October 9 through December 18, 2015
Opening on October 8, 7pm
FL GALLERY – SPAZIO 22
Viale Sabotino, 22 – Milan
FL GALLERY in collaboration with the CMS Experiment of CERN is pleased to present Luca Pozzi’s third solo exhibition in its spaces. The project is dedicated to the Italian director of the European Organization for Nuclear Research, Fabiola Giannotti, and conceived by the artist as a celebration of 13 TeV, collision energy expressed in tera electron volt, achieved by the Large Hadron Collider in May this year. An outstanding achievement that has allowed for the first time in human history to probe the matter in regions to scale smaller than the dimensions of quarks (<10-18 meters).
The site-specific installation, located in the former vault of Viale Sabotino 22, is composed of three giant digital photos on PVC taken from CERN and LHC experiments online archive to entirely cover three walls of the room. On these surfaces Pozzi installs the works consisting in four dodecagonal surfaces of anodized aluminum containing thirty ping-pong balls in magnetic suspension. The “Detectors”, the name of this new series and title of the exhibition, are intended by the artist as pictorial devices suspended in space and time. They represent, through the sportive allegory of the ping-pong game, the particle of the beam captured just a moment before a hypothetical collision within one of the four LHC detectors.
The right wall of the gallery is connected, in a prospective game, to the “Atlas” detector during the construction years; highlighting in this way the existence of a past time preceding the experiment. The left wall breaks instead on a graphical display representing the computerized processing of data obtained from a collision in the detector “Alice”; spotlighting a later time in the experiment. Finally, on the twelve meters long front wall a photograph taken by Michael Hoch from CMS is reproduced, it represents the part of CMS community responsible for the design, construction and implementation of CMS experiments. They are greeting the art public and receiving them in the exhibition from the building 40 at CERN in Geneva. These tireless and determined researchers are portrayed together in this historical shot; they constitute in this case a window that Pozzi opens into the future.
Past, present and future are so intimately connected in a network of relationships where there are explicit references to art history. Luca Pozzi’s passion for Lucio Fontana, Frank Stella, Alberto Burri and Enrico Castellani blends in subtle cross-disciplinary references, magically combining contemporary art and science, informatics and technology. Since his first visit to the CERN, in April of 2009, the artist begun to cultivate the idea of a project that would pay homage to the International Laboratory. Luca Pozzi is not only interested in the theoretical research, of which he esteems and appreciates the more speculative aspects of quantum gravity, but extends also to the chain reactions based on it thereon. Worthy of note is that it was in the same CERN Laboratory that Tim Berners-Lee developed, in October of ’90, the application that started the World Wild Web and the digital revolution of the Internet, which has so greatly changed the course of our lives.
“The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) is the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider, the largest, most complex experimental facility ever built, and the largest single machine in the world. It was built by theEuropean Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) between 1998 and 2008 in collaboration with over 10,000 scientists and engineers from over 100 countries, as well as hundreds of universities and laboratories. It lies in a tunnel 27 kilometres (17 mi) in circumference, as deep as 175 metres (574 ft) beneath the France–Switzerland border near Geneva, Switzerland. Its first research run took place from 30 March 2010 to 13 February 2013 at an initial energy of 3.5 teraelectronvolts (TeV) per beam (7 TeV total), almost 4 times more than the previous world record for a collider, rising to 4 TeV per beam (8 TeV total) from 2012. On 13 February 2013 the LHC’s first run officially ended, and it was shut down for planned upgrades. ‘Test’ collisions restarted in the upgraded collider on 5 April 2015, reaching 6.5 TeV per beam on 20 May 2015 (13 TeV total, the current world record). Its second research run commenced on schedule, on 3 June 2015.
The LHC’s aim is to allow physicists to test the predictions of different theories of particle physics, high-energy physics and in particular, to further test the properties of the Higgs boson and the large family of new particles predicted by supersymmetric theories, and other unsolved questions of physics, advancing human understanding of physical laws. It contains seven detectors, each designed for certain kinds of research. The proton-proton collision is the primary operation method, but the LHC has also collided protons with lead nuclei for two months in 2013 and used lead–lead collisions for about one month each in 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2015 for other investigations.
The LHC’s computing grid was (and currently is) a world record holder. Data from collisions was produced at an unprecedented rate for the time of first collisions, tens of petabytes per year, a major challenge at the time, to be analysed by a grid-based computer network infrastructure connecting 140 computing centers in 35 countries – by 2012 the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid was also the world’s largest distributedcomputing grid, comprising over 170 computing facilities in a worldwide network across 36 countries.
Physicists hope that the LHC will help answer some of the fundamental open questions in physics, concerning the basic laws governing the interactions and forces among the elementary objects, the deep structure of space and time, and in particular the interrelation between quantum mechanics and general relativity, where current theories and knowledge are unclear or break down altogether. Data is also needed from high energy particle experiments to suggest which versions of current scientific models are more likely to be correct – in particular to choose between the Standard Model and Higgsless models and to validate their predictions and allow further theoretical development. Many theorists expect new physics beyond the Standard Model to emerge at the TeV energy level, as the Standard Model appears to be unsatisfactory. Issues possibly to be explored by LHC collisions include:
- Are the masses of elementary particles actually generated by the Higgs mechanism via electroweak symmetry breaking? It was expected that the collider experiments will either demonstrate or rule out the existence of the elusive Higgs boson, thereby allowing physicists to consider whether the Standard Model or its Higgsless alternatives are more likely to be correct. The experiments found a particle that appears to be the Higgs boson, strong evidence that the Standard Model has the correct mechanism of giving mass to the elementary particles.
- Is supersymmetry, an extension of the Standard Model and Poincaré symmetry, realized in nature, implying that all known particles have supersymmetric partners?
- Are there extra dimensions, as predicted by various models based on string theory, and can we detect them?
- What is the nature of the dark matter that appears to account for 27% of the mass-energy of the universe?
Other open questions that may be explored using high energy particle collisions:
- It is already known that electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force are different manifestations of a single force called the electroweak force. The LHC may clarify whether the electroweak force and the strong nuclear force are similarly just different manifestations of one universal unified force, as predicted by various Grand Unification Theories.
- Why is the fourth fundamental force (gravity) so many orders of magnitude weaker than the other three fundamental forces? See also Hierarchy problem.
- Are there additional sources of quark flavour mixing, beyond those already present within the Standard Model?
- Why are there apparent violations of the symmetry between matter and antimatter? See also CP violation.
- What are the nature and properties of quark–gluon plasma, thought to have existed in the early universe and in certain compact and strange astronomical objects today? This will be investigated by heavy ion collisions, mainly in ALICE, but also in CMS, ATLAS and LHCb. Ffirst observed in 2010, findings published in 2012 confirmed the phenomenon of jet quenching in heavy-ion collisions.“