The exhibition was designed by Hélène Fischer, teacher-researcher at the Jean Lamour Institute, a CNRS (National Center for Scientific Research) - University of Lorraine joint research unit.
The project is supported by Lorraine University of Excellence (LUE), the CNRS and the French Society of Physics (SFP). The exhibition has just been presented for 1 year at the Palais de la Découverte in Paris.
Credits / Image Information
Photo by Ph-Levy-EPPDCSI
Two magnets that attract or repel each other, a compass that indicates the North, a dynamo that lights up a lamp after a few turns of the crank… Behind these phenomena lies magnetism, a source of fascination for thousands of years.
MAGNETIC is a science travelling exhibition placed under the sign of attraction: it offers the visitor an experimental journey that stages the scientific process. Through experimentation, manipulation and observation, MAGNETIQUE invites the visitor to discover the principles and effects of magnetism, a phenomenon that is omnipresent in our daily lives, even though not so well known to most people.
Through five islets, MAGNETIC proposes an exploration of magnetism with more than sixty experiments. From one discovery to another, the experiments are designed to provide a real hands-on scientific experience to visitors. They are designed as “materialised theories”, with experiences that are above all educational, while others decipher everyday applications. The journey is created to question the visitors’ knowledge of magnetism, and invite them to discover its properties and usefulness through various manipulations. Thanks to the interactive models, visitors are confronted with the notion of scientific truth, through the analysis of the results of the experiments that are carried out – without having to manage and grasp mathematical developments. With this very unique discovery path, the exhibition provides interactive answers to many questions about magnetism, through 5 themes:
Where to find it?
How can it be explained?
For what applications is it usually used?
What roles does it have in a computer?
What kind of research is it at the centre of?
The exhibition includes touchscreens, videos, and an immersive Virtual Reality experience in the Institute’s exceptional DAUM platform for visitors to be transported to the laboratory and experience hands on research.
MAGNETIC is aimed at the largest audiences, offering three levels of interpretation with:
Table front panels entitled “What to do – What to see”, with simple texts indicating actions required to do the experiments, guiding the analysis of the phenomena to be observed, and providing simple explanations.
Background table cards aimed at a more informed audience, which provide deeper physical information about the presented experiment, without ever using mathematical tools. “Additional information” is also provided, with additional, more anecdotal information, which is often appreciated.
A printable family/children booklet offers a lighter route designed specifically for children audiences, with a specific visual identity that can be found throughout the exhibition. A 60-page educational booklet is also available to support mediators and teachers.
MAGNETIC has an attractive aesthetic that is appreciated by visitors of all ages. A particular strength of the design is its use of transparency, which illustrates the objective of the scientific popularisation process, which is to make science accessible, and therefore transparent. Experiments are mounted on transparent panels that seem to levitate, thus marking the timelessness of knowledge. All technical elements are visible. Explanatory labels are also transparent. Their content comes to life when illuminated, illustrating the light of knowledge.
“Engines, wind turbines, induction plates, metro tickets or credit cards … While magnetism surrounds us, this physical phenomenon is not well known. Through experience, manipulation and observation, the MAGNETIC exhibition invites the public to discover the principles and effects of magnetism, which is at the origin of many applications in our daily lives.” Bruno Maquart, President of Universcience
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The exhibition has been selected by the CNRS in 2019 to receive the label "80 years of CNRS".
"MAGNETIC offers an attractive journey that takes us from island to island into the world of magnetism. It fosters incentives to understand and experience phenomena that are part of our daily lives and interfere with objects we all use. It is a great opportunity to show the importance of research and innovation and to share scientific knowledge with all audiences: families, technology enthusiasts, schoolchildren and students."
The exhibition curator, Hélène Fischer, received the 2019 Jean Perrin Prize, "a prize that rewards a particularly successful effort to popularise Science", for the creation of the MAGNETIC exhibition.
Past and Future Venues
2020, 12 months - Palais de la Découverte - Paris, France