Collider show simply out of this world

Local | Arika Ho 18 Mar 2016

An exhibition opening today at the Hong Kong Science Museum will show parts of the Large Hadron Collider and let viewers in on process that led to the discovery of the so-called "God Particle" that gives mass to other particles.

Highlights include real components used at the LHC, a particle collider that measures some 27 kilometers in circumference, that the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, built beneath the Swiss and French border.

They include a two-tonne magnet, one of the 1,600 superconducting magnets installed at the LHC, as well as scientific equipment collected by the Science Museum in London.

Multimedia programs and animations in six zones tell the story of how the scientists found the God Particle, or Higgs boson, first postulated by Peter Higgs in the 1960s..

At the Collision Theater, a video of particles colliding shown on a semi-circular screen provides a vivid representation of the mysterious particle world. At another theater the real work of leading physics experts is shown.

Exhibition curator Paulina Chan Shuk-man said the exhibition simplifies the physics involved.

"Protons and accelerators in particle physics are seen to be too complex to the public, we are here to create a friendly environment to promote them," Chan said.

Designed to represent the scientists' labs, the exhibit is filled with their writing on walls.

At the last part of the exhibition there are stories of Hong Kong scientists engaged in the CERN project, with one of them being Chu Ming-chung from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Chu, an expert on particle physics in Hong Kong, said: "This exhibition is important as it tells the physics students in Hong Kong they can be the next rising star in CERN and the study of Higgs boson."

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