In the beginning, there was bass. University of Washington physicist John Cramer has used sophisticated data from a recent satellite mission to produce an audio recreation of the big bang.
The first question is probably "how?" The Big Bang occurred 14 billion years ago, so how can the very sound of it be discovered and recreated?
After the Big Bang, the universe expanded so quickly it created an extremely deep bass noise which, through the dense medium of the universe, reverberated back on itself like a bell. Of course, the original audio is long gone; but it has left an imprint on the cosmic microwave background, a layer of radiation that covers the entire universe.
Cramer extrapolated the thermal data from this background using NASA’s Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) satellite, creating the sound of the Big Bang that he described in a 2001 column for Analog Science Fiction & Fact magazine.
Two years later, the mother of an 11-year-old elementary school student asked if there was an actual recording of the sound to show in class, to which he said there wasn't - but there could be.
Using a computational program called Mathematica, Cramer translated the data from WMAP into sound. This created an initially creaky, low, almost silent piece of audio. But thanks to the European Space Agency's Planck Telescope, he has been able to create a more accurate sound profile, which is now up on Soundcloud for the world to listen to.
Be warned, as the universe cooled and expanded, the sound achieves a considerable amount of bass. In fact, the true sound is so deep that Cramer had to boost the frequency 100 septillion times (that's 100 followed by 24 more zeroes) to put it within the range of human hearing.
And you thought the 'Brown Note' was bad!
Source: University of Washington
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