Listen To That Alpha Decay

While there are exceptions, usually sensors represent data in visual form.  But there are research projects – and not just in acoustics – that rely on audio data to explore scientific phenomena.  Earlier this year I noted a project that made sounds out of particle collision data from the Large Hadron Collider.  In a similar vein, The Radioactive Orchestra has made sounds out of atomic decay from excited state to ground state (H/T Brain Pickings).  The energy of the specific decay step (isotopes can have more than one step) is converted to a comparable frequency tone.  Here is a video of someone making a tune out of decays of Gold, Mercury Rhenium, Thallium, and Plutonium atoms.

At the moment, the Orchestra is exploring the musical potential of these isotopes.  But I wouldn’t be surprised if decay patterns could be replicated in sound and possibly provide new insights into nuclear decay.  Personally, I’d find it a bit more engaging to pour through sound recordings rather than odd charts and graphs.

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2 thoughts on “Listen To That Alpha Decay

  1. Pingback: Sounds Science: Research Results For The Visually Challenged | Pasco Phronesis

  2. Pingback: A Cosmic Ray Duet…In Space | Pasco Phronesis

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