“Through the Lens” exhibit to showcase the art of physics

Bonnie Fleming and Mitch Soderberg working on the ArgoNeut detector. Photo: Reidar Hahn.

As they uncover the secrets of matter and energy, physics experiments often change our perspective of the world around us. Examining the experiments also can reveal new landscapes of color, symmetry and light.

Beginning on Friday, Feb. 11, the Fermilab Art Gallery will feature “Through the Lens,” an exhibit of photographs by Reidar Hahn and the Particle Physics Photowalk participants. The exhibit showcases the equipment and people who make physics discoveries possible. A public reception takes place from 5-7 p.m. on Friday.

For 23 years, Fermilab photographer Reidar Hahn has been exploring the colorful world of particle physics. Friday’s show features 31 of Hahn’s photographs alongside 20 photos from the 2010 Global Particle Physics Photowalk, which took place in August 2010 at laboratories in Asia, Europe and North America.

Amateur photographers touring five particle accelerator laboratories were able to capture rare views of complex laboratory equipment. Many of their photos are displayed online here.

The upcoming show at Fermilab features the work of nine local photowalk participants and two global contest winners.

“The show will concentrate on the beauty of the devices we use for research,” Hahn said. “One characteristic of Fermilab is that people still put effort into form, not just function.”

Georgia Schwender, Fermilab’s visual arts coordinator, believes a show featuring Hahn’s work has been a long time in coming.

“I’ve always wanted to display Reidar’s work. Our founder, Robert Wilson, believed art and science were connected,” Schwender said. “Reidar gets that connection, and he boils down complicated information into beautiful images that make that connection clear to the viewer.”

“Through the Lens” will remain on display until April 8. After the reception, members of the public may view the gallery by appointment only.

To make an appointment, contact Georgia Schwender at (630) 840-6825. For more information, visit the Fermilab Art Gallery website.

Cynthia Horwitz

Broken Symmetry sculpture at Fermilab’s main entrance. By photowalk winner Ken Duszynski.