Good Writing Friday – 9/30

30 September, 2011

Creative Content

Passing someone else’s discovery along for this Friday. Kevin Devlin (NPR’s Math Guy), in his column Devlin’s Angle on the Mathematical Association of America, posted a number of years ago the essay “Murmurs” from the mind  of K.C. Cole. In his opiniion, it’s one of the greatest science essays he’s ever read. I’d have to agree. Here’s just a selection:

When the universe speaks, astronomers listen.

When it sings, they swoon….

The peak and valleys paint a visual picture of the sound the newborn universe made when it was still wet behind the ears, a mere 300,000 years after its birth in a big bang. Nothing existed but pure light, sprinkled with a smattering of subatomic particles.

Nothing happened, either, except that this light and matter fluid, as physicists call it, sloshed in and out of gravity wells….Like banging on the head of a drum….

The principal is familiar: Your child’s voice sounds like no one else’s because that resonant cavities within her throat create a unique voiceprint. The large, heavy wood of the cello creates a mellower sound than the high-strung violin. Just so, the sounds coming from the early universe depend directly on the density of matter, and the shape of the cosmos itself.

 

Read the entire essay….it’s short and well worth it.

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