1,300 visitors at the Long Night of Sciences in Wannsee

Exciting tricks with liquid nitrogen; Photo: Ingo Kniest

For the first time, people got to visit the new high field magnet which, at 26 Tesla, delivers the world’s strongest magnetic field for neutron scattering; Photo: Ingo Kniest

Glowing of lasers in the femtoseconds labortory; Photo: Ingo Kniest

1,300 visitors to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin. Thank you for your interest. Phot: Ingo Kniest

Despite muggy-warm temperatures and storms on Saturday, thousands of eager people once again rolled in to catch up on the science in the region. 1,300 visitors to the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin took part in guided tours through laboratories and the colourful hands-on programme. We have captured the best moments with Storify.

Around 500 people spent the Night of Sciences touring the experimental areas around the neutron source BER II, familiarising themselves with the research and safety strategies of the facility. For the first time, people got to visit the new high field magnet which, at 26 Tesla, delivers the world’s strongest magnetic field for neutron scattering.

HZB’s research on renewable energies was another especially popular topic: Visitors had the chance to explore the various labs where thin-film solar cells and materials are being studied for the Energy Transition. Researchers also demonstrated a small model of a fuel-cell car that runs on hydrogen. The hydrogen was produced right before the visitors’ eyes using solar energy. It is still a model, but the researchers are convinced that these solar fuels will perform greatly in future and play an important role in energy storage. There is of course much research to be done, for which the scientists need the electron storage ring BESSY II in Adlershof. Using a model, the colleagues from the other location explained on the Long Night what the big facility can do.

A special highlight was the lighting show by Dr. Andreas Korn-Müller, alias “Magic Andy”, who converted clear liquids into cola and amazed the public with his miraculous experiments. And, quite in passing, gave a lucid demonstration of physical terms such as light wavelength and luminescence. 

Those who wanted to do some experimenting of their own were able to watch exciting tricks with liquid nitrogen and discover for themselves what happens if you dip a balloon into a container of the sub-zero liquid. The tent of the School Lab was packed with interested kids. The curious visitors made batteries out of potatoes and lemons, or got a true feel for how much power a lightbulb consumes by generating the electricity on an exercise bike. Also highly popular were the round trips with the fire department. Those for whom the rain wasn’t enough got to put out a fire under the watchful eyes of the firemen.

The other scientific locations in Berlin and Potsdam proved equally popular: The organiser estimates around 26,500 visitors came to Berlin and Potsdam for the Long Night of Sciences – much the same as last year. Prof. Christian Thomsen, Chairman of Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften e. V. and President of Technische Universität Berlin reports:  “The Long Night of Science has been one of the big events in Berlin and Potsdam for 15 years. The unwaveringly high visitor response shows the enormous interest in our scientific work and encourages us to keep in touch with the public.”