A Parisian science museum is offering plenty of entertainment and education during a exhibit entitled, ‘Radioactivity, from Homer to Oppenheimer.’ The exhibit runs until June 8, 2014, so visitors staying at the Hôtel de la Tour Maubourg still have a few months to see the secrets behind radioactivity, revealed by figures as important as the Curies and as funny as Homer Simpson.
Exploring our fear of nuclear power, the risks behind it and its benefits, the museum called the Palais de la Découverte — which is housed within the beautiful monument the Grand Palais — offers an objective look at radioactivity. The exhibit also shows visitors the science behind the phenomenon of radioactivity. This overview includes scientists such as Albert Einstein, Pierre and Marie Curie, and J. Robert Oppenheimer — the father of the atomic bomb. In this way, the evolution of the research conducted can be explored.
In the first part of the exhibition, visitors discover how radioactivity works, through the disintegration of atoms. It shows how everything is actually radioactive and even provides a ‘Bequerel-meter,’ allowing visitors to see how radioactive everyday objects are. Then, the exhibition explains just how useful radioactivity is. For example, nuclear power is used to meet 75% of France’s electricity consumption needs. It is also used to sterilize medical materials.
However, the use of radioactivity also carries risks, which the exhibition covers. Fukushima, Nagazaki and Chernobyl represent several examples of nuclear disasters. The Palais de la Découverte approaches such tragic events in a way that is educational and appropriate for both children and adults.
As a result, the exhibit ‘Radioactivity, from Homer to Oppenheimer’ offers a well-rounded, informative and — most importantly — fun perspective on this scientific discovery that has become an integral part of our lives.