Royal Institution of Great Britain

In our museum you can explore the world-changing science that's happened at the Ri since 1799. The displays are spread across three floors of the Ri building. In fact, wherever you go in the Ri you'll see the instruments that have made science work for the last two centuries. The stuff of science is woven throughout our entire building.

The majority of the exhibition is located on the lower ground floor, where the theme is experimentation. From the odds and ends that became the first electrical transformer to the tube that told us why the sky is blue, you can see the actual objects that Ri scientists built and used in some of the world's most famous experiments. You can also discover the key role that the Ri has played in the development of the modern world. From the development of the thermos flask, to the device that saved the lives of countless miners we have the original scientific equipment used by Ri scientists. The highlight of the exhibition is Faraday's magnetic laboratory as it was in the 1850s. Opposite this lab is the current state-of-the-art nanotechnology lab. On this floor you can also try your hand at our chemical elements game where you test your skills at spotting the 10 elements discovered at the Ri as they appear in a fast-and-furious elements song.

The theme of the ground floor is people where you can meet the characters in the story of the Ri. Of course there's our museum's namesake, the bookbinder's apprentice who got a job here through a lucky break and went on to become a scientific hero. But there's also his boss, the arrogant yet charismatic Humphry Davy, and Ada Lovelace, Byron's daughter, mathematician and lightning-rod for scandal. You can also find out about the 14 Nobel Prize winners who have worked at the Ri. Features of the floor include a stunning display of some of the people that have made the Ri what it is, and a beautiful suspended display of our collection of optical instruments.

The first floor is devoted to communication with displays showcasing some of the fabulous events that have happened here. From the very beginning of our history, the Ri has been famous as a place to discover and discuss the world around us. Most of the greatest scientists from the last 200 years have at one time or another appeared in our famous theatre. We celebrate just a handful of them here in paintings, unusual props and film clips. Find out what a boomerang, a stuffed kangaroo and a saw have in common, and the unfortunate side effects of too much laughing gas.

Adding an exciting dimension to the museum displays, we also have an eGuide to give you a glimpse into more of the stories of the collection, like John Tyndall's obsession with glaciers, and the chance to smash glass, electrocute frogs and hear hidden conversations...

Exhibitions and events

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