Permanent exhibitions

The Great Story of the Universe

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The exhibition

Tous publicsEspace - astronomie,Sciences de la Terre,Physique

An ambitious exhibition on two levels which takes visitors on a journey of discovery into the origins of the universe. Travelling from planet Earth to the extragalactic void, you will find out how matter, light and energy are connected, and meet the great scientists who formed our conception of the universe and established the laws of physics, linking the infinitely small and the infinitely large.

A profound but quiet upheaval has taken place over the last century: all of the scientific disciplines have ended up acknowledging the fact that the objects of their study have not always been as we see them today. The Earth has not always existed, and life has not always been present on it. The stars are not immutable: they form, evolve, and transform. Even atoms have a history: the primordial Universe contained only furiously agitated elementary particles.

Progressively, the description of the Universe has appeared to scientists like a great historic narrative, the longest story of all, the most complete too. For it is a story that speaks of nearly everything: it tells us about the inert matter that makes up the stars, the galaxies, and our planet, and it tells us about living matter and ourselves. This exposition invites you to discover the most important chapters and most decisive turning points in this story.

On the first level, you will inquire step-by-step into the origin and genealogy of matter. Surprises await you, and you may find your mind reeling as purported truths collapse and preconceptions crumble.
In the 20th century science revealed a fundamental unity: all matter – solid, liquid or gas, mineral or organic – is made of the same atoms. This unity of the living and the inanimate raises several questions: What is the origin of the matter that we’re made of, that surrounds us, and that’s found throughout the universe? What is its history?

The second level will familiarise you with the often-strange physical laws that have enabled us to describe and understand the evolution of the Universe and in particular its progressive structuring. You will also meet some of the geniuses who revealed these laws, well hidden behind the appearances of the world.
Your body is made of matter or, to put it otherwise, of a delicate arrangement of atoms: two-thirds water – the famous H2O (that is, hydrogen and oxygen) – plus carbon, nitrogen, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, and traces of twenty or so other kinds of atoms such as iron and magnesium. This matter makes up your mass, which, in keeping with the law of gravitation, is attracted by the Earth. It is the force of that attraction that is measured by this scale. Since it takes into account the attraction exercised by Mars, the Moon, and Earth, it gives your weight on all three.

Tous publicsInformations générales
Sciences de la TerreSourds,Malentendants
Espace - astronomieSourds,Malentendants
Tous publicsEspace - astronomieSourds,Malentendants
Tous publicsInformations générales
Tous publicsEspace - astronomie,PhysiqueSourds,Malentendants
Tous publicsEspace - astronomie,Mathématiques - physique - chimieSourds,Malentendants

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