The CERN Exhibitions section (IR-ECO-EXH) and the LHCb experiment have developed a new public experience at LHC Point 8, in Ferney-Voltaire (France), where the experiment is located. The design phase of the new exhibit, carried out in collaboration with the Spanish design firm Indissoluble – The Exhibition Factory, which previously worked on the ALICE and Microcosm exhibitions, started in autumn 2020. Last December, only two years later, the installation was already completed and about to welcome its first visitors. The new exhibition has indeed been open to the public since the beginning of the year, and was officially inaugurated on 3 March.
“Working on the new LHCb exhibition has been a challenge also because the work mainly happened during the pandemic. However, the excellent teamwork and the highly collaborative and committed attitude of all the members of the working group made it possible for the exhibition to be designed, delivered and installed on time and within budget,” says Antonella Del Rosso, project leader in the Exhibitions section.
After passing the car park and the gate, visitors enter the LHCb main building and are guided through the exhibition’s four sections, which include a miniature model of the underground cavern featuring the DELPHI and LHCb detectors. The main exhibition hall hosts pieces of the LHCb detector such as the vertex locator, parts of the calorimeters and muon systems, the upstream tracker, the ring-imaging Cherenkov detector and a scintillating fibre tracker.
The highlight of the exhibition is the cinema room: three immersive walls take visitors underground and lead them through the physics of the detector by means of an audiovisual experience (see picture). Different screens and projections mirror the segmented structure of LHCb, with each panel corresponding to a different part of the detector.
All the exhibition points are equipped with interactive touch screens, which provide additional information about the detector system, data acquisition and basics of particle physics. One of the last stops is a sneak peek into the LHCb control room.
With the new cinema room and the showcased detector parts, the new exhibition is a nice alternative to underground visits, especially when access is impossible during LHC runs, as well as complementing those visits with a first visual input.
Last year, the LHCb experiment welcomed almost 1000 visitors. The new exhibition is now ready for the many more to come.