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In Tune with the Cosmos—Harmony of Spheres by the Astronomy Club

On 30th October as the dusk set in, a small crowd gathered in NLH 303 to embrace the sounds and melodies of space as the Astronomy Club featured a talk by Ananya Roy, a fourth-year student from EEE. Her presentation revolved around the integration of various fields of study like mathematics, music, history and astronomy.

Pythagoras as depicted in The School of Athens by Raphael. (Image Credit: Wikipedia)

The audience was starstruck as she talked about Pythagoras’s lesser-known theorem, The Harmony of Spheres. In this theorem, Pythagoras proposes that the Sun, Moon and all other planets emit their own unique ‘hum’ based on their orbital revolution. This indicates that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds which are undetectable to the human ear. She then turned her gaze from the glowing screen to the chalkboard, and into the mathematics of the bigger picture, that is, the relationship of harmony and proportion. The session grew interactive with each passing minute as the audience engaged themselves in the discussion, marvelling at the connection of music with science.

Approximation of the intervals of the semi-minor axes of the planets demonstrating the ratios. (Image Credit: Flickr)

“This was a topic I’ve been working on for my research project. As a long-time music nerd, this caught my attention: I’ve also always wanted to blur the lines between science and art. Even though these two fields are always held in separate regard, with Harmony of Spheres it proves otherwise”, said Ananya Roy. This unique idea was what drove Ananya to share her thoughts and findings on this niche.“I thought this talk was going to be something related to geometry. I was completely wrong, but I enjoyed this talk. It was something out of the box”, said Manas Ramidi, a first-year student and a member of the audience. Informative yet enthralling, everyone had something to take back from this intriguing session by the Astronomy Club.

Featured Image Credits: The Astronomy Club

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