Understanding Physics!



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Physics Lectures for the Interested Public

These public physics lectures are targeted towards interested laypersons and are offered by the Department of Physics in collaboration with RWTHextern.

No special knowledge of physics is required for this lecture series. Physics experiments will be conducted during some of the events.

The events will be moderated by Professor Christopher Wiebusch and Professor Christoph Stampfer.

Admission is free of charge. Registration is not required. The requirements of the current Coronavirus Protection Ordinance apply to all events.

When? Saturdays
Where? Lecture Hall H03, C.A.R.L., Claßenstraße 11
Time 11am to 12:30pm
Language German

Saturday, November 13, 2021, 11:00am

Understanding Physics: The Sensors on Our Smartphones - A Small Physics Lab in Your Pocket With the Phyphox App

Dr. Sebastian Staacks, 2nd Institute of Physics A, RWTH Aachen University

Why do our smartphones have so many sensors and how do they work? What do they tell us about elevators, the railroad power grid, and airplane bathrooms? How do you measure the speed of sound with a smartphone?
These questions will be answered by phyphox app developer Dr. Sebastian Staacks. Developed at RWTH, phyphox provides easy access to the sensors on our smartphones so we can use them for physics experiments. With over two million installations worldwide, phyphox has already found its way into Physics classes in many places. But cell phone sensors also tell us a lot about our surroundings in everyday life. In addition to many example experiments, the functionality and the actual purpose of the sensors will be explained.


Saturday, November 20, 2021, 11:00am

On the Trail of Dark Matter – A New Generation of Experiments

Professor Dr. Alexander Schmidt, Physics Institute III A, RWTH Aachen University

Physicists have known for decades that there is an unknown type of matter in the universe that is much more abundant than the matter we know. Dutch astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort developed this hypothesis as far back as 1932. The latest astronomical observations also confirm the existence of dark matter. But what does this matter, which has had a major influence on the development of the universe, consist of? So far, it has not been possible to study dark matter in experiments. A new generation of experiments could soon change this. Is a breakthrough imminent in the next few years? In the lecture, this dark matter mystery, from its beginnings to the current state of research, will be illuminated in a way that is easy to understand.


Saturday, November 27, 2021, 11:00am

New Kinds of Crystals – How Moiré Interference Leads to New States of Matter

Professor Dr. Dante Kennes, Institute for Theory of Statistical Physics, RWTH Aachen University.

Recently, the idea of twisting layers of two-dimensional crystals on top of each other has revolutionized solid-state research. A small twist leads to a geometric effect known as a moiré pattern, which can be used to control kinetic energy scales in solids. New experiments demonstrate that this trick can control superconductivity, quantum anomalous Hall phases, and topological phases of matter in an unprecedented way. However, it is believed that even more flexible control will be possible in the future, and even more exotic phases of matter may await discovery.



Saturday, December 4, 2021, 11:00am

The 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics – Lecture on the Outstanding Research Awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize

Lecturers from RWTH's Department of Physics.

The winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics were announced on October 5. If the topic has interesting connections to research undertaken at RWTH, a lecture on this topic will be organized at short notice on this date in early December. The announcement will be made via the RWTH websites and in the previous lectures.