The Realm of the Particle introduced guests to the subatomic world of protons, neutrons, electrons, and even smaller particles such as quarks and photons.
Of all the Seven Realms, this one was by far the strangest, seeming to have been designed more for grown-ups than for kids. Its many subtle plays on words and concepts induced a state of consciousness in which one was led to question the nature of reality itself .
Realm Layout and Design
Designed on the model of an atom, the realm consisted of a concentric series of "electron shells" -- circular streets lined with shops, mini attractions and eateries, which rotated in relation to one another. This was achieved through a complex system of subterranean motors and treadmills on which the entire Realm was mounted.
Periodically, a shop or cafe might "jump" to a different shell, causing it to appear in a different location than the one in which it appeared on park guidemaps. This was intended to provide a tangible demonstration of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle , which states that it is impossible to know both the position and the momentum of a particle at the same time.
In fact, OmniPark guidemaps never provided precise locations for any attraction, shop or eatery within The Realm of the Particle, offering only tongue-in-cheek "probabilities" that certain edifices could be found in certain locations at certain times.
In the Outer Shell, guests could shop at the oddly named Everything in Particular General Store, which offered jars of glowing "photons," glass spheres of "electrons," and other particle-related souvenirs. The Middle Shell contained the Outer Inn, which might be described as the world's very first molecular gastronomy restaurant (though it existed for nearly a decade before that term was coined in 1988).
The Inner Shell contained a banner inviting guests to ride "Quantum Catastrophe: A Particle Physics Adventure."
Attraction: Quantum Catastrophe
As guests entered the queuing area for this ride, they were treated to a colorful show of particle cloud chamber displays, woven together into complex works of moving art across the domed ceiling and walls. Instead of proceeding in a typical zig-zag pattern, the queue spiraled inward, leading guests toward the a central chamber where they boarded ride vehicles that resembled round sparkling particles.
While boarding, guests were introduced to the Physicist: a long-haired man with a great black beard, who explained that he and the Inventor had created most of the technology that made OmniPark's rides possible (e.g., the Scalar Portal, the Hyperspace Ring, the Time Tunneler, etc.). The Physicist now told riders that he would demonstrate his technology's most wondrous application yet -- he would shrink himself and his guests down to the scale of a quark, and see how the force of gravity is generated at the subatomic level.