Issue 20: Music
As one of the purest forms of human expression, music seems to be pretty outside the realm of science, where feelings don't matter, right? But you heard wrong. That's certainly not the case — and this month we hope to prove it to you.
Keep reading for scientific explorations of music and how we listen, baby brains, the sounds of physics, Indigenous Australian traditions, and a whole lot more.
Cover illustration by Kallum Best.
Emotionless physics data can be transformed through a process called sonification. Chris Henschke uses this to tease the music out of light.
Psychology, in conjunction with neuroscience and computational modelling, has helped us understand how the brain processes music and why we love it so much.
Babies enjoying music seems like a simple, natural thing. But under the surface there are complex inner workings that can give us insights into musical development.
Scientists know the world through data, but Aboriginal Australians know the world through the ancient musical tradition of songlines.
The relationship between humans and music has been changing with every new invention. Music is now more readily available than ever, and the way we listen is rapidly evolving.
Even the hostile conditions of space are no match for Earth's extremophile microbes. Should we be worried?
Trash is ruining our beaches. Luckily, there are those who are doing something about it.
Misunderstood for decades, pioneering geneticist Barbara McClintock prompted Jack Scanlan to wonder: what’s the point of scientific ideas if we can’t communicate them to others?
Julia Ryeland is determined to unlock the breeding habits of the emu, a species that is poorly-studied for several good reasons.