From 13 July, a new exhibition opens visitors’ eyes to what makes the universe tick at the most fundamental level and how devices are used to track the most minuscule of events.
“Extreme. In search of particles” designed and produced by the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology in partnership with CERN and INFN (the Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics) unlocks some of the secrets behind particle physics research.
This mesmerising exhibition unravels the answers behind complex questions such as: How are such small-scale events observed? What are detectors and how do they work? Where does this cutting-edge research take place? How can this technology be used elsewhere?
The exhibition showcases a new video that demonstrates the handy tool used to probe matter at the smallest of scales in the universe, particle tracks, and how these led to one of the most significant discoveries of the century: the Higgs boson.
“CERN has been very happy to contribute to its development, working with the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology and INFN to create something truly inspiring that I’m sure the museum’s visitors will enjoy for many years to come. It is therefore particularly pleasing for me to see this superb exhibition about particle physics opening here.“ – Fabiola Gianotti, CERN Director-General.
Eager visitors are transported into the past to discover experiments that marked the history of particle physics. They discover a prototype of Carlo Rubbia’s UA1 detector, the Delphi experiment’s Vertex detector and the University of Milan’s cloud chamber.
As they move through the exhibition, visitors accelerate back to the present to interact with installations on current research issues – such as the existence of dark matter – and learn about the detectors currently in use at CERN and INFN.
They are shown what happens behind the doors of control rooms, offices and laboratories: the heart of data analysis and the communication of information among researchers, which led to Tim Berners-Lee’s invention of the World Wide Web at CERN.
Finally, they get a behind-the-scenes peek into the lives of those working at the very forefront of physics, through Andri Pol’s photographic installation featuring everyday work at CERN, and a presentation containing fascinating stories told by Italian researchers who have previously worked at both institutes.
Admission is included with the museum’s general admission ticket, enabling particle physics enthusiasts to delve into a subatomic world.