Neutron Chopper for Wurlitzer Organ in a Nuclear Reactor

Premier TEI 2018, Neutron Chopper for Wurlitzer organ and remote celletto, R1 Reactor KTH, Stockholm 18-21 March 2018

listen (mashup of algorithm tests, then jacktrip sound from reactor organ)

Op 1254: Music for Neutrons, Networks and Solenoids using a Restored Organ in a Nuclear Reactor (possibly paywalled)

Neutron Chopper (2018)
Chris Chafe
10 short experiments for computer-controlled organ and network performance

The Mighty Wurlitzer Organ in KTH’s R1 nuclear research reactor facility was reconstructed to fit in a chamber reminiscent of the shape
and size of the original reactor core. Neutron Chopper is a series of ten short “musical fission” experiments on the organ. Like with R1’s
early neutron measurement experiments, neutrons in the music escape to another space (Stanford, California) and their time of flight is
detected and observed (through cello accompaniment). Scientific experiments conducted in the actual reactor measured neutrons aimed
through a pipe in the ceiling to a detector on the surface seven stories above. The early experiments were used to verify fission models running on 1960’s mainframe computers. The music uses a real-time modern visualization by Alex Wellerstein. The Critical Assembly Simulator is a free open source fission reaction model that demonstrates the the concept of critical mass. The composer hopes to tell him some day where his code ended up being used and thank him. And he is appreciative of his friends and collaborators at KTH who made this possible, also to Dave Kerr and fellow CCRMA composers on the concert.