BU astronomer sings about black holes, does cutting edge research

REALITY ABUSE (Words & Music by A. Marscher ©2003)1.

REALITY ABUSE (Words & Music by A. Marscher ©2003)

1. We search for a description of reality that fits our macroscopic mentality Strip the world down to its finest scales, but that where normal logic fails Electrons with no individuality, photons with wave-particle duality Entangle in a logical fatality!

Chorus: I'm so confused! Can't figure out what it means, my mind's abused, logic caught in between Cause-and-effect has a deep defect, serendipity rules and we're big fools To think it should make any sense from our side of the size-scale fence

2. The unobserved filled with uncertainty, don't know exact position and velocity Outcome of measurement like throwing dice: repeat, yet you don't get the same result twice Determinism yields to probability, can't imagine such unpredictability Must be some mental inability . . .

[chorus]

Ending: It's no use . . . it's mind abuse . . . I'm so confused . . . Universe, what are you doing to my mind?!? Good stuff, huh? Follow this link for 12 more, plus MP3's (DRM free!) of all of Boston University astronomer, Alan Marscher's physics songs. He writes these songs to supplement BU's so-called "core curriculum" classes for undergraduates (he teaches one in astronomy) and, according to an article on CNN.com, finds that

"Anybody's attention span during an hourlong period doesn't really focus on someone just lecturing," he said. The music "really does help to liven up the lectures."

Perhaps even more interestingly, he and his team of researchers just published the first convincing evidence for a theory on the origin of particles ejected from black holes. Using (somewhat ironically, considering his musical bent), radio telescopes, his team was able to suggest that the swirling matter flying into black holes actually twists the magnetic field of the black hole allowing it to eject certain types of radiation and various particles.

His BU website doesn't appear to have a new song to document this research, but there is a catchy song about the Big Bang:

UNIVERSAL HISTORY (THE BIG BANG) (words & music by A. Marscher ©2000)

1. Heat was incredibly intense, it was unimaginably dense, humans can make no sense of it in familiar terms Phase change caused inflation beyond imagination, particles' transmutation constantly occurred No longer quite so hot, collisions then could not create gluons on the spot, strong force became distinct Protons and neutrons were there, electron-positron pairs very soon disappeared, antimatter's nearly extinct

Chorus: Quarks and gluons, electrons, protons, neutrons and force fields, perhaps some dark axions Our ultimate ancestors, that's how we began in a hot primoridal soup they call the BIG BANG!!

2. Temperature became lower, collisions became slower, energy fell to where the strong force could now bind Neutrons stuck to protons, becoming nucleons, the cores of simple atoms had been synthesized The neutrinos and the photons outnumbered the electrons, neutrons and the protons by a billion to one Expansion continued cooling, gravity's incessant pulling caused matter to start pooling into large, massive clumps

[Chorus]

Bridge: Atoms combined, photons now roam free, now we find stars and galaxies Planets and moons, and you and me . . . this is our spectacular history!