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 North, a dynamo that lights a lamp after a few turns of the crank… Behind these phenomena hides magnetism, a source of fascination for thousands of years.
MAGNETIC is a traveling scientific exhibition placed under the sign of attraction: it offers the visitor an experimental journey which stages the scientific approach. Through experimentation, manipulation and observation, MAGNETIC invites the visitor to discover the principles and effects of magnetism, a phenomenon that is omnipresent in our daily lives, even if it is often overlooked. Around sixty experiments, supplemented by audio and video on touch terminals, punctuate the visitor’s journey, question their knowledge, and invite them to discover the properties and applications of magnetism through 5 thematic blocks entitled:
Magnetism, where to find it?
Magnetism, how to explain it?
Magnetism, what applications?
Magnetism, what roles in a computer?
Magnetism, what research?
Thus, MAGNETIC takes the public crescendo of the magnet that they know well – the one that sticks to the fridge – to recent discoveries in the field of magnetism, allowing them to become actors of science to experiment for themselves, thus perpetuating “the Jean Perrin spirit” in our modern era.
Even more, MAGNETIC raises public awareness of certain societal issues linked to magnetism, such as the presence of rare earths in the powerful magnets necessary for the green transition, or the explosion in energy cost linked to the storage of information on a magnetic hard disk.
MAGNETIC has an attractive aesthetic that is appreciated by visitors of all ages. Its design is built on the use of transparency, which illustrates the goal of the science popularization process, which is to make science accessible, and therefore transparent. The experiments are mounted on transparent panels that seem to levitate, thus marking the timelessness of knowledge. All the technical elements are visible to remain transparent. Cartels are also transparent. Their content makes sense when illuminated, illustrating the light of knowledge.
“Motors, wind turbines, induction hobs, metro tickets or credit cards… While magnetism surrounds us, this physical phenomenon is poorly understood. 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