Museum of Science and Industry

Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze

Opens October 8, 2014

Exhibit Essentials

This exhibit is suitable for all ages.
Included with Museum Entry. Requires free, timed-entry ticket (available onsite).

Patterns are everywhere … if you know where to look!

From the delicate nested spirals of a sunflower’s seeds, to the ridges of a majestic mountain range, to the layout of the universe, mathematical patterns abound in the natural world. Numbers in Nature: A Mirror Maze is a new permanent exhibit that will expose and explain the patterns that surround us, and then immerse you in a maze of seemingly endless mirrors.

As you enter Numbers in Nature, lenticular images animate to reveal the hidden repeating patterns throughout nature. A large-format movie uses stunning imagery and animated graphics to uncover even more spirals, occurrences of the "golden ratio," Voronoi patterns, and fractal branching found in places like the human body, as well as in art and architecture. Find them for yourself as you manipulate other images to trigger the reveal of their underlying geometry.

The exhibit's centerpiece is the 1,800-square-foot mirror maze, a sea of equilateral triangle chambers that repeat in a dizzying array of mirrors. Can you navigate the maze to find the small secret room within? If so, you'll unlock even more puzzles and secret patterns in nature.

Complete your journey through Numbers in Nature in the gallery of interactives, where digital displays and stations let you see even more patterns in nature—including those in your own body—and discover mathematical ratios hidden within centuries of music, art and architecture. These Numbers in Nature and many more will be revealed, starting October 8, 2014.

This exhibit is included in Museum Entry, but requires a free, timed-entry ticket.

Museum Hours
  • Daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
    Open daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas
More Information

Museum Location
Museum of Science+Industry
5700 S. Lake Shore Drive
Chicago, IL 60637
1 (773) 684-1414
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