In the Beginning, There Were Tubas

UC Berkeley astrophysicist George Smoot found a way to jazz up last weekend’s Nobel Prize awards ceremony, at which he took home the medal for Physics — have Cal’s marching band re-enact the Big Bang. The press release on the Berkeley Web site has downloadable clips of Smoot conducting the musical version of the beginning of the universe, which was presented at the ceremony via video. While this is all excellent in and of itself, the best part of Cal’s press release is its documentation of Smoot’s instructions to the band, which included tips like:

    We’re going to simulate a really smooth, hot, dense, early universe and spread out, and we’re going to form structure � galaxies, stars, planets, and everything else … There’s a brass section out there called tubas. They make a real spectacular spiral galaxy, a really big one like our own galaxy, or like Andromeda. You guys get to be near the middle, but you get to orient, and get to rotate with a twist up. You’re like the centerpiece of all this. Go tubas!

Nobody’s had this much fun creating the world since the Flying Spaghetti Monster! (You can also find Smoot’s more formal Nobel lecture about his work researching the Big Bang here.)

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