CMB Sonifications

Sonifications of the Cosmic Microwave Background signal from the last Music of Reality Show, created from data collected by NASA’s WMAP probe.

In order to experience the data’s underlying patterns, Dr. Matthew Kleban of NYU Physics and I have collaborated to produce these harmonic sonifications. By mapping multipole moment and temperature fluctuations to frequency and amplitude, a musical chord can be produced which reveals the harmonic relationships of the universe’s early plasma state. The sonifications simulate the gradual emergence of this chord from total noise - a journey from the early universe to the present day - and go on to playfully explore higher partials and raw radio telescope static. Gradually, the intensity of the harmonic peaks is sharpened to allow the universal harmonies to shine out.