Step inside the world's greatest experiment

02 September 2016

Faster than the speed of light, 100,000 times hotter than the sun, yet at the same time colder than space, it’s not a superhero but a super experiment and it’s coming to the Queensland Museum on 9 December 2016.

Superheroes, scientists and schools can now buy tickets for Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment, an internationally touring exhibition from London’s Science Museum.

Queensland Premier and Arts Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk said the Hadron Collider exhibition was the latest in a number of high-calibre international exhibitions to delight Queenslanders.

“The Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment exhibition blends science with theatre and immerses visitors in the world-famous particle physics laboratory CERN in Switzerland where the Higgs boson, was discovered,” the Premier said.

“Visitors can talk to virtual scientists, walk the tunnels of CERN, stand in the heart of a particle collision and relive an historical moment of scientific discovery.

“Securing award-winning exhibitions such as this not only delivers significant economic impact for the state, it provides an opportunity to inspire a new generation of Queensland scientists and innovative thinkers,” she said.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator consisting of a 27-kilometre ring of superconducting magnets, which sits across Switzerland and Germany, was built by more than 10,000 physicists and engineers from 100 countries and is known globally for proving the existence of the Higgs boson.

Queensland Museum CEO and Director Professor Suzanne Miller said while many people know of the Large Hadron Collider, they might not necessarily know its function.

“The work being performed by thousands of scientists at the Large Hadron Collider is having an international impact and this state of the art immersive exhibition uses tangible elements to help explain Particle physics and quantum mechanics — the science of the truly tiny,” she said.

“With CERN currently working on its second research run of the Large Hadron Collider, which is now 60 per cent more powerful than ever before, it’s an exciting time of discovery for science.

“No other science experiment has captured the imagination quite like the Large Hadron Collider and I am thrilled we are able to share this experience with visitors to Queensland Museum. The exhibition will give them a unique opportunity to be able to see the project through the eyes of the very scientists who have designed and engineered it.”

Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment is an experience that takes you to the very heart of a particle collision, with a behind-the-scenes look into the European Organisation for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) particle physics lab in Geneva and the closest experience possible to visiting the famous site itself.

The exhibition is presented by QGC through its Future Makers partnership with the Queensland Museum, with support from Winton Capital Management is an immersive experience blending theatre, video and sound art that transports visitors to LHC.

Visitors can explore CERN’s Control Room and huge underground detector cavern and follow the journey of particle beams as they are injected into the accelerator chain, ramped up to speed and steered around the 27 kilometre 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.

Tony Nunan QGC Vice President said Shell’s QGC project is proud to be supporting Hadron Collider: step inside the world’s largest experiment, as part of the company’s Future Makers partnership with the Queensland Museum Network. The exhibition will encourage the community to engage and get excited about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related disciplines and understand the vital role they play in contemporary society and economic growth.

 

“Through this major public exhibition we hope to be able to help to inspire and excite young people about STEM  and encourage greater participation in STEM related subjects while at school and into university,” Mr Nunan said.

Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment runs at the Queensland Museum & Sciencentre from 9 December, 2016 – 25 April, 2017. Tickets are on sale now through QTIX or by calling 13 62 46. Tickets cost: Adults $15, Children $12, Concession $13.50, Family (2 adults and up to four children) $45

Visit www.qm.qld.gov.au/hadroncollider for more information.

Hadron Collider: Step inside the world’s greatest experiment is presented by the QGC Future Makers program and is supported by Winton Capital Management.

Media Contact: Christine Robertson, Media Officer, 0417 741 710 media@qm.qld.gov.au  

Notes to Editors:

The Large Hadron Collider: facts and figures

  • The Large Hadron Collider is the largest, most sophisticated and most powerful scientific device ever made. It is being used by thousands of scientists and engineers around the world to learn more about the tiny building blocks that make up our Universe and the laws that govern their behavior.
  • The precise circumference of the LHC accelerator is 26,659m (almost the same length as London Underground’s Circle Line), containing thousands of the world’s most powerful magnets.
  • Not only is the LHC the world’s largest particle accelerator, just one-eighth of its cryogenic distribution system would qualify as the world’s largest fridge.
  • When in operation, trillions of protons race around the LHC accelerator ring 11,245 times a second, travelling at 99.9999991% the speed of light.  Altogether some 600 million collisions take place every second.
  • When two beams of lead ions collide, they generate temperatures more than 100,000 times hotter than the heart of the Sun
  • By contrast, the 'cryogenic distribution system', which circulates superfluid helium around the accelerator ring, keeps the LHC at a super cool temperature of -271.3°C (1.9 K) – even colder than outer space!

    Queensland Museum Network

    Queensland Museum Network (QMN) is the keeping place for the State Collection of 1.2 million objects and specimens, valued at more than $487 million, and approximately 14 million research collection items. For more than 150 years Queensland Museum Network has grown alongside Queensland to inspire, enrich and empower communities.

    QGC Future Makers

    QGC and the Queensland Museum Network have entered into a $3.95 million three-year partnership which focuses on boosting opportunities in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) with a focus on four main areas: school programs, teacher professional development, public engagement and research.  Future Makers was developed in response to evidence showing the number of Australian school students participating in STEM subjects is declining significantly.

    The unique and innovative program aims to create a whole-of-life approach to STEM education by working directly with students, providing professional development for teachers and engaging with communities.

    About Winton Capital Management

    Winton Capital Management is a leading global alternative investment company and a world leader in financial mathematics and empirical scientific research into financial markets. The company, founded in 1997, now employs some 280 people, including 120 scientists, at research campuses in London, Oxford, Zurich and Hong Kong.

    Science Museum, London

    As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement.

    CERN

    Founding states Belgium, Denmark, France, the Federal Republic of Germany, Greece, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, and entered into force on 29 September 1954. The organization was subsequently joined by Austria (1959), Spain (1961-1969, re-joined 1983), Portugal (1985), Finland (1991), Poland (1991), Czechoslovak Republic (1992), Hungary (1992), Bulgaria (1999), Israel (2014) and Romania (2016). The Czech Republic and Slovak Republic re-joined CERN after their mutual independence in 1993. CERN has 22 member states. Serbia and Cyprus are Associate members in the pre-stage to membership, and Turkey and Pakistan are Associate members.