Go back to article: Curating the collider: using place to engage museum visitors with particle physics

Abstract

CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle physics facility, provides museological opportunities and challenges. Visitor interest in cutting-edge physics, with its high media profile, is tempered by anxiety about understanding complex content. The topic does not readily lend itself to traditional museum showcase-dominated displays: the technology of modern particle physics is overwhelmingly large, while the phenomena under investigation are invisible. For Collider, a major temporary exhibition, the Science Museum adopted a ‘visit to CERN’ approach, recreating several of the laboratory’s spaces. We explore the effectiveness of this approach, at a time when historical studies of scientific laboratories and museum reconstructions of spaces are subject to renewed interest. 

Component DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.15180/140207/001