Megan Gafford
Subatomic Chorus
custom-built Geiger counters

Subatomic Chorus is a grouping of five Geiger counters standing on pedestals. These machines are sensitive enough to detect the background radiation that bombards us all of the time. The Geiger counters chirp every time they detect nuclear radiation, as if they were singing together in a choir. They draw attention to the invisible, subatomic world that impacts our DNA in ways scientists do not fully understand.

The international model used for gauging radiation exposure safety predicts that a lifetime dose of background radiation is harmful. For this reason the model is controversial, because researchers don’t have conclusive evidence that such harm occurs. Some scientists argue that these low levels are actually good for us, or even necessary to sustain life. Ultimately, we just don’t know if constant and unavoidable exposure to low level radiation is helpful or harmful. Subatomic Chorus won’t let you overlook that reality.