The coolest thing in Singapore right now is snuggled in the basement of Marina Bay Sands’ ArtScience Museum. Featuring select parts of the actual Large Hadron Collider hailing from the headquarters of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Geneva, is the awesome Collider: The World’s Greatest Experiment exhibit.
A mind-bendingly massive structure of about 27km and located a good 100m underground, the actual Large Hadron Collider (or LHC) is arguably the single most significant scientific tool in existence today. Built to essentially hurl particle beams at near the speed of light at each other, the LHC is more than just a sophisticated attempt at one day (hopefully) accidentally causing The Flash’s origin story—it’s also very probably the gateway to answers about life and the creation of our universe….
Or something like that—I got kinda caught up in the whole Flash theory, really.
Superpower aspirations aside, Collider is an awe-inspiring journey at not only the intricacies of the machinations that go into the creation of such an elaborate and complex contraption, but also an incredibly humbling experience that reminds us of how little do we truly understand about the universe we inhabit and how much more remains to be uncovered.
With 8 location zones, each thematically inspired to take you along in the journey of the LHC’s earliest days when it’s spiritual predecessor, the Large Electron-Positron Collider occupied the space the LHC now does, to a theatre screening an immersive reenactment of the moments before the discovery of the Higgs boson particle. The immersion, however, doesn’t end there with the following zones almost literally taking you into the LHC in a simulation of the interior of the megastructure, ending with an entrapping artistic representation of the collision in an omni-theatric projection.
While the exhibition’s zones have more to offer than words can describe, the true show stealers is the artist’s installation, The Gift of Mass, by Vincenzo Napolano and Antonella Varaschin allowing the audience to experience the impossible by perceiving what’s it like to slowly gain their own mass as they materialise in this universe.
It’s a pretty trippy experience and it’s real fun to run from screen to screen watching your silhouette change colour! I know this only ’cause I saw a bunch of kids do it and totally wasn’t doing it myself.
Also, don’t forget to check out some of the programmes like the film screening of Particle Fever, a documentary following the preparation of the LHC that will be played on loop, and workshops like the Interactive Lab, a fun way to witness the movement of particles as they are accelerated through an electrical field.
Be sure to get your tickets—this is one event you wouldn’t wanna miss this holiday!