Resonance is an artwork by Chris Henschke, developed in collaboration with particle physicists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland, as part of the art@CMS program. Resonance is a fundamental property of nature, and is found on all scales, from the subatomic to the cosmic.

On the subatomic scale, particles such as the Higgs boson are so ephemeral, they are known as resonances, existing for femtoseconds (a millionth of one billionth of a second). This particle (also known as the “God Particle”) was recently detected in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experi-ment at CERN. On the cosmic scale, scientists are searching for resonations called “Baryonic Acoustic Oscillations”. These are theorized dark matter waves caused by the Big Bang itself, which may be of giga-parsec wavelengths (1 gigaparsec is about a thousand galaxies wide).

Resonance uses cymatic vibrations in water to audio-visually manifest data from particle colli-sions in the LHC experiment. In collaboration with CERN physicists, Henschke turned data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) detector into audio, in a way that is expressive yet mathematically precise. Through the cymatic manifestations of the energies produced in the LHC, the artwork materially and conceptually expresses the essence of resonance.


Chris Henschke is an artist who works with digital and analogue media, sound and light, and high-energy physics.

His artworks have been exhibited internationally, and he has undertaken a variety of residencies including an online artist residency at the National Gallery of Australia (2004), an Asialink residency (2007), and two residencies at the Australian Synchrotron (2008 and 2010), supported by the Australian Network for Art and Technology and funded by Arts Victoria and the Australia Council for the Arts Synapse program. He has recently completed a Doctorate of Philosophy at Monash University, which included project work at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), Switzerland, as part of the ‘art@CMS’ collaboration program.

Resonance 2015-2018
Sound, water, particle collision data, media player, amplifier, exciter speaker, housing.
100 cm x 55 cm x 55 cm

Developed by Chris Henschke in collaboration with Wolfgang Adam and Michael Hoch, CERN. art@CMS