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mp3s of the spheres

January 18th, 2007

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New users are still streaming into oklo.org. If you’re a first-time visitor, welcome aboard. You’ll find information that you need to get started in this post from several days ago.

The EZ-2-install downloadable systemic console is the primary software tool that we provide for analyzing data from extrasolar planetary systems. The tutorials 1,2, and 3 are the best way to learn how to use the console. Over the past few months, we’ve been adding a range of new capabilities that go beyond the features described in the tutorials and which improve the overall utility of the software. We’ll be explaining how these new features work in upcoming posts, and for our black-belt users, we’re also putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive technical manual.

When we designed the console, our main goals were to produce a scientifically valuable tool, while at the same time make something that’s fun and easy to use. Early on, we settled on the analogy with a sound mixing board, in which different input signals (planets) are combined to make a composite signal.

We’ve pushed the audio analogy further by adding a “sonify” button to the console. When sonification is activated, you can turn the stellar radial velocity curve into an actual audible waveform. If you create a system with several or more planets, these waveforms can develop some very bizarre sounds. From a practical standpoint, one can often tell whether a planetary system is stable by listening to the corresponding audio signal. Alternately, the console can be used as a nonlinear digital synthesizer to create a very wide variety of tones.

Here are links (one, and two) to past posts that discuss the sonification button in more detail. If you come up with some useful sounds, then by all means upload the corresponding planetary configurations to the systemic back-end.

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