Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Higgs boson goes Metal

I have a little "sonification" project coming up. Its a short piece of music made by transforming data from the CMS experiment into notes. I chose two plots that were shown during the announcement of the discovery of the higgs boson at CERN, on July 4th 2012.

The top plot above shows the signal of higgs decay into two photons, as you can see it will correspond to a descending run. I generated the musical score by assigning notes from the chromatic scale to numbers of entries in histograms. The result has a rather abstract "harmony" and in fact it sounds quite heavy metal. The higgs decay into four leptons (the lower plot above) has a lot of bins with zero entries - corresponding to pauses - so it fits perfectly as a rhythm guitar riff. This riff is played on the CMS guitar.