Monday, 27 October 2014

Sam Rolfe on 'The Sound of Science': 'Tree Song' and 'Sound in Space'

Joining us in the studio today was Sam Rolfe, our dedicated Science Correspondent, providing us with our monthly dose of scientific intrigue.

Tree Song:

Sam spoke about a confusing phenomenon dubbed 'Tree Song', involving the translation of the grooves and notches of the cross-section of a tree, into music. The music is mapped through the use of a needle (much like that of a record player) which is run across the wood and the data collected is then converted into tangible melody by computer. Sam mused that the project was an interesting 'merging of art and science' and that what we can perhaps draw from the project is that 'music can be found in everything'.

For more information and to listen to 'Tree Song' head over to their bandcamp here:

The Sound of Space:

She then went on to discuss the idea of sound in space and the way sound travels. Sam used the example of the sound produced by lightening on Earth, and lightening on Jupiter. She played us a couple of clips to illustrate the similaritites and differences and informed us that sound is often used as evidence for the presence of lightening on other planets in our solar system.

For more information, see this website:

Scientist of the Month: Alexander Graham Bell

Finally Sam spoke to us about her choice for scientist of the month: inventor of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. She told us that Bell's interest in speech and sound was influenced greatly by his father and grandfather who were experts in elocution. Sam also explained that a number of scientists were separately and simultaneously involved in the invention of the telephone but that it was Bell's patent for his design that meant he was credited with the achievement.

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