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.