In November 2013 a new exhibition about the Large Hadron Collider will open at the Science Museum, transporting visitors into the heart of one of the greatest scientific experiments of our times. Collider will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the famous CERN particle physics laboratory in the first exhibition of its kind, offering visitors the closest experience possible to visiting the famous site itself.
The immersive exhibition will blend theatre, video and sound art, taking visitors to the site of the LHC where they can explore areas including CERN’s Control Room and a huge underground detector cavern. Visitors can meet ‘virtual’ scientists and engineers from CERN, snoop around a researcher’s workbench, and examine objects up-close.
Visitors will follow the journey of particle beams as they are injected into the accelerator chain, ramped up to speed and steered around the 27km tunnel. Moving along the tunnel, visitors are then immersed in the highlight of the exhibition – a wrap-around projection taking in both extremes of the scale of the LHC: from an enormous experiment cavern, to the very heart of a particle collision.
Through close collaboration with CERN, the Science Museum will provide exclusive access to real LHC artefacts in the exhibition including a part of the large 15-metre magnets that steer the particle beam, and elements from each of the LHC’s four giant detectors. Visitors will also be able to follow the story of how people have studied particle physics through the Museum’s historic collections – on display will be J.J. Thomson’s apparatus which led to the discovery of the electron in 1897; and the accelerator used by Cockcroft and Walton to split the atom in 1932.