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big bang and rock'n'roll

Last Updated on Sunday, 01 December 2013 20:49
Published on Friday, 20 October 2006 00:00
Brian_May.jpgSince playing 'God Save the Queen' on the roof of Buckingham Palace Queen's Brian May FRAS, rock legend and one-time astrophysics PhD student, has been  writing about cosmology.

 Together with Patrick Moore and Chris Lintott he has produced an easy-to-read, illustrated history of the universe called  'Bang! The Complete History of the Universe'.
Speaking to the 'Guardian' in what its correspondent called 'a musty-smelling committee room in the Royal Astronomical Society' , Brian May explained the twin appeal of music and astronomy.

"I think there's a sort of purity about both of them. Because you can immerse yourself in thoughts of the universe, or in music, and you're really abstracted. You're a million miles away from all your worries and personal problems and the dust and smoke of where you are. You're in this world where you're in your head but you're connected to something wonderful around you. They're both indescribable experiences. I remember thinking, when I was quite young, if all there is to life is just staying alive, then why would we bother? Life has to be about more than just being. There has to be something higher. And to me the higher things are exactly these; music and art, beautiful images, and thoughts of the way things work. I love that. Moments of discovery."

Brian May plans to write and perform a piece of music for the grand opening of the new 10.4 metre Gran Telescopio de Canarias (GTC) - and complete his PhD thesis ( and when he next comes to the RAS in Burlington House he will find not a trace of 'musty committee rooms' -  read about the refurbishment)