What is fluorescence?

And why should you know?

What is she doing in the lab, you ask? Isn’t that dangerous? Who let her in there? Don’t worry! I’m nowhere near a laboratory and these pictures are actually from my sister. For some reason, she became a talented scientist and is currently writing her bachelor thesis in nanoscience with a specialisation in organic chemistry. And she is doing pretty cool stuff and I only understand half of it. But I do understand the part about fluorescence and it’s not only pretty but also very useful.

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Electrochemical fuel cells as a science toy

Explaining energy conversion efficiency and combustion

You probably already know that I write a lot about physics experiments. But I also love science toys and today I want to talk about something more chemical than physical. Obviously, the electrochemical fuel cell cars I am talking about can (and in my opinion should) be included in physics education, because talking about energy conversion efficiency in real life and authentic settings is so valuable. The big advantage of fuel cell car toys is that they combine fun with science with real interdisciplinary science learning. See for yourselves!

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Graduation Towers and saline solutions

What does evaporation have to do with spa towns?

As you might have noticed by the lack of an experiment last week, I’ve been on a vacation and enjoyed some time away from work, Instagram and my blog. But I can tell you – my mind never wanders far from fascinating physical phenomena and so when I went on a stroll in the region I grew up with, I came across the graduation towers and enjoyed the fresh breeze filled with salty smell just like the ocean. We used to go there often when I was a kid and I really enjoyed talking a walk there. They don’t have anything to do with a school graduation but are used for increasing the concentration of saline solutions. And that’s exactly what I want to talk about today, so this will be a more theoretical blogpost with a little chemistry and physics backgrounds. Enjoy.

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Seaside physics teaching: Looking at water to understand optics

Guest post by Mirjam

Since I am currently on vacation, I asked my dear friend Mirjam for help with this weeks experimental friday. And I can tell you, you’re in for a treat. She is deeply into oceanography and especially wavewatching, which, as you can probably tell, go very well together. And what makes her thoughts and ideas so outstanding is how she manages to see waves and patterns every time she looks upon water. I truly admire that. So let’s see what she can teach us about optics by looking at water.

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Lunar and Solar Eclipses

Modelling with an apple and an egg

Last Tuesday, on July 16th 2019, we had a partial lunar eclipse which was visible in Germany. Unfortunately it was too cloudy for me to see but when I was 8, there was a solar eclipse right over Germany (in 1999) and I loved the event. I didn’t quite understand how rare solar eclipses are when you don’t travel to see one. I guess I’d appreciate it so much more now. Lunar eclipses are more common but still events for themselves. And what I also love about eclipses is that there are so many ways to visualize and understand these phenomena. I’ll explain three in this post.

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Why does a Laptop get hot?

Thoughts about the energy concept

Let’s talk about energy. But don’t despair, this won’t become too theoretical. I promise. All I want to do is to nudge you into the right direction of thinking about energy as a concept that can explain many things in everyday life. Because that’s all there is to it. Obviously, the last sentence isn’t true, as energy is still something worth researching. But the technicalities are not important, but how we think about it is. So let me give you an example.

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Through a different kind of lens

Using waterdrop art to explain optics

I am a huge fan of the art of photography. I love how some people are able to catch the perfect moment at the perfect time and place and just get it right with their camera. And sometimes, things can turn out pretty science-y. And when you think about it, it’s pretty obvious how photography is a lot of optical physics. Let me show you what I mean.

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