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    The Sound So Loud That It Circled the Earth Four Times

    A lithograph of the massive 1883 eruption of KrakatoaThe eruption of Krakatoa, and subsequent phenomena, 1888; Parker & Coward; via Wikipedia On 27 August 1883, the Earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since. It was 10:02 AM local time when the sound emerged from the island of Krakatoa, which sits […]

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    Hearing Hadrons, and Doing Research by Ear

    Animation of data from collisions at the LHCCERN Several years ago, particle physicist Lily Asquith was hanging out with a few musician pals in London after a band rehearsal, doing impromptu impersonations of what she thought the various elementary particles might sound like, and encouraging the drummer to recreate them electronically. Another band member asked […]

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    Why Pianos, and Monkeys, Can Never Really Play the Blues

    One of the last things you’d expect to see at a physics conference is a physicist on stage, in a dapper hat, pounding out a few riffs of the blues on a keyboard. But that’s exactly what University of Illinois professor J. Murray Gibson did at the recent March meeting of the American Physical Society […]