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The sound of the Higgs Boson-like particle goes viral

New Large Hadron Collider discovery now music to everybody's ears!

13 July 2012 | Cambridge, UK

Following the melodic sonification of the Higgs Boson-like particle interest in this story and melody has reached fever pitch. Coverage has featured in some of the world's best known publications and the story has been mentioned in highly influential blogs and Twitter accounts.

Domenico Vicinanza, DANTE
Domenico Vicinanza, perfSONAR Product Manager for GÉANT and a keen musician and composer in his spare time, worked with Mariapaola Sorrentino of the ASTRA Project, Cambridge, who contributed to the sonification process and Giuseppe La Rocca from INFN Catania, responsible for the computing framework.

The melody was created via the process of data sonification, which requires enormous amounts of networking and processing power to produce results. Creating the “Higgs Melody” consequently relied on high-speed research networks to transport the data between computing resources, including the pan-European GÉANT network, which operates at speed of up to 40Gbps and the EGI grid computing infrastructure. Grid computing works by linking together multiple computers in different locations via high speed networks, combining their processing power to deliver faster results when analysing enormous volumes of data.

Previous sonification projects from the team include the creation of music from volcanic activity around the world, making it easier to spot potential eruptions by listening to changes in musical pitch.

A selection of the coverage is below:

BBC News
Discovery Channel
CBS News Technology
The World - Radio Interview (MP3 file)

There have also been approximately 40,000 individual Tweets about this item, and the story has been mentioned or re-Tweeted by:

  • @NeelieKroesEU (47,000 + Followers) 

  • @Digital Agenda EU (7,835 Followers)
  • Blogs and subsequent re-Blogs (which are then Tweeted) run into the thousands, with some prominent ones:
    • Science channel, with more than half a million followers (546,864)
    • Larry Hirb (@majornelson), with more than 425,000 followers

For more information, see:
Sonification enables world to hear new Higgs Boson-like particle
Research networks help LHC unlock the mysteries of the universe


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