CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research

NBI Colliderscope


To raise awareness of the existence of the Large Hadron Collider


The NBI Colliderscope is a light-artwork placed on the facade of the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen. The work of art is connected directly to the world's largest physics experiment just outside Geneva, Switzerland.  The idea of the artwork is to create a direct sensuous and intuitive translation of the data stream that ATLAS captures in the LHC collisions. By using most of the parameters in the data stream, and combining them with the random rhythm of the collisions, the work attempts to reproduce the signal from ATLAS in it's full tonality, as if the accelerator was a gigantic musical instrument. Maybe one can view the work as a visual interpretation of the music that sounded at the birth of the universe.
Technically the work is built with 96 light emitting diodes placed in a hexagonal net over the architecture of the facade of the Niels Bohr Institute. This mirrors the structure of the TRT detector in the ATLAS experiment. Every diode is borne by an aluminum arm from which it shine at a distance of 40 cm with an intensity of 5 Watt onto the grey plaster of the wall. The system of diodes is controlled by a computer that translates the original data from the TRT detector in the Atlas experiment into light signals. These signals are sent to an online server that addresses each diode with intensity, duration, frequency etc. The Colliderscope shows the latest data from the detector, which can be just minutes old, but sometimes older because the LHC does not run continuously.
The work of art has been created by physicists Clive Ellegaard and Troels Petersen in collaboration with artists Christian Skeel and Morten Skriver.The programming of the online software is done by physicist Anders Holm. 

Post date: Wed, Sep 14, 2011 — 15:47
Updated date: Tue, Nov 20, 2012 — 04:55

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