Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The All Sound

I've been reading quite a bit lately on Einstein's contributions to physics with his theories of general and special relativity. Naturally, such readings have led me to further readings on string theory and it's general concepts. And so I wish to comment on some of the implications that string theory has to Cage's "All Sound" music.

String theory operates upon them premise that all matter and energy (for Einstein tells us these things are synonymous) is composed of strings and these strings are vibrating. think of it like the strings on an instrument, say a cello string that has been tuned by stretching the string under tension. Depending on how the string is plucked and how much tension is in the string, different musical notes will be created by the string. These musical notes could be said to be "excitation modes" of the cello strings.

In a similar manner, in string theory, the elementary particles we observe in particle accelerators could be thought of as the "musical notes" or excitation modes of these itty-bitty elementary strings. As in cello playing, a string must be stretched under tension in order to become excited. The strings in string theory are floating in spacetime, they aren't tied down to an instrument, but they do have tension.

Without becoming too bogged down in the theory, one can simply say string theory holds that everything is composed of these vibrating strings of energy. In Cage-speak, that is to say that the universe is composed of music, a grand cosmic symphony, if you will.

And so, as Cage implied, who are we to claim that this "sound of the universe" is not music? And how can you argue? He's got math and physics backing him.

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