Hadron Collider


9 DECEMBER 2016 – 25 APRIL 2017

The Hadron Collider exhibition consists of eight zones — From Past to Present, Theatre Experience, Inside the Large Hadron Collider which is split into three zones, Collision, Detectors and Discovery.

Immerse, encounter, analyse, and uncover their stories.

Step inside.

Zone 1 – From Past to Present

Discover the history of particle physics, how theory and experiment revealed the structure of matter, and see the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in the context of a long tradition of discovery and challenge. Highlights include JJ Thomson’s apparatus used in experiments leading to the 1897 discovery of the electron and an accelerating cavity from the Large Electron-Positron (LEP) Collider, which once occupied the tunnel now used by the LHC.

Zone 2 – Theatre Experience 

Go behind the scenes at CERN during the discovery of the Higgs boson and visit the CERN Control Centre during this seated audio visual presentation. Experience the excitement of working on the LHC and learn key concepts in particle physics and how the LHC operates. 

Run time: approximately 13 minutes

Zone 3 to 5 – Inside the Large Hadron Collider

Delve deeper into the LHC. Encounter objects from the Collider, including superconducting magnets used to steer beams of particles around the ring, and virtually ‘meet’ some of the engineers who built this incredible machine.

See objects set in the environments in which they operate and follow the journey of the particles as they are injected, accelerated and steered around a small part of the 27km tunnel that houses the Collider.

Zone 6 – Collision 

Immerse yourself in a beautiful artistic representation of a collision and discover the extremes of scale of the LHC: the infinitesimal world of invisible particles and the enormous machines that are used to detect them.

This immersive 270-degree audio-visual projection will transport you deep underground to a gigantic particle detector, where you will witness the moment of a particle collision, see tracks streaming out through the detector as they are transformed into digital information that is streamed out across a global computing grid.

Zone 7 – Detectors 

Encounter objects from the LHC’s four huge detectors – LHCb, ALICE, CMS & ATLAS.

The detector objects are brought to life by audio interviews with some of the real physicists who created them, with displays set up like a physicist’s workbench.

Zone 8 – Discovery

As the exhibition builds to a conclusion, explore how data from the LHC detectors are analysed by physicists all over the world in a search for new knowledge. 

Witness the search for the Higgs boson by stepping into a particle physicist’s office, and uncover stories of personal sacrifice and collective endeavour behind the famous 2012 discovery.

Finally, look to the future and explore the next challenges for the LHC. Discover how physicists are searching for answers to big questions such as why the universe is made up of matter and not antimatter and the nature of mysterious dark matter.