Happy Birthday PhotonLab!

The MPQ student lab PhotonLab turns 10, and more than 100 virtual guests were there to celebrate the anniversary with tours, talks, and workshops.

On the occasion of this first big anniversary and the success story of the MPQ student lab, PhotonLab organised a special digital event: on 16 and 23 July 2021, a teacher training programme took place, as well as a celebration event on the 23rd that was open to the general public and included talks by MPQ directors Professor Ferenc Krausz and Professor Gerhard Rempe.

The anniversary event kicked off on 16 July with an interesting tour given by Frank Deppe from MCQST. Silke Stähler-Schöpf and her team subsequently presented new methods for teaching quantum physics: with the help of the so-called "flipped classroom" concept, students can prepare more thoroughly for their visit at MPQ student lab. In addition to scientific posters in a virtual 3D-room, there are scientific books available that help students learn about physics in engaging and interesting ways. Well prepared, the students then can try out experiments on their own at during their visit at the MPQ student lab. The workshops that followed the presentation by Silke Stähler-Schöpf (e.g. on the Raman scattering or "Building bridges after the pandemic") were well-frequented and received positive feedback.

The following Friday, the actual day of the student lab's birthday, offered several highlights at once. After an entertaininig introduction to the student lab and its mission, two directors of the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics gave talks. Professor Ferenc Krausz explained in his visually impressive lecture what attosecond light impulses are and how they can be used in medicine for the early diagnosis of cancer. Professor Rempe, on the other hand, gave an entertaining talk titled "What is a photon?" that offered historical insight into the history of quantum physics and humorously concluded "a photon is a resource!" Several workshops including lab tours, quantum games and cubes, followed. The event then concluded with a quiz on the topics that had come up in the talks and workshops.

The virtual guests were delighted, with one participant commenting: "Thank you for these great events on the occasion of the 10-year-anniversary. The mixture of scientific talks, lab tours, and didactical information on teaching materials was interesting and useful. If possible, it would be great if you could at least stream your talks online in the future, so that people from elsewhere can attend.

Happy Birthday, PhotonLab, here's to the next 10 years of the MPQ student lab!

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