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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Big Bang didn't bang

They were talking about the new discoveries in science over the radio. With telescopes at the South Pole, a team of astronomers led by John M. Kovac of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, detected ripples in the fabric of space-time, so-called gravitational waves. Apparently these ripples were generated just at the moment of the Big Bang, some 13.000 million years ago, give or take a few thousand million.
The radio station introduced a gross explosion sound to illustrate the talk.
Obviously radio people are sound people. They emit radio signals to be transformed in sound so we listeners can hear them. We hear them as the loudspeakers vibrate and the vibration is transmitted through the air to our tympanic membranes, and then via the acoustic nerve to our brain.
Alas!, at the Big Bang space-and-time event there was no air, as in space on the whole. Sorry, sci-fi movies fans: starships exploding in space will do so silently.
So back then, no one could have heard the damn bang. Actually there was no one there either.
Perhaps we can now hear the ripples, conveniently transformed electronically...


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