Science Storms

Science Stormsat the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is a dramatic and interactive environment where guests of all ages can explore the physics of light and the science behind powerful forces of nature.

The architectural lighting design and the design for four of the exhibits that deal with the physics of light, help inspire young scientists to look deeper into the world of lighting to understand the world around them.

Science Storm reveals the science behind seven natural phenomena—lightning, fire, tornados, avalanches, tsunamis, sunlight, and atoms in motion. Guests can investigate the basic scientific principles behind nature's power as they try more than 50 amazing experiments that take two floors and 26,000 square feet to contain.

Liquid Wave Dynamics are shown with spotlights shining 60 feet down through large liquid-filled disks to project ripple patterns on the floor.

Guests interact with the wave shadows.

Light Behavior is both an exhibit about the principals of reflection and refraction, and a work of art. Based on the work of a Berlin-based light artist, this pair of interactive exhibits uses moving prisms of dichroic glass, rotating reflective surfaces, and mirrored cylinders to create patterns of light and color. The effect is not only beautiful, but demonstrates the behavior of reflected light.

Colors from Light is a 14-foot-tall LED backlit room that teaches guests about wavelengths of light and color mixing. Here we see the interior of the room and the console, which controls the LEDs lights behind frosted acrylic panels, affecting our perception of the color of the disks.

The heliostat in the Sunlight Exhibit uses natural or electric light depending on weather conditions and time of day. Here we see the exhibit using natural light to create amazing color range with prisms.

The Tsunmai exhibit explores the force of water. The Light Behavior cube is seen in the background.

The dynamism of the exhibit is apparent as the Tesla Coil replicates bolts of lightning is in the forefront.

The sense of collaboration between the museum and the designers helped make Science Storms a space where guests, especially children, can become enraptured by the physics and the beauty of light.

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