Pop-up exhibit Einstein Telescope at Discovery Museum Kerkrade

Pop-up exhibit about gravitational waves at the Discovery Museum in Kerkrade (NL). Credit: Province of Limburg
Written by Gieljan de Vries

The Discovery Museum in the Dutch town of Kerkrade is hosting a pop-up exhibit about the Einstein Telescope (ET) until January 9th, 2023. The border region of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany is a possible candidate location for this world-class underground observatory for measuring gravitational waves.

In the exhibit, visitors will get answers to a variety of questions about Einstein Telescope. For example, they will be told exactly what the observatory measures, what technology is needed to do so and what questions about the universe scientists want to answer with the new instrument. There is also a focus on the significance of the possible arrival of the Einstein Telescope to the region.

The Dutch-language exhibition was developed in cooperation with the Province of Limburg, Maastricht University and the Dutch research institute Nikhef. Together they devised interactive elements and films in which writer and musician Frans Pollux explains, together with researcher Gideon Koekoek, how gravity and gravitational waves work and how the Einstein Telescope measures these waves.

Gravitational waves

The European Einstein Telescope will be an extremely sensitive instrument for measuring and studying gravitational waves. These waves are created during violent collisions in the universe and, according to Albert Einstein’s general theory of relativity, cause ripples through the universe.

By measuring gravitational waves, scientists aim to learn more about events in the universe that are invisible to ordinary telescopes. They even expect to gain insight into how the universe itself evolves over time under the influence of the still mysterious dark matter and dark energy.