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Are you ready for the big chill?
In modern Western society, we are not always aware of the role coldness plays
in our daily life. This exhibition presents the many sides of cold and
immerses the visitor into different worlds.

Challenges for the living world

When faced with cold, how do living things react? What damage is done to the human organism? What are the effects on plants? How can some animals survive where the cold is the most extreme? How can cold be used to heal, preserve, or study the living world? Can we cryopreserve a human being? Does cold enable the living world to push back certain boundaries, and if so, which ones?

Discover what lies hidden beneath the concept of "perceived cold" or "wind chill", be it in humans, animals, or plants.

Challenges for society

How was cold used before refrigerating machines were invented? Do you know how they work? Why does the fridge heat up your kitchen? Why is it is important not to break the cold chain? What is the difference between freezing and deep freezing? How is cold used in various sectors of human activity and of daily life?

In the XIXth Century, human ingenuity took up a challenge: generating cold. Today, the quest for cold takes into account the issues of sustainable development. This sector of activity plays a major economic role, with 12 million people working in it across the world.

Challenges for science

What do we know about the behaviour of matter at extremely low temperatures? What happens when we force gases to liquefy by cooling them, and why do we do it? What is absolute zero and why can we never reach it? How do we get close to it? How does matter behave as we approach absolute zero?

Welcome to the field of extreme cold! Discover a new world and change the way you see familiar materials!

On show at Cité des sciences et de l'industrie from December 5, 2017

Floor area

For rent

Setup time


Dismantling time



+ 33 1 40 05 73 53



  • Coldness
  • biology
  • chemistry
  • research



The city of Paris boasts two prestigious centres promoting science and technology, the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and the Palais de la Découverte. From January 1st, 2010, they have joined forces to create a new institution: Universcience placed under the joint responsibility of the Ministry for Higher Education, Research and Innovation and the Ministry for Culture. With almost 3.5 million visitors each year (3 million at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie and 550 000 at the Palais de la découverte), Universcience is the fourth most popular cultural establishment in Paris after the Louvre, Versailles and the Georges-Pompidou Centre.

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