A major scientific exhibition exploring the universe has opened at Salthill’s Leisureland Galway and will run until November 2.
The “Accelerating Science’ travelling exhibition is staged by CERN, the world's leading laboratory for particle physics in Geneva. It is suitable primarily for students aged between 11 and 18 years and anyone who is curious about the history of the universe. It is also available exclusively for secondary school tours from Monday to Friday and is open to the public at weekends and during mid-term break.
The exhibition consists of five modules, The Big Bang – The History of the Universe, Particles Matter, Mysteries of the Universe, Exploring Matter, and A World of Fundamental Research.
The Big Bang takes visitors down the ‘time tunnel’, back through time and space, from today to the origins of our universe just after the Big Bang to the origins of life on earth, while Particles Matter investigates how energy and matter are related. Students can play the particle generator game, zoom into the human body to find the smallest building blocks of life, meet the members of the particle family, and discover how many particles you are made from.
Mysteries of the Universe will help explain out how little we really know. Only four per cent of the universe is visible - so where is the rest of it? Exploring Matter goes to the heart of the world’s largest particle accelerator. Activate a model of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC ), and understand how a particle detector works and what happens when particles collide at almost the speed of light.
Finally a World of Fundamental Research helps humans discover what would happen to life without scientists - a life without television, the mobile phone, the DVD, satellite navigation, medical scans or the internet
The exhibition is in partnership with Galway Science and Technology Forum and sponsored by Boston Scientific. NUI Galway and GMIT with assistance from Science Foundation Ireland are also participating in this unique exhibition by providing physics experts for facilitated tours.
Speaking at Leisureland, Dr Rolf Landua, head of education and public outreach at CERN said: "The CERN Exhibition is coming to Galway the very moment when the discovery of the new boson, which may well be the elusive Higgs Boson, gives us a deeper insight into the mysterious fabric of space and the origin of the laws of nature shortly after the Big Bang.
“The exhibtion gives an insight into a world-wide collaboration of 11,000 scientists from more than 100 nations working at the Large Hadron Collider. It is addressed to school students and their teachers, and I hope that it will inspire many young people to become interested in science, and to envisage a career as researchers or engineers.”
The Galway Science and Technology Forum includes the Galway Science and Technology Festival which was founded in 1998 to bridge the gap between students and industry and encourage students to study STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics ) subjects at third level. The festival runs annually for two weeks and this year will run from November 12 to November 26.