Sysco AV was commissioned to help design and install the Science Museum’s exciting new exhibition Collider: step inside the world’s greatest experiment.
The exhibition needed to convey the complexity and scale of this immense experiment that is happening deep underground Switzerland and France. CERN’s Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the largest and most powerful particle accelerator ever built, is the work of 10,000 men and women from across the globe, united in their quest to uncover the fundamental building blocks of our universe.
The project team wanted to recreate a visit to CERN’s famous particle physics laboratory, blending theatre, video and sound art with real artefacts from the European organisation for nuclear research. The setup required several high quality and cost effective DLP projectors with different lens options and projection capabilities. The projectors had to be capable of portrait and landscape modes, rear projection and flexible enough to install in tight locations with real space-constraints.
An additional challenge was that Collider will tour internationally following its London run, so all hardware needed to be capable of dismantling and re-installation by non-technical personnel.
Optoma Solution: Why and how?
Sysco, having worked with Optoma on several previous projects, were aware of the quality and huge range of DLP projectors and lenses it offers. The EH505 was the obvious choice for the exhibition because of its outstanding flexibility both in terms of projection capabilities and installation.
The 5,000-lumen projector with WUXGA resolution and powerful image blending tools delivers spectacular image quality and outstanding brightness. It features DLP® (Digital Light Processing) technology, pioneered by Texas Instruments, which produces high quality images and ensures the projector does not suffer colour degradation over time, as sometimes experienced in other projector technologies. The dustsealed, filter free design prevents dust and dirt from affecting the system ensuring optimal image quality with minimal maintenance. This provides ultimate reliability in its 24/7 operation.
The EH505 has multiple lens options, with zoom and focus adjustment to get the exact image size needed, while the wide lens shift range and off-axis short throw lens option gets the image exactly where it is wanted.
Two EH505 projectors were installed with short through lenses used in portrait as a rear projection. One EH505 projector was used with a standard throw lens as a rear projection and two EH505 with short throw lenses were used as a front projection.
Sysco’s engineering team designed the Audio Visual technology aspect of the exhibition and produced detailed drawings for the installation team to follow and execute their vision.
As this needed to be a touring exhibition, installation had to be flexible. Sysco’s engineering team designed a plug and play system, so the system could be easily installed at different sites around the world.
High Impact Visual Experience
The exhibition, located in the basement of the Science Museum, took a month to install and opened to the public on 13th November 2013.
The immersive exhibition takes visitors on a journey deep underground to step inside the world’s greatest experiment. Through the projections, they can witness the uncovering of the Higgs boson, explore the 27-km collider and its cathedral-sized detector caverns and discover how studying the subatomic world can point the way to a fuller understanding of our universe.
The different lens options and lens shift capabilities of the five EH505 projectors made installation easy as the projectors could be adjusted perfectly to the space limitations and image requirements. Rear projection provided a visually discreet solution with the projectors installed completely out of sight within the exhibition.
Collider: step inside the world’s greatest experiment is already proving popular with both the public and journalists and has received the following glowing reviews from the press:
‘a bold endeavour to bring fundamental physics to the people… in many ways it’s better than the real thing [visiting CERN]’ - The Independent
‘It’s impressive that everything is both visually striking (pretty, even) and yet informative, and the Science Museum should be very pleased with Collider.’ - New Statesman
‘There is more to the show than the science, however. The museum pulled off the even harder trick of depicting CERN’s character.’ - The Economist
The exhibition will be shown at the Science Museum from 13 November 2013 - 5 May 2014. It will then move to the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester, from 23 May – 28 September 2014 before embarking on an international tour through to the end of 2016.
Image copyrights include © Science Museum and © Science Museum / Nick Rochowski
The exhibition was supported by the Science & Technology Facilities Council, Winton Capital Management and The Embassy of Switzerland in the United Kingdom. There was also support from Advanced Oncotherapy plc, National Instruments, The Ogden Trust and Collider Exhibition Patrons and Supporters.