Physicist Paul Sorensen describes discoveries made at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a particle accelerator at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. At RHIC, scientists from around the world study what the universe may have looked like in the first microseconds after its birth, helping us to understand more about why the physical world works the way it does -- from the smallest particles to the largest stars.
If a universe explodes into existence, and no one is around to hear it, does it still make a sound? The answer, according to RHIC physicist John Cramer, is a resounding yes. You can listen to the reverberations the Big Bang sent ringing through the cosmos in a new sound file based on the cosmic microwave background that originated at the birth of time.