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Adventures in the Soniverse


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Presentation given to the Royal Astronomical Society
National Astronomy Meeting 2017
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Published in: Science
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Adventures in the Soniverse

  1. 1. Developing a Soniverse Can sound help us understand cosmology? Can cosmology help us understand music? @binarydust Gavin Starks
  2. 2. Musica universalis (literally ‘universal music’) also called Music of the Spheres or Harmony of the Spheres is an ancient philosophical concept that regards proportions in the movements of celestial bodies
  3. 3. This connection between music, mathematics, and astronomy had a profound impact on history, resulting in music's inclusion in the Quadrivium: the medieval curriculum that included arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy along with the Trivium (grammar, logic,and rhetoric) this made up the seven liberal arts, which are still the basis for higher education today
  4. 4. 1265 - 1321 Dante's Universe
  5. 5. 1520 Copernicus On the resolutions of the heavenly spheres
  6. 6. 1617 Robert Fludd The Metaphysical, Physical, and Technical history of two worlds, the Macrocosm and the Microcosm
  7. 7. 1750 Thomas Wright An original theory or new hypothesis of the universe A finite view of infinity
  8. 8. Large scale structure of the universe ~100M ly
  9. 9. 1845 William Parsons (drawing of the view through his telescope) 1889 Vincent van Gogh
  10. 10. Music of the spheres a ‘music’ thought of not as an audible sound, but a harmonic, mathematical or religious concept
  11. 11. Over the last century our understanding of our universe has completely transformed. In parallel, our ability to manipulate the microcosm of sound, not just the macrocosm of composition, has radically changed our music.
  12. 12. Music of the hypersphere a ‘maths’ thought of not as a physical universe, but as an audible, navigable sonic space
  13. 13. Monophony Pitch Chant Polyphony Harmony Madrigals Baroque Form Harmony Refinement Bach, Mozart, Handel Symphonic Operatic Romantic Beethoven, Wagner, Stravinsky Dissonance Mathematics Primes Messiaen, Glass Lattice Mass Grain Texture Cage, Wishart Dimensionality Curvature Gravitation Symmetry Manifold Spin ...? … 1400s … 1500s .... 1600s … 1700s … 1800s … 1900s … 2000s … Our language of music has evolved in parallel to our understanding and language of science
  14. 14. In the ‘data cube’ each ‘pixel’
 is a whole spectrum. Each pixel/spectra has been 
 transformed into a visible colour based on its redshift or blueshift. Selecting a pixel takes the radio 
 spectrum (light) and transforms it into sound. You can listen to, and explore, the structure of the spiral arms.
  15. 15. sonon: One wavelength — ∂s The equivalent of a photon in a sonic universe (soniverse) nb: not to be confused with a phonon
  16. 16. Our basic soniverse has basic parameters of a ‘cosmological model’ (does include mass, density, doesn’t include particles, inflation, etc) Here we create two identical ‘big bangs’ and put them at different redshifts (based on a randomly generated universal spectrum rest state) Z1 and Z2 are the redshifts of the objects H0 changes the age of the universe. Ω = 1 would be a flat soniverse, less or more changes curvature translations light travel time = delay travel time luminosity distance, = loudness/volume distance coloured boxes are transformed into a range we can hear Modelling a soniverse
  17. 17. The mathematics of structure, as spoken through grains of rendered sound, hewn from binary dust... @binarydust