Movements, Or What Sound Does the Earth Make?

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Tuesday, October 11, 2016
When: 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Location: Doheny Memorial Library

    The earth hums along to its own soundtrack. If only we could listen to it.

    When the ground beneath us shifts, as it is prone to do in Los Angeles, it unleashes enormous quantities of energy as seismic waves. Packing a destructive punch, these waves race through the earth like sound waves through air. In fact, seismic waves bear many remarkable similarities to sound waves. But though we feel them as earthquakes, we can’t hear them; their frequencies are simply too low for the human ear to detect. What if we transposed earthquake waves to an audible frequency? This fascinating event will bring these normally inaudible sounds to life through a panel discussion, scientific demonstrations of how seismic waves affect our built environment, experimental sonification of seismic data, and creative musical interpretations.

    Participants include seismologist Lucy Jones, known to many Angelenos as the longtime public face of earthquake science for the U.S. Geological Survey; composer and USGS geophysicist Andrew Michael (Earthquake Quartet #1); USC Dornsife College earthquake geologist James Dolan; USGS physicist Stephanie Ross; and sound artists DJ /rupture and Ken Goldberg. The discussion will be moderated by Josh Kun of the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

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