Visitors will feel like they are stepping inside ‘the largest, most sophisticated and most powerful scientific device ever made’, according to the Science Museum.
The show aims to give visitors a behind-the-scenes look at CERN, the particle physics laboratory where the Higgs boson particle (dubbed ‘the God particle’) was tentatively confirmed to exist in March this year. The discovery is seen as monumental in particle physics, as the Higgs boson is thought to be responsible for all mass in the universe.
The Science Museum exhibition uses theatre, video and sound art to replicate the LHC and CERN Control Room, where visitors can meet virtual scientists and engineers, explore the working area and take a close-up look at the objects it houses.
Visitors open the tour of the space with a ten-minute set theatre and film piece, and then explore the show in a mostly linear way, taking in a mixture of real and newly created objects and set theatre pieces.
The exhibition guides visitors along the journey of particle beams as they enter the accelerator chain and tunnel of the Large Hadron Collider, after which they are enveloped in a projection that looks to give a sense of the ‘experiment cavern’ in which the particles collide.
Other exhibits include real Large Hadron Collier artefacts, including a part of one of the large 15m magnets that steer the particle beam.
Nissen Richards Studio has overseen the exhibition design, working with Northover & Brown, which created the exhibition graphics, signage and some animations for screens within the space.
Pippa Nissen, creative director at Nissen Richards Studio, says, ‘We wanted to create a real experience for the visitors, so it’s a lovely mixture between architecture, theatre and exhibition design. We wanted to combine an emotional response with learning.’
She adds, ‘It very much feels like a heightened reality’.
The exhibition opens on 13 November.