What does an electron sound like?


I have known a number of particle physicists, myself included, who strongly associate different particles with different colours. To me, an electron will always be blue.
Some colleagues I have asked have also had strong associations between particle types and sounds. Others have just looked blankly at me, perhaps with one eyebrow slightly raised.
The most interesting associations seem to come from thinking about hadronic activity; for this I have heard descriptions such as:
“Hadrons are like a crash in a guitar shop, and clusters are like a conductor farting whilst directing a full orchestra thus making an unholy racket.”

“Hadronization sounds like opening a difficult bag of potato chips. When they hit the detector I imagine the sound in the movie War Games when a missile hits a city (a low computer generated tone).”

“Hadronic showers sound like a man carrying 12 pints on a tray falling down a long flight of stairs – including the swearing.”

These are pretty emotional responses! Some more ‘musical‘ associations seem to apply to simpler objects, for example:

“J/Psi’s are tings on a high triangle.”

“Electrons go twang, like a very high note on an acoustic guitar. Muons are a much deeper twang.”

“Fermions sound like wind chimes, the heavier the mass the lower the tone.”


This is all pretty interesting to me in my mission to sonify the ATLAS data output. I’d be interested to hear about more of these particle-sound associations.


Advertisements

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s