Exhibition on the Big Bang and galaxies
“How it all began”—a journey to the origins of the Universe
The “How it all began” exhibition invites visitors to trace the past back 13 billion years, to the beginnings of the Universe. The exhibition focuses on questions that humans have been asking for centuries:
- What is our Universe made of?
- Does it have a beginning and end?
- How many dimensions does it have?
- Where do we come from and where are we going?
The Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe at Universität Hamburg and the Museum of Work reveal the search for answers in an exciting, multi-media exhibition.
Findings from cosmology and particle physics
The exhibition illustrates the latest scientific findings in particle physics, astroparticle physics, and cosmology, presenting them in comprehensible and interactive ways. A spark chamber reveals the ubiquitous radiation that arises when high-energy particles from deep space collide at the limits of our atmosphere.
The cosmic background radiation shows how photons can penetrate neutral matter 380,000 years after the Big Bang. In the interactive Big Bang installation, visitors can discover the early Universe and navigate their way around the period of elementary particles while the dark matter simulation alters the portion of dark matter in the star system, accelerating its orbiting speed by increasing its density.
And those who want to burn off some of their own energy can play a round of proton soccer or test their muscle strength by separating quarks in atoms.
The Big Bang, quarks, and art
The exhibition now also includes works by 5 Hamburg artists who use their art to explore questions about the endlessness of space, research on the Big Bang, and our ideas about it to make them tangible.
And we know as little about the end of the Universe as about its beginnings. Thus, at the end of the exhibition, visitors can decide themselves by choosing the Big Crunch, the Big Rip, or the Big Freeze in a walk-through installation.
Children and adolescents
The exhibition’s outreach program has been developed for children and adolescents.
ATLAS is one of 4 experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN in Geneva. The goal is to study the basic building blocks of matter and the fundamental forces of nature that formed our Universe. Here, you can see the ATLAS detector being built.
Galaxy clusters are the Universe’s largest building blocks. Here is an image of the galaxy cluster MACSJ0717, taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. The cluster was created from 4 separate galaxy clusters involved in a collision. This is the first time that this phenomenon has been observed. The repeated collisions in MACSJ0717 are caused by long stream of galaxies, gas, and dark matter 13 million light years away.
CMS is one of 4 large experiments at LHC. At the CMS multifunctional detector, scientists are studying, among other things, the properties of the Higgs particle and looking for clues to identify candidate particle for dark matter and extra dimensions. This image shows half of the interior trace detector.
CMS is one of 4 large experiments at LHC. At the CMS multifunctional detector, scientists are studying, among other things, the properties of the Higgs particle and looking for clues to identify candidate particle for dark matter and extra dimensions. This image shows the installation of the silicon trace detector.
The “How everything began” exhibition is a unique cooperation project between the Cluster of Excellence Quantum Universe, Universität Hamburg, DESY, and the Museum of Work. It makes top research in Hamburg visible and tangible for the Hamburg public.