Why do they not understand us
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WHY DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND US??? - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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WHY DO THEY NOT UNDERSTAND US???. Irena Cieślińska Deputy Director Copernicus Science Center irena.cieslinska@kopernik.org.pl. 1 June 2012, 16:45 hrs , Purple Room. 1 000 000. Over 1 000 000 visitors last year. Nie jesteśmy również szkołą. Ale ułatwiamy zrozumienie zjawisk.

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Irena CieślińskaDeputyDirectorCopernicus Science Center


1 June 2012, 16:45 hrs, Purple Room

1 000 000

Over 1 000 000 visitors last year

Nie jesteśmy również szkołą

Ale ułatwiamy zrozumienie zjawisk

Our hearts start bleeding

They do not understandourbrilliantideas. Why?

They pass by and do not noticeexhibits

Theydon’tknowhow to start, ortheyuseourtreasuresin a wrongway

Ourexhibits do suffer


Canyoustealdiamond? Checkitup

Sure! Look, I didit!


Safetyfirst: danger of implosion

Galileo experiment

Gooddesign prevents damage to exhibitsand visitorsinjuries.

And could help people guess how to use exhibit


What’swrong with this one?

Less fun but save


How one shouldknowhow to fly? Easy. findinstruction…


…on the backside of anexhibit

SPIDER WEB: anexhibitaboutbrain - not a climbingwall


It’sabout the speed of sound (wave) and wind (mass transportation)

Not about boxing 


Museum - movie

Camera obscura

Copernicus window

Four elements – four forces

The installation by the window presents an allegoric illustration of the 'anthropic principle', a philosophical term for this notion that our universe's laws of nature and fundamental physical constants are so incredibly well suited for supporting human life. By symbolically changing the laws governing the four basic forces - gravitational, weak, strong and electromagnetic - you can affect the motion of the clock and planets placed in the centre of the construction. Can you adjust the clock so that it shows the correct time?

Copernicus window

  • 'What I am really interested in is knowing whether God could have created the world in a different way', pondered Albert Einstein. It seems that even the tiniest change in the basic physical constants or laws of nature would mean that the Universe would have been empty, disappeared in a fraction of a second, or in any case been uninhabitable. Examples?

  • If the nuclear forces holding together protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei had been even slightly weaker, the Universe would have been filled with nothing more than hydrogen. Nuclei of heavier elements, such as oxygen or carbon, would have never come to be. And yet had the nuclear forces been stronger, then immediately following the Big Bang all hydrogen would have turned into helium.

  • Had the force of gravity been stronger, stars far bigger than our Sun would have formed. Such giant stars burn out very quickly. They die in violent supernova explosions that wipe out their entire surroundings, leaving not enough time for the formation of planets or for life to evolve. On the other hand, had gravity been weaker, there would not have been any supernovas at all - and supernova explosions are actually what distribute elements heavier than hydrogen and helium (the building blocks of planets and living organisms) throughout interstellar space.

  • Put simply, if the set of physical laws had been even slightly different then perhaps some different universe would have come into being - even if it did last longer than a fraction of a second it would almost certainly not have had any intelligent beings able to admire it.

  • If the values of the all physical constants are picked at random, the probability of a cosmos in which at least stars - not to mention life - can form is just 1 in 10229.

  • How, then, have we been so incredibly - almost unbelievably - lucky?

Copernicus window

  • Nicolaus Copernicus' treatise On the Revolutions of Celestial Spheres, published in 1543, diametrically changed this view. Now the centre of the universe was no longer occupied by the Earth, but by the Sun, our daily star. Further progress in astronomy soon meant that we no longer felt that we hold a special place in the universe, or even in our own galaxy. Our system is in the peripheries of the Milky Way, almost 30 thousand light years from its centre, and our galaxy is just one of billions of other galaxies distributed across the cosmic void.

  • Despite all this, for a long time it seemed that our Sun is indeed unique in at least one way: until the 1990s we were not aware of any other star with a planetary system. But this myth has now been debunked as well. The first known planet outside our own solar system, orbiting the PSR B1257+12 pulsar, was discovered in 1991 by the Polish astronomer AleksanderWolszczan. Today other planetary systems are nothing unusual - we know of hundreds, and more are continually being discovered.

  • However, it is too early to conclude that we do not occupy any kind of a special place in the cosmos. The universe seems perfectly adapted to supporting life, and our own Earth has been nicknamed the 'Goldilocks planet'. If physical laws had been even slightly different, the cosmos would stand empty, or its age would be measured in seconds rather than billions of years, giving neither planets nor any form of life time to form. Even the tiniest changes to the laws of nature and fundamental physical constants (such as the speed of light or the gravitational constant) would have made our world uninhabitable. And so we can feel special at least in this sense. This phenomenon was called the 'anthropic principle' for the first time in 1973, during a symposium of the cosmological section of the International Astronomical Union commemorating the 500th birthday of our patron, Nicolaus Copernicus.


Digital system


The best kind of sightseeing involves some exploration and the freedom to decide what not to investigate and where to linger. The more one can become involved with the sights through touching, feeling, smelling, and activity, the more rewarding it can be. It is nice to be able to linger and backtrack. It helps to be able to exchange remarks with one’s friend and even with strangers.The Exploratorium certainly does provide this kind of participative sightseeing.

Thanks for attention

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