from the LHC, and correlate those values to musical notes. The end result was something resembling a tune for a 19th century Cuban dance called the habanera.

In the sonification, each semiquaver corresponded to an increase of 5 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). The detection of the Higgs-like particle around the 126 gigaelectronvolt mass-energy range (GeV), was then expressed by a peak made of three high notes (about 3.5 seconds into the recording).

The bump corresponding to the new particle is represented by an F note which is two octaves above the preceding F note, a C which is the most acute note in the music (also two octaves above the subsequent C note) representing the peak of the Higgs, and a E note.

Long story short, more energy means the notes move up, less energy means notes move down. The flurry you hear? That’s the Higgs boson. But the mere translation of physics into music wasn’t good enough for those researchers, so they went and added some bass and percussion to it. Some people are never satisfied. [GÉANT via Discovery via Explore]