September 23, 2010
Whenever I tell people about our audio tours of the universe (which we hosted at Camden’s Roundhouse this past Sunday as part of the Turning Point festival, and back in June at the Stoke Newington International Airport) they almost always say:
“But isn’t space silent?”
Not if we know how to listen. With the right equipment we can use our ears as well as our eyes to probe the cosmos. The universe is full of sounds.
Telescopes allow us to capture radio waves emitted by stars across the galaxy and turn them into noises we can hear. And space is not – as popular misconception would have it – an empty “vacuum”. Gas and dust, albeit in small volumes, floats between the stars and can conduct sound waves back to us, such as from the rippling shearing surface of our sun.
Have a listen for yourself here, from the rattling of our atmosphere, to the eerie shrieks and whistles of the moons of Jupiter, to the buzzing chords of nebular clusters – out to the farthest reaches of space and the deepest note in the universe.
Astrobiologist Lewis Dartnell took us on a guided tour this past Sunday through the streets of Camden, explaining what these strange noises have taught us about what lies above our heads.
Check out what he had to say about his first space walk with us in Stoke Newington here.
Space, it turns out, is not so silent after all – we just need to know how to listen.
September 9, 2010
The author and scientist will also tell us how he searches for life on other planets, what it might look like if (or when?) we find it, and how close we might actually be to discovering that we are not alone in the universe.
Find us Sunday, September 19th, in The Clore.
Sounds of the Universe Walks: 4pm & 5:30pm
Astrobiology Talk: 5pm
August 14, 2010
If you missed us at Lovebox and the Secret Garden we’ll be heading to the beautiful Brecon Beacons in two weeks time for the Green Man festival. Whilst based in Einstein’s Garden for our Flavour feast and Liars picnic, we’ll be invading the woods with our Synaesthesia Game and Sounds of the Universe walk. Look out for our musical brain amongst the trees…more info to follow!
July 22, 2010
It is so vast, it deserves at least a day to survey it with string theorists, levitating explosions, plane workshops, and a celebration of the history of rockets.
11am String Theory and the Origin of Symmetry, Ben Allanach, University of Cambridge
Everyone is hunting for the famed Higgs boson, the particle that physicists theorise must exist. If it is found, how will it change the way we understand the world? Particle physicist Ben will explain how scientists are theorising the universe, down to the smallest particle and right back to the very beginning.
12pm DIY Plane Workshop, Steve Dosman & Elisabeth Dosman
How exactly do planes fly? Create your own with physicists Steve and Elisabeth who will teach us how to get into the air and stay there. Compete in a winner-takes-all tournament.
1pm It IS Rocket Science! Helen Keen, Comedian
The history of rockets brought to life with a fusion of stand-up comedy and tinfoil in a critically acclaimed one-woman show – a celebration of stargazing, space-racing, and the boundless possibilities of an infinite Universe.
2pm Physics vs Chemistry, Steve Mould vs Andrea Sella
Flame tubes. A vortex gun. Levitations. Andrea and Steve will make music together – some of it sweet, some of it bitter, most of it smelly, with a few explosions thrown in for good measure.
3pm Science Pub Quiz, Frank Swain, Science Punk
Bring your grey matter for a workout in this pub quiz with a twist.Our quizmaster is back with the fan favourite: tricky trivia, boistrous heckles and witty drunkards await. Learning is fun, especially with beer.
4pm Beatbox Laboratory, Yasson, Addy P & Evan Morgan
Performance scientist Evan will put battling volunteers and champion beatboxers Yasson and Addy P through their paces to unmask the secrets of vocal mimicry, from high hats and snare drums to the deep bass of thumping beats.
5pm Accelerated Learning, MC Inja
Our grand finale: a session of stellar freestyle rapping with MC Inja who will wax lyrical on the weekend’s events, from bleeding cyborgs to the stringy fabric of the Universe. Inja is back for another year to end our weekend with a rhythmic bang.
And out and about…
11am Kitchen Science, Nikolai & Pete
Discover the extraordinary in the ordinary.
12:30pm Photography in Five Dimensions, Anab Jain & Jon Ardern of Superflux
If parallel universes exist, what would they look like? Superflux explore the possibilities with a multidimensional camera.
1:30pm Rosie The Organ Grinder With Physics Maestro Steve Mould
Discover the secrets of sound with a hand-made street organ.
1:30pm Flavour feast, Rachel Edwards-Stuart & Becki Clarke
Celebrate the manifold facets of flavour with a sensory smorgasboard.
Dusk-2am The Traveling Observatory, Elisa Kraus
Explore the night sky with top-notch telescopes.