Night of Knowledge 2015 and DESY DAY

November 13, 2015

With about 60 volunteers and 6 booths the young Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter for the first time took part in the Hamburg Night of Knowledge and the DESY Open Day.

9500 visitors came to learn about the science done at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science.

More than 18,000 visitors came to the research campus Hamburg-Bahrenfeld last Saturday to gain insight into the on-site institutes during the DESY DAY and the Night of Knowledge. 9,500 people visited the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL), in which besides the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter also groups of DESY and the Cluster of Excellence CUI presented their research. This means that the number of visitors at CFEL has almost doubled compared to 2013.

Protein folding at the computer.

At the entrance of the CFEL building, visitors were greeted with an architectural model of the new building for the Max Planck Institute and learned about the current state of planning. Many also were pleased about the offer to take home a free copy of the MaxPlanckResearch, the science magazine of the Max Planck Society, or to register for a free subscription.

Synchronization of Metronomes.

Researchers from the different scientific departments of the Max Planck Institute fascinated the visitors with a laser show, with the presentation of an inverted pendulum, and with the opportunity to experiment with the structure of proteins on the computer. The visitors could also marvel at self-synchronizing metronomes on a common, movable platform, and with the help of a set-up including wine glasses they could comprehend how vibrations of molecules are studied in the laboratory.

Diffraction patterns created with a laser pointer.

Moreover, our scientists demonstrated with the help of a laser pointer how diffraction patterns of molecules arise and answered questions about the novel laser scalpel “PIRL”, which is developed in collaboration with the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf.

Overall, at the sixth edition of the Night of Knowledge more than 1,000 activities at 55 universities and research institutions attracted curious visitors to discover the scientific landscape of Hamburg. With more than 30,000 citizens interested in science the Night of Knowledge celebrated a new visitor record.

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