Physicist recreates the sound of the Big Bang

Credit: NASA/JPL

Over the years, artists and animators have tried to give us an idea of what the Big Bang must have looked like, but until now nobody has seriously tackled figuring out how it must have sounded. Tape recorders may not have existed 13.8 billion years ago, but that didn't stop physicist John Cramer from using other measurements to get a handle on the sound. Based on his findings, he has made a 100-second sound file, which he says reproduces the sound of the universe being created.

Cramer used measurements of cosmic microwave background radiation levels obtained from the European Space Agency’s Planck satellite mission to get ultra-accurate temperature readings from space. From this he was able to create a map of cosmic microwaves from which he somehow determined how things must have sounded. The real catch is that his 100-second sound file covers a time span of about 380,000 years, so the sound is seriously speeded up. To me it sounds a bit like AM radio interference, but when each second covers over 3,000 years, it's hard to put the sound in perspective.

Check out the video to hear the sound of the Big Bang. To get the full effect, I recommend some big speakers. Really, really big speakers.

University of Washington, via Red Orbit

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