The Sound Of The Big Bang

Apr 15 2013 @ 10:49am

University of Washington’s John G. Cramer simulates what the Big Bang would have sounded like, using “pockets of radiation know as cosmic microwave background (CMB) that still speckle the universe”:


Rebecca Rosen reacts to the audio:

This is not to say this is what you would have heard had you been present in the years following the initial explosion (if through some weird wormhole magic that were even possible *and* you managed to live for the entire 760,000 years). Cramer calls the early universe a “bass instrument,” because its expansion stretched out the sound wavelengths, making their frequencies lower and lower — far too low for a human to hear. In order to make the simulation audible, he had to scale up the sound frequencies by an enormous factor: 1026. As you listen, you can hear a distinct rise and fall of the CMB emissions’ intensity, peaking at 379,000 years.

The simulation is part science, part art — the conversion of data into something you can experience and explore.