Illustration: focusTerra/Oculus Illustration

Waves – dive in!

24 May 2024 to 5 January 2025

We’re constantly surrounded by waves everywhere, even if we’re only able to sense a few of them, such as water waves, sound waves, earthquake waves, and light waves. Waves are not only omnipresent in our lives, but are also used for a wide range of applications – in medicine, communication, when looking into the earth, and in navigation.

Listen, feel and experiment

With its large-format, colourful illustrations, and multiple hands-on exhibits, the focusTerra exhibition invites visitors to playfully discover the meaning, beauty, and power of waves with all their senses.

Listen to the waves, feel their energy, and experiment with them. Make earthquake wave dance in our fountain, experience what it’s like to listen like a dolphin, and measure the radiation of your mobile phone.

Find out, investigate, and discover

Discover how waves with the same properties can be used for all different kinds of applications. Measuring the thickness of a glacier and performing an ultrasound scan of an unborn baby, for instance, have more in common than one might at first suspect. And the way we use our ears to determine where a sound is coming from is similar to how we determine our location using GPS.

Let yourself be carried away and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of waves!

Admission charges

Admission charges to 26. August

Special exhibition:
Adults 5 euros
Discount 3 euros
Family ticket 10 euros
Groups of 10 or more adults 3 euros
Groups of 10 or more discount 2 euros

Combination ticket with permanent exhibition:
Adults 10 euros
Discount 6 euros
Family ticket 20 euros
Groups of 10 or more adults 6 euros
Groups of 10 or more discount 4 euros

Admission charges from 27. August

Special exhibition:
Adults 7 euros
Discount 5 euros
Family ticket 14 euros
Groups of 10 or more adults 5 euros
Groups of 10 or more discount 4 euros

Combination ticket with permanent exhibition:
Adults 12 euros
Discount 8 euros
Family ticket 24 euros
Groups of 10 or more adults 8 euros
Groups of 10 or more discount 6 euros

Return ticket: All admission tickets (except for group tickets) authorise the holder to visit the permanet exhibition a second time within twelve months of the original visit.

Groups from general-educational and training schools, universities and universities of applied sciences as well as groups of kindergarten and day-care children will be admitted free of charge by prior arrangement.

Guided tours

Guided Tours may be booked for school classes in Year 5 and above, as well as for private groups.

On Sundays at 1:30 PM, the HNF will offer a free, one-hour tour of the special exhibition. Participants have to pay the price of admission to the museum only. No advance registration is necessary.

Further information

Exhibition location: Third floor of the HNF

Exhibition floorspace: 800m2

The exhibition is recommended for adults and children over the age of seven.


From 19 to 26 August 2024, the special exhibition and the entire HNF will be closed for maintenance work!

This exhibition has been made possible by private individuals and

Department of Earth Sciences, ETH Zurich | Department of Physics, ETH Zurich | Eckardt Natursteine AG | Electrosuisse | ETH Library | ETH Zurich Foundation | First Advisory Group | GVZ Gebäudeversicherung Kanton Zürich | IT'IS Foundation and Schmid & Partner Engineering AG | No-Touch Robotics GmbH | Swiss Seismological Service SED | SNF Agora | City of Zurich | The Tomalla Foundation

An exhibition by focusTerra, ETH Zürich