There are innumerable applications of copper in technology. In this case too the theme has been tackled by splitting it up into several areas, ranging from the history and properties of copper to the things that are made out of the mineral and from scrap; from the relationship of copper with energy to its use in transport, telecommunications and electronics, in farming and the food industry, in medicine and in construction.
Copper is a fundamental component of the telecommunications network, which relies on the copper duplex cable. It is also a component of superconductors, of shape-memory alloys and of microprocessors for the computer. It is an essential material in information processing and communications. It is an ideal conductor of heat for the distribution of energy at reasonable costs and in a way compatible with environmental sustainability. Used in medicine since the time of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who prescribed copper and its compounds for personal hygiene; modern scientific research has discovered its antimicrobial properties. Finally copper is a recyclable material par excellence. Significant and carefully selected examples of these applications are presented in the exhibition.
It is emblematic that the exhibition opens and closes with two key elements of the part devoted to technology. The first object that the visitor meets on entering the exhibition has a symbolic value: it is “native copper.” A small fragment of ore in which copper gleams. The exhibition ends with a particle detector, in which copper plays an essential role. It is one of the most advanced technological devices in existence.