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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ In the beginning, ecologists built simple mathematical models and simple laboratory microcosms.
▪ It was a fantastic microcosm, full of humour and savagery.
▪ New Hampshire is hardly a microcosm of the United States.
▪ The family is a microcosm of social existence for which our young are pre-adapted.
▪ The final game was the series in microcosm.
▪ The state has become a microcosm of the economic change that has gripped the nation.
▪ The wall is a microcosm of a city where art well and truly thrived.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Microcosm \Mi"cro*cosm\, n. [F. microcosme, L. microcosmus, fr. Gr. mikro`s small + ko`smos the world.]

  1. A little world; a miniature universe. Hence (so called by Paracelsus), a man, as a supposed epitome of the exterior universe or great world. Opposed to macrocosm.

  2. A relatively small object or system considered as representative of a larger system of which it is part, exhibiting many features of the complete system.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, mycrocossmos (modern form from early 15c.), "human nature, man viewed as the epitome of creation," literally "miniature world," from Middle French microcosme and in earliest use directly from Medieval Latin microcosmus, from Greek mikros "small" (see mica) + kosmos "world" (see cosmos). General sense of "a community constituting a world unto itself" is attested from 1560s. Related: Microcosmic. A native expression in the same sense was petty world (c.1600).


n. 1 Human nature or the human body as representative of the wider universe; man considered as a miniature counterpart of divine or universal nature. (from 15th c.) 2 (context obsolete English) The human body; a person. (17th-19th c.) 3 A smaller system which is seen as representative (term: of) a larger one. (from 17th c.)


n. a miniature model of something

Microcosm (CERN)

Microcosm is an interactive exhibition presenting the work of the CERN particle physics laboratory and its flagship accelerator the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The exhibition displays many real objects, taking visitors on a journey through CERN’s key installations, from the Hydrogen bottle, source of the protons that are injected into the LHC, through the first step in the accelerator chain, the Linac, on to a model of a section of the Large Hadron Collider including elements from the superconducting magnets. Visitors can interact with the displays to try their hand at the controls of a particle accelerator – simulating the acceleration of protons in the LHC and bringing them into collision inside the experiments.

The exhibition continues with a 1 :1 scale model of a complete slice through the CMS experiment at the LHC. The computing section displays some of the Oracle data tapes used to store the 30-40 petabytes of data produced yearly by the experiments, made available for analysis using the LHC Computing GRID.

The annex to the exhibition contains other historical artifacts such as the central tracker from the UA1 detector, which ran at the Super Proton Synchrotron at CERN from 1981 to 1984, and helped discover the W and Z bosons.

Microcosm is located at CERN in the Canton of Geneva, Switzerland, near the town of Meyrin. Entrance is free, without reservation, open 6 days a week.

The current exhibition officially opened in January 2016. Contents were developed by CERN in collaboration with spanish design team Indissoluble.


Microcosm may refer to:

  • Macrocosm and microcosm, a philosophical idea
  • Microcosm (CERN), a museum near Geneva, Switzerland
  • Microcosm (clock), a unique clock made by Henry Bridges of Waltham Abbey, England
  • Microcosm (experimental ecosystem)
  • Microcosm (hypermedia system), an early hypermedia system that predated the World Wide Web
  • Microcosm (video game), a 1993 shoot-'em-up by Psygnosis
  • Microcosm Ltd, a UK software protection company
  • Microcosm Publishing, an independent publisher and distributor based in Portland, Oregon, and Bloomington, Indiana
  • Microcosm: E. coli and the New Science of Life, a 2008 book by Carl Zimmer
  • Microcosm: Portrait of a Central European City, a 2002 book by Norman Davies and Roger Moorhouse
  • The Microcosm, a microscope shop on Regent Street, London, run by Carpenter and Westley
Microcosm (experimental ecosystem)

Microcosms are artificial, simplified ecosystems that are used to simulate and predict the behaviour of natural ecosystems under controlled conditions. Open or closed microcosms provide an experimental area for ecologists to study natural ecological processes. Microcosm studies can be very useful to study the effects of disturbance or to determine the ecological role of key species. A Winogradsky column is an example of a microbial microcosm.

Microcosm (hypermedia system)

Microcosm was a hypermedia system, originally developed in 1988 by the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton, with a small team of researchers in the Computer Science group: Wendy Hall, Andrew Fountain, Hugh Davis and Ian Heath. The system pre-dates the web and builds on early hypermedia systems, such as Ted Nelson's work and that of Doug Engelbart.

Microcosm (album)

MICROCOSM is Flow's sixth studio album. The album comes into two editions: regular and limited. The limited edition includes a bonus DVD. It reached #9 on the Oricon charts and charted for 5 weeks. *

Microcosm (clock)

Microcosm was a unique clock made by Henry Bridges of Waltham Abbey, England. It stood 10–12 feet high, and six across the base, it toured Great Britain, North America and possibly Europe as a visual and musical entertainment as well as demonstrating astronomical movements.

It was first advertised for exhibition in 1733, but it is also claimed that Sir Isaac Newton, who died in 1727, checked the mechanism. Several prints survive of Microcosm including one of 1734 showing Newton and Bridges. When Henry Bridges died in 1754 he left the clock to his three youngest children to be sold. It is unclear when the clock left the Bridges family but it continued touring until 1775 when it vanished. The astronomical clock was found in Paris in 1929 and is now in the British Museum.

When on tour, the entrance fee was 1s, which was high for the time. Souvenir pamphlets were also sold. It had 4 parts, from the top:

  1. Three scenes which alternated: 9 muses playing musical instruments, Orpheus in the forest, and a grove with birds flying and singing
  2. Beneath a grand arch were 2 astronomical clocks, one showing the Ptolemaic system, the other Copernican.
  3. Two planetariums, one showing the solar system, showing 10 months move in 10 minutes, Another showing Jupiter and its 4 satellites, and on the front face was a seascape with ships sailing and in the foreground, horse-drawn carriages galloping and a gunpowdermill and a windmill turning, swans swimming
  4. In the pedestal was a working carpenters’ yard

The machine played mechanical music but the organ could also be played by hand. The music was mostly new, some composed especially for it.

John R Milburn stated: ‘There were other broadly similar though less comprehensive devices in existence in the first half of the eighteenth century… The importance of Bridges’ ‘Microcosm’, however, lies in the nature of its displays (combining automated pictures to attract the multitude with educational astronomical models) and the widespread publicity that accompanied it on its travels’.

It was viewed by George Washington, and by members of the Lunar Society; Richard L Edgeworth left an account of seeing it at Chester in his biography, so links it with the notions of child-centred education promoted by Rousseau.

The mechanism was constantly being updated, so was part of the circuit of travelling science shows of the early to mid 18th century, providing education to the public who could afford it.

Category:Individual clocks

Microcosm (video game)

Microcosm is a 3D rail shooter video game developed and published by Psygnosis in 1993. It was originally developed for the FM Towns, and also ported for the Sega Mega-CD, Amiga CD32, and 3DO game consoles, as well as MS-DOS. Microcosm featured realistic FMV animation, with the graphics being rendered on Silicon Graphics workstations. The game is either in the first person or the third person view depending on the gaming system.

Usage examples of "microcosm".

Furthermore, the interplay of similitudes was hitherto infinite: it was always possible to discover new ones, and the only limitation came from the fundamental ordering of things, from the finitude of a world held firmly between the macrocosm and the microcosm.

This is a part of the process by which the creation is projected: the microcosm and the macrocosm are always present.

The more this microcosm contains reflections or points of reference to the macrocosm - both the inward and the outward universes - then the higher is the potential consciousness, awareness or intelligence of the creature.

Robert Boyle, too, strongly advocated the biblical assertion that humans are made in the image of God, not nature, and this undermined the organic model of nature, which drew analogies between microcosm and macrocosm and between humans and the rest of creation.

This microcosm is the mind patterning around a soul which permits it greater or lesser awareness of the greater empyrean.

In cyberspace there are a wide variety of mental health resources, including support groups, informational websites, assessment and psychotherapeutic software, and comprehensive self-help programs - not to mention the potentially therapeutic nature of online relationships and communities as social microcosms.

Only in the jealous vocabularies of the Homebodies, so long tied to their hutches and routines that the scope of mind and emotion had narrowed to fit their microcosm.

And the configuration of that microcosm also determines just what the encumbered soul perceives of the universe.

How could she bear to see herself like that --to see in microcosm what this world would be reduced to in a few more years, when the off worlders abandoned it again?

In turn, I contained a microcosm of my own-a deration field easing gradually as I let her out into the groove.

At the end of the dynasty, the Einsteins and die Fermis, after hunting for the secret in the heart of the microcosm, stumble upon the wrong invention: instead of telluric energy—clean, natural, sapiential—they discover atomic energy—technological, unnatural, polluted.

For evil, like chaos, was one of the fundamental forces of Creation, manifest in both the macrocosm of the wide world and the microcosm of the individual soul.

Units known as Cryptologic Service Groups (CSGs) bring NSA in microcosm to the national security community and forces in the field.

But with a joke animal we can test our thesis in microcosm, harmlessly.

Then there's the problem of an evil stepmother and her son, a dragon in one of the attics, feral furniture, and the fact that the house appears to be the world in microcosm -- by which I mean, if the house is in good repair, then so is the greater world beyond its doors, but if the lamps aren't all lit, the clocks not all wound, it has dire consequences for both the house and our world.