Scientists Prove That Molecules Can Respond And React To Music

An experiment in Japan demonstrated that nanofibers would align (or "dance") with harmonies.

|
Jan 8 2014, 9:07pm

Music and sound can obviously catalyze movement in humans, but scientists have often debated if sound waves can yield physical movement on the molecular level. In the journal ChemPlusChem, Japanese researchers have proved that molecular 'dancing' (so to speak) is a possibility. 

To pull things back, sound is vibrating matter with a frequency, so the emanating waves from a given source do force molecular movement within the source (the molecules in the strings on a guitar, for example, move when plucked). The question that has perplexed scientists was can music create a molecular 'event' outside the music source, and does that 'event' physically respond or interact with the music? Now, we may have a clear answer. 

Using a designed supramolecular nanofiber placed in a solution, a research team led by A. Tsuda at Kobe University demonstrated that the nanofiber aligned and moved in response to a harmony when exposed to frequencies up to 1000 Hz. This is the first time a molecular happening like this has been reported.

The team used "Symphony No. 5 In C Minor, First Movement: Allegro Con Brio" by Beethoven and "Symphony No. 40 In G Minor, K. 550, First Movement" by Mozart in its experiments. We wonder what would happen to the molecules if they used a more chaotic song. Would molecules mosh to something by Death Grips? 

Though we can't say that "music is magic," this is the first scientific proof that music literally can change the world around it (even if the tunes aren't on par with a genius like Mozart). 

For more information on the hyper-specifics of the experiment and research, visit Phys.Org. And here's the Beethoven classic below.

@zachsokol

More VICE
Vice Channels