Show Main Menu Hide Main Menu

Wissen vom Fass: Experiencing current research in a bar

“My head is no particle accelerator”, a guest in Max & Consorten has put it with a smile. Nevertheless, she was apparently taking great pleasure in Prof. Haller´s lecture – being one of  80 guests in the bar near central station, who listened carefully what the “big bang in the laboratory” is all about, as Haller´s talk was titled. Together with 45 scientists the professor for particle physics at collider experiments at Universität Hamburg participated in the second round of “Wissen vom Fass” (Science on Tap). The aim: to increase interest in current research topics.


CUI Prof. Markus Drescher (Universität Hamburg) explained, how common digital cameras can be used for extra fast imaging. Credit: Andreas Vallbracht

46 scientists spoke simultaneously in 46 bars all over Hamburg from Schenefeld to Wilhelmsburg, explaining their projects and answering questions about current scientific problems. Patronage had again been taken by Katharina Fegebank, second mayor of Hamburg. Together with the President of Universität Hamburg, Prof. Dieter Lenzen, she was kept up-to-date in Café Hadleys about astrophysics. “How loud was the big bang?”, Prof. Jan Louis asked there. He had initiated the event, which he had heard about at the Weizman Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel, and then imported it to Hamburg in 2015. The idea is to bring science closer to people, to raise their curiosity and thus to show that science is part of our culture – just like a visit to the theater or in a bar.


CUI Postdoc Juliette Simonet (Universität Hamburg) brought the audience to the absolute zero point. Credit: Andreas Vallbracht

So the main focus of the event is not on understanding everything, but on raising interest for the topics. Apparently, some guests had the same experience than the lady in Max & Consorten. Mirjam Rüscher, for example, wrote in the Hamburger Abendblatt about her visit in the bar LUSTis: “I admit, I didn´t understand everything Bressler talked about, but it doesn’t really bother me. It’s really entertaining and a great atmosphere.” With the help of a laser pointer and fun glasses, European XFEL and CUI scientist Christian Bressler had explained how chemical reactions can be filmed.

Wissen vom Fass Wilhelmsburg

Christian Schwanenberger, Leading Scientist at DESY, used a magnifying glass to look into the secret of dark matter. Credit: Bente Stachowske

Wissen vom Fass Wilhelmsburg

Prof. Matthias Glaubrecht (Universität Hamburg) is an expert for the biodiversity of animals. Credit: Bente Stachowske

Others had brought mussels, balls or star constellations to present their research as vividly as possible. Apparently, they enjoyed going into the bars just like it pleased the estimated 2,000 people who had joined science on tap.

“Wissen vom Fass” is organized by DESY, Universität Hamburg, CUI, the Collaborative Research Centre 676, the Department of Physics, and PIER. Next date: 27 April 2017. Text: Adler