Precession

The main sounds were generated from FID files from 1H NMR spectroscopy, a technique for studying the molecular structure of matter. In NMR spectroscopy the sample is placed in a strong magnetic field which causes the nuclei of certain elements to spin either directly with or directly against the direction of the magnetic field. Radio waves are then used to change the direction of the spins and cause them to momentarily precess perpendicular to the magnetic field before relaxing back and spinning in their previous direction. This will only happen when a nucleus is irradiated with radiowaves at its resonance frequency and this is different for essentially every nucleus in the molecule.

On this track I used the frequencies of hydrogen atoms to generate the audio which were taken from the spectra of six different molecules which constitute the synthetic route of a complicated molecule from galactose, a simple sugar which I use as my initial starting material in a multi step synthesis that I developed as part of my research. The nucleus of a hydrogen atom consists of a single proton, one of the most fundamental components of matter and  what the listener is hearing in this piece is the symphony of these nuclei resonating together in a glorious ode to science and the human intellect for its capacity to probe the nature of the matter which makes up the universe on such fundamental level.

As well as audio from NMR spectra, the piece includes sounds generated from pictures of the machine and recordings of the instrument loading and unloading a sample which opens and closes the piece.

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