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The Virtual Theatre

The Virtual Theatre is our visualization and communication space. Physically, the environment looks like a small movie theater, but to make it "special" there is a semi-cylindrical screen, three meters by nine, 2 projectors for 3D projection and a computer that guides the presentation (its technological specifications are described in Resources). 
The idea behind a virtual theater, driven by computers and making use of powerful projectors to display three-dimensionality, is that of a space dedicated to the vision, the understanding, as at the origins of Greek theater. Looking for understanding, means not to be passive but active, interacting with the information and models.

From a computational point of view this means to create interactive applications for scientific visualization aimed at the exploration of large amounts of data coming from different sources, or from sensors (environmental or medical, for example) or view the results of simulations dedicated to terrestrial physics, meteorology, physics of matter, astrophysics, chemistry, the study of molecules...

At the theater you can immerse yourself in the virtual three-dimensional images of virtual reality applied to scientific research, from bioengineering to cultural heritage, astrophysics to fluid dynamics. A journey to discover the potentials of supercomputers and scientific visualization, which allows you to convert images involving complex equations in something easier to understand. An important source for the researcher, who can visually prove their hypotheses, and the public, who may enter, in the true sense of the word, in the research results.

In 1999, when the virtual theater was installed, it was a unique initiative: the first interactive virtual environment in Italy and one of the first in Europe. Today, with the fast progress of technology, you can experience the three-dimensionality and the sense of immersion even through laptops. Anyway, it is still very useful, for example in the set up of museums, or for educational and communication purposes.
For example, at the Urban Center of Bologna, situated on the second floor of the Sala Borsa library, in Piazza del Nettuno, is available the "Cineca Virtual Atelier", a space dedicated to schools and cultural, educational and informative initiatives.