Planck Visualization Project: Seeing and Hearing the Cosmic
The Planck Mission, launched May 14, 2009, will measure the sky over nine frequency channels, with temperature sensitivity of a few microKelvin, and angular resolution of up to 5 arc minutes. Planck is expected to provide the data needed to set tight constraints on cosmological parameters, study the ionization history of the Universe, probe the dynamics of the inflationary era, and test fundamental physics. The Planck Education and Public Outreach collaborators at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the University of California, Santa Barbara and Purdue University are preparing a variety of materials to present the science goals of the Planck Mission to the public.
Two products currently under development are an interactive simulation of the mission which can be run in a virtual reality environment, and an interactive presentation on interpreting the power spectrum of the Cosmic Microwave Background with music. In this paper we present a brief overview of CMB research and the Planck Mission, and discuss how to explain, to non-technical audiences, the theory of how we derive information
about the early universe from the power spectrum of the CMB by using the physics of music.