Listening to Science: how music and sound are reshaping scientific investigations

7 January 2016, 18:30
Cambridge campus

Data sonification is one of the fastest growing disciplines and its study is a fascinating journey through art, technology and science. From Kepler's experiments in the XVIII century to the study of sound waves from the sun, from understanding the basics of human physiology to helping detecting cancer, music and sounds have been supporting scientists in many different ways. Science and music are probably two of the most intrinsically linked disciplines in the spectrum of human knowledge and their synergy is transforming the way researchers work, collaborate and think.

In technical terms, auditory perception of complex, structured information could have several advantages in terms of temporal, amplitude, and frequency resolution when compared to visual representations. Using sound and audible signals to represent information opens up possibilities for an alternative or complement to visualisation techniques. These advantages include the capability of the human ear to detect patterns, recognise timbres and follow different strands at the same time. This would offer, in a natural way, the opportunity of rendering different, interdependent variables into sound in such a way that a listener could gain relevant insight into the represented information or data.

This presentation will start with a brief history of sonification for science and then continue describing how auditory display can provide a unique support to disciplines like particle physics, astronomy, biomechanics and neurosciences.

Event Details

7 January 2016, 18:30
Cambridge campus
LAB 039