The long-awaited RWTH Aachen University Science Night is finally back! From 7 pm to midnight on Friday, November 11, 2022, the general public was invited to gain numerous insights into the world of science. The scientific topics included everyday questions on physics, biology, and chemistry, as well as cutting-edge research.
Norman Thimm, a physics bachelor student at RWTH Aachen University and team member of the physics school lab SciPhyLab, performed the experiment “PHODE” on wave-particle duality for school as an introduction to quantum physics. At his booth, he presented wave-particle duality using a construction consisting of a laser, a double slit, an image intensifier, and the PHODE software. The developed software allows for visualizing an interference pattern building up successively in time. Not only visualizing both wave and particle character of quantum objects but also their statistical character. This experimental setup is an excellent possibility to perform an experiment on quantum physics, which is suitable for school practice. The setup was purchased for the SciPhyLab within the ML4Q Educational Package and Norman’s Bachelor work focused on establishing the setup and optimizing its use for school visits.
Visitors came from diverse backgrounds: From families with small children to high school students, university undergraduates, master students, and academic experts. Here are some of the overall impressions that night:
For us, this is the first time here. We are all in an advanced physics course in school, where we did a similar experiment on the wave-particle duality. We found it very easy to follow and exciting that you could see two experiments in one at the same time.
I’m interested in physics, but I haven’t chosen a major yet. Here I had the opportunity to see what I actually want to do further in the future. The experiment [PHODE] was very understandable. We didn’t do hands-on experiments in school, and to see it all, in reality, was very cool.
This is our first time here. Here you really get to see what physics is behind the theory. If you went back in time 200 years ago, if someone saw this, they might think it’s some kind of magic! It is quite interesting; actually, we did the same experiment in my bachelor’s, but the particular instruments here are much better than in my college. It was great to see that what we were studying matched with his [Norman] experiment’s results.
More about the RWTH Science Night here!