The first vibrations of the Universe and the quest for the first galaxy clusters


Inspired by the research of Pr Hervé Dole, astrophysics teacher at Institut d’Astrophysique Spatiale (CNRS & Université Paris-Sud)

Les premières vibrations de l’univers

The Planck satellite was launched in 2009 to measure with unprecedented precision the properties of light from fossil radiation - also called cosmic diffuse microwave background, a kind of light echo of the Big Bang translating its first vibrations. The Planck collaboration scientists published impressive cosmological results, including the most accurate measurements ever made of the age of the Universe and its overall composition. Moreover, the data shed new light on two particularly enigmatic periods: “cosmic inflation” just after the Big Bang and the end of the “dark ages” when the first stars and galaxies were formed. The analysis of the Planck data also reveals a wealth of impressive information about the formation of the largest structures: clusters of galaxies, and galaxies.

In this context, Hervé Dole carried out research to discover the first clusters of galaxies (large structures composed of galaxies, dark matter, and ordinary matter).

Les premières vibrations de l’univers

These first great structures are derived from the first vibrations of the universe. The relations between music and astrophysics and cosmologies are therefore potentially fruitful. The other important results of Planck come from the first vibrations of the universe. These vibrations (the astrophysicists use the term "acoustic oscillations") in the young universe still composed of hot plasma are found in the light that we observe today. This fossil radiation, or cosmic microwave background, from the beginnings of the universe is scrutinized today by the satellites since it informs us about the very first moments of the universe and its physical processes. Hervé Dole sumed up all these discoveries in a book that has just appeared Le côté obscur de l’univers (2017, Dunod). All these aspects are also likely to give rise to musical interpretation.