WOMAD 2017 – A Bigger/Better Physics Pavilion

The World of Music, Arts and Dance (WOMAD) Festival is a big event that brings together all sorts of creativity into one place. It takes place July 27th-30th, 2017 in Charlton Park, in the Wiltshire countryside (in the UK of course). One of the more surprising areas of the Festival is the Physics Pavilion. The fine folks from CERN, yes, the people who brought us the Large Hadron Collider, will be playing a major role.

Just to give you an idea of the range and scope here, perhaps the 2016 Physics Pavilion introduction video will give you an idea. There may be a face or two you might recognize.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the events:

Just when you thought WOMAD 2017 couldn’t get any more exciting, along comes the positively explosive Physics Pavilion, brimming with mind-blowing and brain-busting activities, fascinating discussions and even a NASA live stream for WOMAD-ers to get stuck into. The science centre, in association with CERN, home to the Large Hadron Collider, the University of Lancaster and the Institute of Physics, is back and bigger than ever for 2017, with a brand new hands-on hub, The Lab, with interactive experiments and active workshops for everyone to enjoy.

With even more science discovery on offer this year, festival-goers are spoilt for choice; comedian, writer and science lover Robin Ince takes a break from his UK arena tour with Brian Cox to visit WOMAD to discuss art, creativity and all things scientific in his talk The Rorschach Test of Reality, the Physics Pavilion go live to Houston as they live link to NASA’s Johnson Space Center to give WOMAD-ers the chance to experience astronaut training, and rock out space-style with Mark Lewney who explains the physics of rock using riffs from Slayer to AC/DC, asking what causes the revolutionary, history-changing sound of rock guitar in his demonstration Rock Guitar in 11 Dimensions.

Ever wondered about all that cool smoke you see on stage at concerts and festivals, what it’s made of and how it got there? Matthew Tosh will be demonstrating all this and more in his talk ‘Pulling the Fog Over Your Eyes’ so expect mesmerizing fog, smoke clouds and lasers, along with your daily dose of weird and wacky discovery Geek Chic’s Weird Science, where author and seasoned podcasters Lliana Bird and Dr Jack Lewis take an irreverent look at the latest news from the bizarre and beautiful world of science. Getting lost without Google Maps or your SatNav is standard procedure these days, and Professor John Huth is here to help – ‘Where Am I? : The Science of Navigation’ teaches the art of natural way-finding and primitive navigation whilst ‘Space Junk’ explores the secret world of space debris, the millions of pieces of space junk currently orbiting the Earth. And if space balloons, thereminists and mysterious dark energy are your thing then Scientific Space Balloons, Thereminist Dorit Chrysler, and The Big Bang and The Acceleration of the Universe will answer all your questions about life, the cosmos and everything in between….

The Lab is brand new for 2017 – an exciting, hands-on hub of activity where WOMAD-ers have the chance to get stuck in and get interactive with countless fun workshops and cool experiments over the weekend for everyone from tots to veteran WOMAD goers. From the Superconducting Train to building your own Cloud Chamber to making a Sunset in a Tube, there is something to satisfy everyone’s curiosity. There’s even a workshop on how to play the Theremin, along with exploring Physics through the world of Minecraft, and even the chance to build a Particle Collision.

And our friends at Dyson and the Institute of Physics will be on hand throughout the festival in their pop-up science hub just outside the Physics Pavilion, jam-packed with interactive science and engineering challenges, hands-on experiments and fun workshops for festival-goers who fancy a dabble of discovery.

One of the many interesting things CERN has provided includes is the Cosmic Piano. It’s a set of detectors that turns particles data into music.

Here’s another interesting piece of experimental music that was created using the sonification of the data from the detectors in the Large Hadron Collider.

For more information on the WOMAD Festival and all the events and artists there, visit their site.

Larry Lootsteen

Music is life and I love to write about all things music. Independent music blogger. Writer in general. I am a big fan of alternative and indie music but there's no genre I haven't found something to like.

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