Ph.D.-students explained nuclear and particle physics:

FAIR at Night of Science in Frankfurt

The mechanic model of a linear accelerator (Photo: Markus Bernards for FAIR)

Recently, Frankfurt University opened its doors to the public to give interested visitors the opportunity to find out and experience what it is like to operate a particle accelerator, to see a strange liquid jump on a loudspeaker or to participate in a science quiz and win a prize. During the Night of Science, Ph.D.-students of the Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research (HGS-HIRe for FAIR) presented in cooperation with other physics students several experimental stations and answered questions of interested visitors until midnight.


It really got late! Around 5,500 guests visited the Night of Science  on June 22 at Campus Riedberg, Frankfurt University, to experience the fascination of natural science. At an exhibition called "Particles and Waves - Hands on Modern Physics" organized by HGS-HIRe for FAIR, GSI, and the University Institutes of Nuclear Physics and Physics Education, the visitors could immerge into the world of atoms and quarks.


For example, little balls could be accelerated using a mechanic model of a linear accelerator, and a wooden model showed how a particle collision experiment works. Harmless radioactive sources like an incandescent mantle or fertilizer were used to test which kind of material can shield nuclear radiation. The students showed that a liquid made of flour and water may show a very strange behaviour when acting as a non-Newtonian fluid, and that cosmic particles may be shown in a spark chamber. A science quiz challenged the visitors to test their knowledge, and rewarded the participants with books and other prizes at midnight.


The Helmholtz Graduate School for Hadron and Ion Research "HGS-HIRe for FAIR" is a joint endeavor of the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung, Darmstadt, the universities at Darmstadt, Frankfurt, Giessen, Heidelberg and Mainz in collaboration with FIAS to promote and support structured PhD education for research associated with GSI and FAIR.

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