Scientists are able to mathematically extract sound information from just about any natural event these days, from the weather to even Covid. Even if you know nothing about astronomy, you’ve no doubt heard of a black hole. It’s the ultimate destroyer of stars and planets, that still has astrophysicists scratching their heads. What happens to the information that it gobbles up? What happens on the other side of it? Lots of speculation but no definitive answers. One of the things that we do know now though, is what it sounds like.
Belgian electronic musician and mathematician Valery Vermeulen created tracks using “data stemming from simulation models of astrophysical black holes and regions of extreme gravitational fields” using a process known as sonification (check here for more details).
If you think this exercise has no scientific street cred, think again. Vermeulen worked with cosmologist and long-time collaborator of Stephen Hawking, Dr. Thomas Hertog, to develop the process.
The results will be released as an album and live concert titled Mikromedas AdS/CFT 001 and will be part of Vermeulen’s Mikromedas project, which is a thematic performance art project that has been running since 2014. The co-producers of the album are unusual – the concert hall Concertgebouw Brugge and the cross-discipline Baltan Laboratories. The live concert will feature visuals from artist Jaromir Mulders.
In case you’re not clear on the concept of black holes, NASA says, “A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light can not get out. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. This can happen when a star is dying.
Because no light can get out, people can’t see black holes. They are invisible. Space telescopes with special tools can help find black holes. The special tools can see how stars that are very close to black holes act differently than other stars.”
Take a listen. It’s perfect Halloween background music.