Collider: Step Inside Mankind’s Greatest Experiment

Science is sexy in the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider. Collider exhibition runs till February 14, 2016.

You are now 574 feet below the earth’s surface, and you are now in the world’s largest single machine and most complex experimental facility ever built, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Except that, it’s really just an exhibition in the ArtScience Museum, designed to imitate what it’s like to tour the actual LHC in Geneva, Switzerland.

It’s easy to see why the LHC was touted the world’s greatest experiment. The LHC took 10 years to complete and was built by the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), involving more than 10,000 scientists and engineers across hundreds of laboratories and universities from over 100 countries.

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So what does the LHC do?

Basically, the LHC smashes subatomic particles together in its 27km ring tunnel at the speed of light – again and again – to look for new particles and to answer some of the deepest mysteries in science. In 4 July 2012, the LHC made history – announcing the discovery of the Higgs boson dubbed the ‘god particle’. To learn more about the Higgs boson and what’s the big deal about it, click here.

Alas, I was unable to publish this review much earlier due to an impending spontaneous backpacking trip across Vietnam. The adjacent Nobel Prize exhibition might have been over (ended 24 January), it doesn’t take away any shine from the exhibition of what-is-to-be the biggest (and undisputedly the greatest) international collaboration.

Here’s why you should check out the Collider exhibition.

1. Quench your curiosity

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One of the greatest gift bestowed to mankind is the gift of curiosity. We ask ourselves questions (why and how) and we sought to answer them. The good people in LHC probes some of the deepest scientific questions such as, ‘How do particles get mass? What makes up the invisible matter that binds galaxies together? What proceses shaped our universe after the Big Bang?’

The LHC is a global collaborative project. There are literally trillions of collisions taking place in the LHC. A computer network infrastructure connecting 170 computer centers in 36 countries was set up to process all these almost-innumerable volume of data. In short, it’s one big project where the most talented physicists from countries all over are involved.

There is so much going on in the LHC and coming to this exhibition gives you a sense of its significance to us as a species.

2. See how the LHC actually works

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In the exhibition, you will get to see the actual parts that makes up the LHC. There are also multimedia presentations on the accounts from the actual physicists working in the LHC (who are also the ones involved in the discovery of the Higgs boson). Also, witness a particle collision take place before your eyes in a 270-degree audio visual projection of the particle collision.

At the end of the exhibition, there is also a cool audio visual installation that allows visitors to ‘acquire their own mass’. Lots of cool stuff to be explored in Collider exhibition.

3. Acquainted yourself (and your kids) with science

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I will be honest, I don’t have an affinity (read: interest) with science, much less particle physics. Dark matter? Higgs boson? Heck, I don’t even know my protons and electrons. Needless to say, I was quite lost with all the scientific jargons and all. In spite of this, coming to the exhibition gave me a deeper appreciation for the good work of our scientists and physicists.

One of the purposes of this exhibition is to get people interested with science. Parents with kids should most definitely bring their kids along to introduce them to science and physics. Who knows, these young ones could be the future physicists involved with the discovery of the next particle?

In summary, Collider exhibition is a scientific exhibition like no other. If you are a local Singaporean, present your identification document to get access to the exhibition at $10. RW

Collider Exhibition at ArtScience Museum, Marina Bay Sands

ArtScience Museum, MBS

Opens 14 November 2015

Step inside the most ambitious scientific experiment in human history! Collider is an award-winning, fully immersive exhibition that draws you into the fascinating world of experimental particle physics.

Blending theatre, video and sound art with real artefacts from CERN (the European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Collider transports you the heart of the largest and most sophisticated piece of scientific equipment ever constructed – the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Ticket Pricing: $14 / $10 (Singaporean)

Web Link: Collider

 

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