Learn with us online while the Exploratorium is temporarily closed. You can help us reopen—donate today.
In creating this traveling exhibition at the Exploratorium, the artists, scientists and exhibition creators were inspired by poetry, writing, other artworks, but primarily the patterns created by natural forces.
Aeolian Landscape presents a swirling storm of sand inside a large chamber covered by a plexiglass top. A knob on the top of the exhibit rotates a sturdy fan set in the base of the chamber.
Where: Fisher Bay Observatory Gallery 6, Mezzanine
When you set these pendulums swinging, the motion of each one affects the others.
Where: Crossroads: Getting Started
Fluttering waves whirl around the edge, creating patterns of evenly spaced ripples.
A piece of fabric undulates in complex ways.
Swirling water sculpts elaborate patterns of underwater dunes.
Where: This exhibit is not currently on view.
Bubbling sand evokes a geothermal landscape.
Sand falling through water creates turbulence and complex patterns.
Fans simulate the swirling airflow in a thunderstorm and fog machines make the pattern visible, creating a miniature tornado that you can disturb with the wave of a hand.
Where: Gallery 4: Living Systems
Swirling turbulent patterns evoke the atmosphere of our own spinning planet.
A twist of a knob sets water jets in motion, causing water in this giant cylindrical tank to spin. Soon, a tiny vortex appears at the surface, gradually swelling in size as it snakes downward.
(Embarcadero at Green Street)
San Francisco, CA 94111
Get at-home activities and learning tools delivered straight to your inbox