Microcosm is an interactive exhibition presenting the work of the CERN particle physics laboratory and its flagship accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).
Microcosm underwent a major renovation in 2015 and now takes visitors on a journey through CERN’s key installations. Located in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, the entrance is free, without reservation, open 6 days a week.
Visitors enter the exhibition through the Big Bang tunnel, where the formation of the planets is shown on the walls.The exhibition displays many real objects, from the Hydrogen bottle, source of the protons that are injected into the LHC, through the first step in the accelerator chain, the Linac, on to a model of a section of the Large Hadron Collider including elements from the superconducting magnets.
Visitors can interact with the displays to try their hand at the controls of a particle accelerator – simulating the acceleration of protons in the LHC and bringing them into collision inside the experiments.
The exhibition continues with a 1:1 scale model of a complete slice through the CMS experiment at the LHC. The main room displays the large detectors, where the data of the collisions is analyzed.
The computing section displays some of the Oracle data tapes used to store the 30-40 petabytes of data produced yearly by the experiments, made available for analysis using the LHC Computing GRID.
At the exhibition visitors can discover the full scale and wonder of CERN’s monumental experiments, find out what is happening at the Large Hadron Collider and meet the people who build and operate this extraordinary machine. Throughout the 500m2 of exhibitions, the focus is on the people who design and use this extraordinary technology to further our understanding of the universe.
Different objects, life-sized audio-visuals and high-definition photographs are used to recreate real CERN spaces, while live data feeds bring news of the Large Hadron Collider direct to the exhibitions.