The Mouse Door Opener Day at MPQ 2022

On 3 October 2022, the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich opened its doors for children and their parents to experiment, marvel and participate.

October 14, 2022

Who doesn't know "Die Sendung mit der Maus"? For 50 years now, the droll mouse has accompanied entire TV generations with his jingling eyes together with the little blue elephant. As part of the fun and factual stories, the program is suitable for children and is always informative about interesting facts from the world of science and technology. On October 3, 2022, the time finally came again. The mouse issued a nationwide invitation to "Mouse Door Opener Day" and numerous scientific and technical institutions responded to its call, opening their doors and putting on an extensive program for young and old. The Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics in Garching near Munich was also part of the party and encouraged children and adults to marvel and participate.

The starting signal was given at 10:00 a.m. and although the weather did not seem particularly inviting on National Day, many parents and children were looking forward to their visit to the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (MPQ). After the welcome and a short introduction by Dr. Silke-Stähler-Schöpf, head of the PhotonLab student lab at the MPQ, things got underway. At various booths, young and old had the opportunity to experiment freely and become researchers themselves.

The school laboratory was also open, of course. Here you could marvel at a real laser in action. In addition, there were laboratory tours where young and old could take a look around a real laser laboratory with a real laser scientist. Dr. Ioachim Pupeza, who is himself a researcher at the institute, explained to those present what there is to see here and answered questions that the interested participants asked him.

In addition to the experiments of the in-house PhotonLab, there was also active support from members of the Munich School Labs Association MUC-Labs such as the "Little Lab" and the "Museum Mineralogia", which also invited visitors to actively participate at their booths. For example, visitors could use a model outdoors to understand what happens during a volcanic eruption.

Another highlight was the live reading of the radio play "Alice in Quantum Land", which was produced for children on the initiative of the Photonlab. Dr Veit Ziegelmaier and Sofie Silbermann slipped again into their roles as "Schrödinger's cat" and "Alice" and experienced all kinds of mysteries in the quantum world. Of course, both were also happy to meet the mouse as their host! In the final quiz, Schrödinger's cat was also the most coveted prize. The "Mouse Door Opener Day" at MPQ then ended with satisfied faces. And the positive and warm feedback afterwards made it clear to us that the interest was very great. In this respect, we are already looking forward to the next visit of the mouse.

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