"Lasers | Light | Life": Mission accomplished!
After two years of operation and 50,000 visitors, our successful exhibition on laser research and technology has now been dismantled in the ESO Supernova. | © Thorsten Naeser

"Lasers | Light | Life": Mission accomplished!

20. January 2021 | by Veit Ziegelmaier / Thorsten Naeser

Since January 2019, well over 50,000 visitors have had the opportunity to view our exhibition "Lasers | Light | Life" at the ESO Supernova Planetarium & Visitor Centre. Even though in 2020 the Covid-19 measures led to temporary closures of the show, as well as that the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the laser in May 2020 could only be celebrated virtually, we look back on a very successful project. The exhibition has now been dismantled.

Shutdown in lockdown: Our exhibition "Lasers | Light | Life" has now been dismantled after two years. Photo: Julius Gauger / PLAN AG

It is with a modicum of melancholy, leavened with a pinch of justified pride, that we bid farewell to the exhibition on “Lasers | Light | Life” at the ESO Supernova, which has now closed. The exhibition in the Rotunda of the ESO Supernova Planetarium and Visitors’ Centre was designed to acquaint the general public with the history of the laser and with current trends in the continuing development of laser-based technologies. The show was a great success, attracting well over 50,000 people. – And the many positive comments recorded in our Digital Visitors’ Book were ample reward for the work we put into the exhibition.

The whole team at attoworld would like to express its heartfelt gratitude to all the visitors and everyone involved in the outreach activities for their cooperation and commitment to the project. Their dedication and enthusiasm made a vital contribution to the success of the venture. Special thanks also go to the Director-General of ESO, Prof. Xavier Barcon, and to the Managing Director of the ESO Supernova, Tania Johnston (and the members of her team) for their help and hospitality – and most particularly for their judicious management of the precautionary measures necessitated by the unforeseeable arrival of SARS-CoV-2 in 2020. Despite the unavoidable intermittent closures, their efforts ensured that the exhibition could be converted into a safe space for visitors.

The project was an exciting, interdisciplinary and informative venture. The fact that it was explicitly conceived for the unique and spectacular setting offered by the ESO Supernova presented the exhibition’s architects – from the Munich-based firm PLAN AG – with very particular challenges, to which they responded splendidly. They developed an appropriately striking concept, which could be realized without interfering in any way with the integrity of the existing structure. And the inclusion of the Laser Harp meant that the show included a unique and unforgettable attraction for visitors of all ages.

Those who wish to refresh their memories, and those who couldn’t make the trip to the ESO Supernova in person, can still pay a visit to the exhibition’s homepage (www.laserlichtleben.de).