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Adults Only (18+)
Note: The Tactile Dome and some programs have limited capacity. Entry to the Tactile Dome requires separate admission.
Come be in your elements with Exploratorium host and scientific raconteur Ron Hipschman. Follow tales of intrigue and invention, join in dynamic demonstrations, and uncover fascinating connections between individual elements and our collective human experience. This week, learn about Earth’s rarest nonradioactive metal, rhodium, which keeps auto emissions in check and lends hardness and shine to fine jewelry. And check out the premiere of the new commissioned artwork Aperture Lucida, by Tristan Duke, and hear from him about the work and his art practice.
Lose yourself in thought-provoking programs and mind-bending experiences at adults-only After Dark Thursdays—including more than 650 interactive exhibits exploring perception, art, and science. Grab some friends, stash your stuff in our musical lockers, get a drink at one of our pop-up bars or food at Seaglass Restaurant, and start exploring. You may find that things look different after dark.
Aperture Lucida: a Natural History of Vision - CANCELED
With Tristan Duke
Due to unforeseen circumstances, tonight's 7:30 p.m. talk by Tristan Duke has been canceled. Please be sure to check out the preview of his new work, Aperture Lucida, on view in the Black Box located in Osher Gallery 1.
Everything Matters: Rhodium
With Ron Hipschman
8:00 p.m. | Bechtel Gallery 3, Wattis Webcast Studio
Rare, reflective, and largely responsible for reducing air pollution caused by cars, the transition metal rhodium plays an outsized role in our modern, auto-driven culture. Join Ron Hipschman for Everything Matters: Rhodium and find out how this hard, valuable element goes from earth’s crust (or...potatoes?) to powering our catalytic converters.
Light Draws the Picture: From the Photograph to the Hologram
With Paul Dancstep
8:30 p.m. | Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum
Photographs and holograms are both images made with light—but in different ways, using its different qualities. Join Paul Dancstep to find out how particles of light make photography possible, while holograms take advantage of light’s wave-like behavior, and how you can better understand the difference using Exploratorium exhibits, vintage holograms, and works by the artist Tristan Duke.
Osher Gallery 1
$10; not included with museum admission
Buy Tactile Dome Tickets
You can also purchase tickets for these sessions on-site at the Information Desk as well as for later sessions at 7:45, 8:30, and 9:15 p.m.
Journey through total darkness in this twisting, turning, tactile sculpture. Walk, crawl, climb, and slide your way through a wonderland of textures using only your sense of touch as a guide.
Please Note: Due to the nature of this experience, certain restrictions apply. Guests who are afraid of the dark; claustrophobic; have back, neck, or knee injuries; or are in their third trimester of pregnancy should not participate. Guests wearing casts are prohibited. Also, please wear comfortable clothes.
You can reserve tickets for our 6:15 and 7:00 p.m. sessions. We also operate sessions at 7:45, 8:30, and 9:15 p.m.; tickets can be purchased on-site at the Information Desk.
Learn more about the Tactile Dome.
6:00–9:45 unless noted
Various locations throughout the museum
Ticketing at 6:00 p.m., first come, first served
Osher Gallery 1
Draw hypnotically flowing patterns with a swinging table, and watch friction cause the patterns to slowly shrink along a spiral path. Pick up a ticket to reserve your spot in line for this popular activity.
Bechtel Gallery 3
Tune in to surrounding sounds by experimenting with strings and vibrations, and use electromagnets to build a basic speaker. Learn how to listen with your bones, and explore the workings of the inner ear.
Van de Graaff Generator
With the Explainers
Bechtel Gallery 3
Get ready to have your hair stand on end (literally). Experience our electrostatic generator firsthand—with high-voltage direct-current electricity turned down to low current levels, our Van de Graaff generator both will, and won’t, shock you. Please keep your hands on the sphere until our Explainers tell you to let go!
Cow Eye or Flower Dissection (alternating)
Do cows see color? How does a lens work? Examine the intricate structure of a cow eye to learn about similar structures in our own eyes, as well as some key differences.
Stigma, stamen, pistil, anther, style: Uncover the beautiful architecture of flower anatomy, and gather some surprising strategies that plants use to reproduce.
Osher Gallery 1
Everything is not as it seems—at first. Pick a card, any card, and watch the Explainers reveal some surprising aspects of human perception.