The Large Hadron Collider: The World’s Most Expensive Musical Instrument

03 Dec 2014

The Large Hadron Collider, the massive device being used to solve the subatomic mysteries of the universe, has so far failed (at least of this writing) to prove the existence of the Higgs boson. However, it has become the world’s most expensive musical instrument.

Without getting too technical about it, the LHC accelerates particles to extreme velocities and then has them smash together.  The debris from these collisions is then examined for evidence of even smaller particles. These collisions and the tracks of the wreckage are viewed in something called a cloud chamber.  With me so far?

Domenico Vicinanza, a composer and network engineer, has taken these particle trails from cloud chambers and converted them into music.  When played on a piano, it sounds like this.

How much did that cost?  About $9 billion.  More details here.

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