Physicists Resurrect 134-Year-Old Music

A team of physicists wanted to prove that science was awesome. They did.

Here is a YouTube video that plays out the recording, done on a phonograph (an early record player) in 1878, a machine invented by Thomas Edison.

An article by Rebecca J. Losen of The Atlantic explains the process by which the scientists were able to bring the long-forgotten sounds back after over a century in detail.

Basically, the team at Lawrence Berkely National Laboratory made a 3D layout of the particular piece of phonograph foil in question, and used math equations worthy of thousands of “WTF” tags to figure out how a phonograph needle would’ve gone over it and what the sounds would’ve been.

The result, some hauntingly cool noises and another notch in science’s belt.

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