Big Bang not so big

The explosion that was assumed to have given birth to the universe sounded not so much like a Big Bang than a Deep Hum.

    Cosmic event is thought to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago

    The New Scientist, a British weekly, has said a computer model of the likely audio frequencies generated by the Big Bang has been created by physicist John Cramer of the University of Washington in Seattle.

    "The sound is rather like a large jet plane flying 100 feet (30m) above your house in the middle of the night," he said.

    The Big Bang unleashed gigantic waves of energy and blazing hot matter.

    Some of the energy was in the audio part of the spectrum, and these giant sound waves squeezed and compressed matter, heating compressed regions and cooling the rarefied ones.

    Sound waves

    Even though the event is thought to have occurred 13.7 billion years ago, the sound waves have left an imprint in tiny temperature variations that can be measured in different parts of the sky.

    "The sound is rather like a large jet plane flying 100 feet (30m) above your house in the middle of the night"

    John Cramer,
    University of Washington in Seattle 

    Cramer based his model on temperature data sent by a NASA satellite, the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe, which was launched in 2001.

    His calculation is based on the frequencies that rampaged through the Universe during its first 760,000 years, when it was a cosmic stripling measuring just 18 million light years across.

    The frequencies would have been too low to be heard by the human ear, so Cramer has scaled them up 100,000 billion billion times to give an approximation.

    The long hum becomes progressively deeper in tone, because the sound waves become longer and thus lower in frequency, as they range across the fast-expanding Universe.



    Life after death row: The pastor praying for Nigeria's prisoners

    The Nigerian pastor adapting to life after death row

    Clinton Kanu spent 27 years in prison for a murder he did not commit, but life on the outside feels far from free.

    What it means to love a dead child

    What it means to love a dead child

    You must forget all you thought you knew about grief when the landscape of your life has been demolished.

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    'Butchered': The Kenyan FGM clinic serving Europeans

    Kenya banned FGM in 2011, but Europeans still bring their daughters to underground clinics there to be cut.