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Saturdays with Physics

Some people know already from their primary school that physics is the discipline of their heart and studying it at the university is a clear choice for them. For those who are not so sure we offer the opportunity of a trial study of physics. At the beginning of the year, usually in January, we organise so-called Saturdays with Physics, where secondary school students have the chance to obtain a clear idea of what studying physics involves.

The topic of Saturdays with Physics is light. The programme starts with a lecture, which revises the basic characteristics of light and frequently used terminology. After the lecture, students are divided into three smaller groups, completing three practical blocks in sequence. You can find the summary of the individual blocks below.

If you are interested in participating in one of the Saturdays with Physics in 2020, send an e-mail to: fyzsob@physics.muni.cz. Do not forget to include your name, surname, year of study and preferred dates of free Saturdays in January.

Block 1 - Experience Light

Light is one of the most important physical phenomena. From our birth we see the world through light and it is thanks to light that we have the stunning opportunity to explore it. But what actually is light? How is it created? How does it spread? What is the path of “light” information from its source to our mind? Can light/images also deceive us? And does light have a memory?

If at least one of these questions makes you say: “Well, I would like to know!” you are encouraged to come and experience science together with all the others at the day with physics. We have prepared a variety of experiments for you. We will examine various sources of light - from a bulb to cold plasma. We will discover how light spreads and what happens when we place obstacles in its path. What does it mean that something has a colour and what happens when light is also ‘coloured’? And how do we know that it is actually coloured?! You will become familiar with modern instruments used to examine light and the world around us. You will learn that light has a memory and... But you know what? The best thing will be if you come and try it yourself!

Block 2 - Weighing the Black Hole in the Centre of Our Galaxy

The majority of space objects are so distant that the only way to get some information about them is to analyse the light they emit. In this respect, black holes are exceptional objects, only absorbing light and never releasing it. Our galaxy, like most of others, has a black hole with a really huge mass in its centre. If you want to know more about black holes and see how we are able to determine their weight using simple mathematics and physics, come and try it yourself!

Block 3 - Light in the Dark

On the way to the core of matter you may need a kind of torchlight that would hardly be of use in a dark forest - without having the right kind of eyes, preferably an x-ray one and an infrared one. What radiation with much higher, or conversely, much lower energy reveals about the characteristics of crystals (and not only them) than what we normally perceive, will be shown using various examples and experiments. Various traps and sophisticated obstacles for light can be also created artificially - there are unlimited possibilities for the production of the structures with dimensions comparable to those of light waves, offered by clean spaces which can also be seen at our faculty.