Music in the Stars – Taking Stock – Anne Katherine

I think that it is about time that I take stock of where I am and the progress I’ve made.

The good news? I have two fantastic data sets and three inspirational people in the field offering me guidance and support. I spent most of yesterday’s work period listening to the sounds that are made up of some of the individual wavelengths and frequencies in the data which was very very cool. I’ve figured out that in Data Set I after transforming the observed wavelength given to me into the wavelength of the quasar’s rest frame and multiplying by 10^-4 I will have two octaves to work with. If I use the frequency given in Data Set II I will be able to use about half of an octave’s worth of notes. I am feeling right now that I will use both data sets separately (ultimately conducting two experiments) to maximize possibility of the creation of something great and because both sets have merits the other doesn’t. The positive to utilizing Data Set I is the fact that the wavelengths span two octaves, however it will be necessary to proportionally shrink the wavelength. Data Set II gives me the ability to stay true to the frequency observed without having to alter it but gives me little elbow room in terms of composition.

Everything was going better than I could have imagined until I had a startling realization yesterday afternoon in examining the data sets. Houston, we have a problem. Both data sets are listed in numerical order and would sound like a scale if transformed into music. I wish I could say I have the solution to this problem but, unfortunately, I am currently drawing a blank. I have resolved to A.) take a piece of my own advice and ask my mentor and others for help and B.) gain a deeper mathematical understanding of the data and concepts I am working with. So far I have been coasting along with a relatively shallow knowledge base, a strategy which, for obvious reasons, will lead to my ultimate demise (ok, maybe demise is a bit strong).

So, if nothing else, I have a plan…..and some cheerleaders (I recently found out that my parents read my blog, hi mom).

Here is a link to the sound of the first data point in Data Set II.

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