Date of visit: July 24, 2016, morning
To the Science Museum, where I think I had been 18 years ago.
ツール・ド・フランス最終日のパリ。選手が到着するのは夕方なので午前中はパリ市内を観光することにしました。この日最初に訪れたのはパリ市内の北東にある「シテ科学産業博物館(La Cite des Sciences et de L'lndustrie)」です。
Actually, I vaguely remember visiting this place 18 years ago when I went to Paris for the first time. At that time, we were on a tour for the World Cup in France, and I remember we were given a lecture here. The museum opens at 10:00, and it was just opening time when I arrived. There were many families there.
When you go inside, it’s quite a large space. After all, it seems to be familiar somehow. You can buy an admission ticket in person at the information counter, but you can also buy it from a vending machine near the entrance. Because it was the first thing in the morning, although there were not so many people yet, it was only us and our wife who tried to buy it from the vending machine. Everyone was lined up at the reception desk in person.
I inadvertently forgot to take a photo of the machine, but the photo above was taken from just around where the machine is. It was a mystery to me why they didn’t use the machine that was right near it. I wonder if he doesn’t like it.
By the way, the reason why I chose the machine was just because I thought this one looked more interesting, but when we were having fun together, a curator who was nearby (maybe) asked us « Je peux vous aider? ? ». Well, it was a good opportunity to practice conversation, so I thought I’d try to use it with her, but my French was not good enough, so she immediately switched to English explanation. Too bad.
Surprisingly authentic content that I can’t believe is for children.
After purchasing the ticket successfully, you will take the escalator to the upper floor from the ground floor. You will receive a ticket check in front of this escalator.
I felt the difference between French science education and Japanese science education. In Japan, they don’t dig deep into explanations, but they focus on making you memorize, but in France, they are very logical! I thought the exhibition strongly showed the attitude of conveying the concepts correctly even if it was for children.
The math section is as French as it gets!
I went to the exhibition corner of mathematics and physics, which I am personally interested in and have a moderate knowledge of. Well, you don’t usually go there lol. I was surprised at the contents of the exhibition, which were so serious that I couldn’t believe it was for children. Well, France is the most advanced country in the world in the modern age, especially in the field of mathematics.
As a brief explanation, what is the shortest distance from the upper left point to the lower right point under weight? This is the principle used to solve the problem When the ball is released from the upper left point, which route, blue or red, will reach the lower right point first, was reproduced with actual experimental equipment.
There were some explanatory texts, but I wonder how many people could really understand them.
Nearby, there was a soap bubble exhibit that also helped us understand the relationship between the principle of least action (energy minimization) and geometry. It was a visualization of how a film of soap bubbles is created when there are boundary conditions (the frame and points of the device that makes soap bubbles) using surface tension. I was impressed by how well it was thought out.
Since the magnitude of surface tension is proportional to the surface area, from the principle of least action, the actual shape of the stabilized soap film is the surface with the smallest area that satisfies the boundary condition fixed by the frame.
A grown man was very excited about the mathematics in France. I mean, there were not many children in this math corner.
The physics section is a little more substantial.
There were various other corners, but many of them were childish (excuse the pun), such as old airplanes on display, so I headed for the physics corner, where I didn’t feel the presence of more and more people.
First of all, there was a corner of astronomical objects, but after seeing it quickly, I went to the upper floor.
I went to the 20th century physics section. There was a corner of quantum mechanics, but I wondered if it was interesting. I guess people who know about quantum mechanics would be excited to hear about Schrödinger and Dirac.
Even though this facility is not really for children, the concept of Schrödinger’s cat is a bit too difficult for children, but what do you think? It’s only this exhibit…. However, I still thought it was great that they were trying to convey the important concepts firmly.
Then there was a section on general relativity. Did I see this a long time ago, 18 years ago? No, I think there was a booth of gravitational lensing effect at that time.
I was learning general relativity at university at the time. But I don’t think there were any exhibitions that expressed specific images in the form of panels or photographs.
I don’t think there were any displays about GPS at all 18 years ago. 18 years ago, how popular was GPS? Did we have car navigation systems? By the way, how much is the fact that GPS uses the general theory of relativity to determine location information known to the world?
There were several other exhibitions, which I also visited, but I am afraid that I am biased in introducing these two sections.
Philharmonie de Paris and Canal Saint-Martin
By the way, the area where the Science Museum is located is a big park. There is a new concert hall « Philharmonie de Paris » which was built in 2015, and Canal Saint-Martin is a little bit further, so this area is worth visiting even if you don’t want to visit the Science Museum.
We spent some time walking around this park after we finished the tour of the Science Museum.