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Band Uses Nuclear Isotopes To Make Music

Soulskill posted about a year and a half ago | from the music-of-science dept.

Music 37

Velcroman1 writes "Every second in your body, thousands of tiny isotopes are bursting with radioactive decay. And, all around you, imperceptible gamma rays explode in a brilliant but invisible lightshow. And they've just formed a live band. Yes, you read that correctly. But it's all for science: The Radioactive Orchestra 2.0 is part of a Swedish project to help us understand how low-energy radiation works, by showing the energy patterns of nuclear isotopes. Swedish musician Kristofer Hagbard conceived of the orchestra about a year ago and released an album last spring, but the new 2.0 version of 'the band' allows him to perform live in front of an audience. 'This can be looked at as a piano for high energy photons, so every detection gives us a note,' Hagbard said. 'The musical instrument is as good as the gamma spectrometer we are using.'"

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37 comments

A must have for air travel now (3, Funny)

Lucas123 (935744) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983041)

A pair of Bose isotope isolating headphones

Re:A must have for air travel now (2)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983127)

A pair of Bose isotope isolating headphones

But if it's beta rays you're worried about, you need the Fermi headphones. Bose headphones are not going to protect you.

This creates questions (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983075)

Wonder how long before he develops cancer due to increased exposure to various forms of radiation.
Wonder how long before a terrorist "artist" decides to use art as a means to obscure their actual intent.
Most of all I wonder what it sounds like and if I might like it. Can't view the video at work.

Music Categorization (5, Funny)

odysseus_complex (79966) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983173)

I think this takes the concept of "heavy metal" music a little too far, don't you think?

Prior art.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983175)

High energy protons by Juno Reactor
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HeD-hpqaDfk

Slashdot is for uneducated sociopaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983233)

And, all around you, imperceptible gamma rays explode in a brilliant but invisible lightshow.

project to help us understand how low-energy radiation works

Re:Slashdot is for uneducated sociopaths (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983829)

And that's not all! Instead of being a way to classify atoms that have a given combination of protons and neutrons, isotopes are now the actual atoms themselves! This, friends, is truly the premium form of misused scientific terminology. Nothing like synecdoche to start off your morning. (And by synecdoche, I mean a cup of synecdoche, by which I mean...)

Anyway, all you've really proven is that the submission sucks, not that it reflects on the viewers. We're very proud of our complaints about poor editing, you know that.

Re:Slashdot is for uneducated sociopaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41984273)

Gamma rays can be low energy - 100 keV is the generally accepted minimum. However, you must understand that in physics, all photons are referred to with the letter "gamma", so a "gamma ray" could easily refer to any ionizing electromagnetic radiation (UV, x-ray, gamma).

Source - I did an internship at a high energy neutrino physics research group last summer.

Re:Slashdot is for uneducated sociopaths (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41987481)

Traditionally, the boundaries weren't some arbitrary number, but bands of the EM spectrum were named for the source or detection methods. Gamma rays were produced by nuclear processes, while x-rays by electron transitions or interactions. So there was a bit of overlap, with x-rays going over 100 keV and gamma rays going much lower.

Re:Slashdot is for uneducated sociopaths (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year and a half ago | (#41985445)

It is low energy. At least, in the same way that your microwave oven is high energy.

Nuke Rap (2)

bit trollent (824666) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983311)

This kind of music encourages teens to enrich uranium. Just look a these lyrics.

"Topin' all night like a motherfucking physicist.

Now every third world arab nation in the world wanna get with this."

Topin' and Freakin' [theonion.com]

I have monster cables... (2)

dnahelicase (1594971) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983345)

They isolate any rogue gamma radiation or radioactive decay and line up the charges so I only receive the purest electrons...

What a stupid story. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983389)

It has NOTHING at all to do with Australia.

Like everyone else, I come to Slashdot to see stories about Australia.

Re:What a stupid story. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983623)

Even though you're just taking the piss, you make a valid point. It seems as if every time somebody in Australia sets up a new Hotmail account it gets reported here. I cannot begin to understand the fixation /. editors have with this country. I'm not suggesting we're boring, or that noting of interest ever happens here, but constantly seeing 'Aussie guy does something or other!!!11' stories is becoming embarrassing, considering almost all of those stories aren't worth reporting in Australia, let alone on a 'world news' site like this one.

Music truly for the Atomic Age (1)

DiscountBorg(TM) (1262102) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983483)

Some of the more abstract tracks remind me a lot of music from the post WWII era! (Think forbidden planet, etc)

pure hype (1)

frovingslosh (582462) | about a year and a half ago | (#41983519)

showing the energy patterns

A good musician can create something resembling music with just about anything. I remember Steve Allen doing it with a picture of birds sitting on power lines. But claiming there are "energy patterns" in the mist random process in nature is just, purring it kindly, B.S.

Background isn't fixed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41983813)

Not a good idea. If there's a solar flare or a nuclear accident in the middle of the performance it's going to sound like happy hardcore for a few measures.

Life imitates Art! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41984335)

Those annoying Post Brothers, playing isotopes with "The Bulldaggers"......

Roygbiv (1)

kencurry (471519) | about a year and a half ago | (#41984459)

From TFA link:

Tim Lundström, a physicist at a Swedish nuclear safety and training organization called KSU, told FoxNews.com that the radioactive orchestra is a good way to represent nuclear energy because it correlates so accurately to what we know about radioactive material. Lower energy beams produce colors like blue or green whereas higher level radioactive materials produce red tones.

Shouldn't red be lower energy etc? (I think this is cool stuff, just nit-picking with the physicist...)

Ep!.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41984951)

Wash off hands Preferrably with an and execut[es a Fortunate7y, Linux than this BSD box, ass of them all, another folder. 20 gone Romeo and

John Cage and Schrödinger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#41985427)

This is what happens when the two is combined. This music is driven by a random process. This music is both here and is not.

What photon detector are they using? (1)

0x537461746943 (781157) | about a year and a half ago | (#41985513)

I have been scouring the internet and can't seem to find a detector that looks like the end of that device. Anyone know? I am sure it is outside my price range though.

Re:What photon detector are they using? (1)

we1rd0 (2772953) | about a year and a half ago | (#41986623)

From the looks I would guess at some scintillator (with a photomultiplier for readout, see here for first details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scintillator [wikipedia.org] ) These are usually custom made (and/or can be assembled/changed/... easily) so that the exact shape is not necessarily commercially available in bulk, but this should not matter for such an application. I would estimate 1-1.5k $ for the scintillator + PMT + the necessary High Voltage supply (another couple hundred bucks). PMT typically output small pulses (on the order 100mV) which you have to detect a flash ADC or similar will easily cost the same once more.. and then you still lack the Macbook ;-) so nothing for the weekend project.
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