h—>gg is shorthand for an event where a Higgs boson decays into two gamma particles. When CERN announced on July 4, 2012 that they had evidence consistent with the existence of the Higgs boson, they never said that they had detected a Higgs boson (which, if it is produced, decays so quickly that it never has a chance to make it to the detector). Instead they presented statistical evidence for the production of an excess of gamma particles at the mass/energy level predicted for a Higgs boson and, based on other variables of the collision, were likely to have been the result of the decay of a Higgs boson.

So many aspects of our knowledge are acquired indirectly, by observing the effects or the traces of the actual process rather than by observing the process itself: like hearing the results of modulation, rather than hearing the modulator directly, or seeing a spiral pattern in the seeds of a sunflower even without being able to directly see the growth process that resulted in the pattern formation.

h—>gg (2017) by Carla Scaletti (the original 4-channel recording is available on request)

h—>gg is a 15-minute distillation of the 50-minute score for Gilles Jobin’s QUANTUM, premiered at CERN in September 2013. Sound materials for the piece came from work I had done previously with Lily Asquith, CERN physicist, on mapping data from the ATLAS Experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) to sound. The parameters of the sounds you hear in the piece were modulated (or controlled) by variables of collision events recorded at CERN—in a sense, making the LHC the world’s largest data-driven instrument.  The images are stills from Gilles Jobin’s dance company performing QUANTUM.