LHC Particle Physicists to World: Our New Album Drops December 6th

By Jennifer Welsh | November 17, 2010 11:50 am

ResonanceThe particle physicists at the ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider aren’t just searching for the elemental forces of the universe; they are also looking for a #1 Christmas single.

Several groups of physicists-turned-musicians from ATLAS are gearing up for the release of their first tracks under the “Neutralino Records” label. The label is named after the hypothetical particle, the neutralino, which is predicted by supersymmetry and might even make up the universe’s dark matter.

Executive producer (and physicist) Christopher Thomas told Discoblog that the music club at CERN, the organization that runs the LHC, is pretty active, but the ATLAS group was motivated to make an album to “show there’s another side to physicists. And maybe a bit of ‘hey, look what I can do!'”

Samples of the songs can be heard at the website for the double CD, titled Resonance. Nineteen different musical groups participated in the creation of the album, which contains a variety of original and cover songs, explains the press release (pdf):

The album features a wealth of new songs: the highlights include an original blues song about ATLAS from physicist Steven Goldfarb’s Canettes Blues Band: an ode to CERN from the remarkable singer-songwriter-scientist Cat Demetriades, classical piano pieces by head of ATLAS, Italian scientist Fabiola Gianotti, and the wry musings of guitar band TLAs and their song about their perennial bugbear–long meetings.

Each of the acts are made up of at least partially ATLAS personnel, Thomas told Discoblog. “Pretty much everyone is a member of the CERN music club, and each act is all or in part ATLAS personnel. There are several others who work at CERN in other experiments or divisions.”

One of the two CDs is rock and pop while the other mostly classical, and the label also offers a behind-the-scenes DVD of the scientists at work and play. The proceeds are going to the Happy Children’s Home in Pokhara, Nepal to help build their orphanage. The offerings will be available for download from various online retailers starting December 6th, 2010, which the press release (pdf) joking claims is “13.7 billion years to the day since the Big Bang”:

Resonance is set to prove that though Physics and Music may seem like very different fields they both require abstract thought, imagination and a sense of fun. You can expect sparks to fly when the scientists at the forefront of researching the Big Bang go Pop!

The idea to come together as a musical group was spurred by a series of live performances from the group when the detector construction was completed in October 2008, says the group’s MySpace Page:

Drawn together by our common love of science, many of us are also passionate about music. In October 2008, we marked the completion of the ATLAS detector construction with a series of live performances, and thus was born the idea for Resonance.

The audience at the performances was actually pretty impressed and surprised at the quality of music, Thomas said. He also noted that many acts didn’t get to participate in the recording, because of time and travel restraints (no, they haven’t invented time travel yet, I guess…), so there is a possibility of future (past?) records to come from Neutralino label.

Related Content:
Discoblog: Science Sing-Alongs: Higg Boson vs Google Periodic Table
Discoblog: Judge: Man Can’t Sue Over LHC’s Potential “Destruction of the Earth”
Discoblog: I Swear: Subatomic Particles Are Singing to Me!
80beats: LHC Sets a New Personal Record: 10,000 Particle Smash-Ups per Second

Image: CERN/Claudia Marcelloni


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