Now it’s time to illustratre an atom in the world of music. We begin with the particles in the nucleus:
Weight or mass is something I usually paint musically with loudeness and pitch. Since the proton and neutron have about the same mass, I need to find some other musical parameter to differentiate them with. Why not use “timbre”.
A proton is a subatomic particle with a positive electric charge. Of the four basic waveforms, sine, square, triangle and saw, I represent it by a square wave.
The neutron has no electric charge; so to give it a dull, soft character, I let it be represented by a sine wave.
The electron has a negative charge making it suitable to be represented by the “acid squeaking” saw wave.
To give my protons and neutrons yet some more individual characteristics, I make use of the even smaller elements of matter they are built of: quarks.
While the proton is composed of three fundamental particles: one down quark and two up quarks, the neutron consists of one up quark and two down quarks. This gives us the patterns: [duu] and [udd]. Furthermore the down quarks are heavier than the up quarks which I represent by letting them play at different frequencies, one octave apart.
So here they are, the first sounds of a proton and a neutron. Click to play:
The electrons are usually orbiting around the nucleus in a cloud-like appearance, which in my somewhat poetic interpretation sounds like this:
My electron cloud is not completely a product of fantasy, I have arranged the shimmering eighty notes corresponding to eighty electrons in the mercury atom accordingly to to the six electron shells of this atom.