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Deutsches Technikmuseum - Cabinet of scientific curiosities

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The Websites of the donation Stiftung Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin at a glance:

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The donation contains six locations:

Mars volcano "Olympus Mons" by High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC)
© DLR/ESA/FU Berlin (G. Neukum)

Inside the GSI-particle accelerator
© GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung (Achim Zschau)

Inside the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment KATRIN
© Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (Markus Breig)

Natural scientist Hermann von Helmholtz (1821–1894)
Photo: Archive Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft

Wunderkammer Wissenschaft (Cabinet of scientific curiosities)

Travelling exhibition of the Helmholtz Association in the Deutsches Technikmuseum

23 September to 1 November 2009

Graphic: Exhibition Logo

Philosophy begins in wonder. (Aristotle)

Particle accelerators, vacuum chambers and plasma chambers, research satellites, scanning electron microscopes and other large scientific instruments give us ever-more detailed insights into the matter that surrounds us. They help us better understand our often mysterious world – and seem like rather strange creatures themselves.

A new exhibition called "Wunderkammer Wissenschaft" (Cabinet of scientific curiosities) organised by the Helmholtz Association, the largest research organisation in Germany, features around 500 multimedia exhibits to lure guests into exploring the fascinating world of science. The scientific images in the exhibition are intended to ignite the essential driving forces behind research – curiosity, the awe inspired by the wonders of our world, and the questions about its origin, development and future.

B/W-photograph: Diatom Hemiaulus, scanning electron microscope

Diatom Hemiaulus, scanning electron microscope © Alfred-Wegener-Institut für Polar- und Meersforschung (Friedel Hinz)

During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, people filled rooms with rare and strange objects that traders and explorers had brought back to Europe.

They exhibited these natural, scientific and man-made curiosities and studied them with great interest. Called cabinets of curiosities, these rooms were born out of a desire to fit the grand variety of the universe into a small space where people could investigate it and begin to understand it. They developed into the first scientific collections and museums.

Today there are new imaging technologies that make invisible nanoparticles visible, take close-ups of distant planets and observe the metabolic activities of plants and molecular structures.

This travelling exhibition shows the latest images from the research centres of the Helmholtz Association. A variety of different technologies were used to create these images and simulations. Many of them depict the day-to-day work of Helmholtz researchers, while others show special machines that would otherwise only be seen by a select few on the Helmholtz staff.