With India having become an Associate Member State in 2017 following the long-standing collaboration between Indian scientists and CERN, it is high time for CERN's flagship travelling exhibition 'Accelerating Science' to tour India. The exhibition will be inaugurated today at a science museum in Mumbai and will later head to museums in Bengaluru and Kolkata.
The 300-square-metre exhibition uses animations, videos and interactive media to inspire the general public, particularly high-school and college students, with the wonders of fundamental science and technology. Its main themes are cosmology, particle physics and CERN's research activities. The exhibition also shows how fundamental research often leads to technological advances that we take for granted in our daily life.
The exhibition is hosted and funded by India’s Department of Atomic Energy (DAE), and is being shown at three museums that are members of the country’s National Council of Science Museums: the Nehru Science Centre in Mumbai between May and July, the Visvesvaraya Industrial and Technological Museum in Bengaluru from July to September, and the Science City in Kolkata from November to December.
Other mega-science projects in which India participates will be showcased alongside the CERN exhibition, such as the Facility for Antiproton and Ion Research (FAIR), the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), the India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO), the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), the Square Kilometre Array telescope (SKA), and the Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). In addition to the main exhibition, there will also be seminars, interactions with scientists and industry events.
The ongoing production of a clone of ‘Accelerating Science’ will allow the exhibition to take place simultaneously at a second location. Since Estonia applied for CERN membership in September 2018, the second travelling exhibition will visit the AHHAA Science Centre, the Baltic's biggest science centre in Tartu, Estonia, for several months from November 2019 to March 2020. Several countries are eager to host the exhibition afterwards, but the exact itinerary is still being discussed.
An attractive but smaller alternative in CERN's exhibition portfolio is the 'LHC interactive tunnel' (LIT). This exhibition features the popular 'Proton Football’ game, which invites visitors to play football with protons, and an interactive game showing how proton therapy works. The LIT has already been shown at the Liverpool Arena and Convention Centre (also featuring the Future Circular Collider project) in March and April, and will travel to Lefkosia, Cyprus, in late May, and Rust, Germany, in October.