Events of the 20th Science Picnic of Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre sponsored by the EAGLE Project, held at National Stadium Warsaw on May 7th, 2016
The Science Picnic organized by Polish Radio and the Copernicus Science Centre in Warsaw is Europe’s largest outdoor event aimed to promote science. About 200 scientific institutions: universities, research institutes, museums, cultural institutions, etc. prepare their stands where they present their achievements to wide public. Visitors have an unique opportunity to observe spectacular experimental demonstrations and to converse with the researchers. Such face to face contacts help to establish mutual understanding between scientists and wide society. Indeed, this form is very attractive for people and large crowds come to the Picnic every year. The number of visitors is estimated to one hundred thousand.
This year our Institute presented the stand containing a six groups of demonstrations in physics. Because the leading subject of the Picnic was “Health”, three of them were presented by the group of biophysics (SL4). The rest of demonstrations was devoted to low-temperature physics.
The list of main presentations was as follows: BIOPHYSICS
1.On the “Medicine in yellow” stand, we showed how the structures of heterocyclic, -electron rich biomolecules correspond both with their fluorescence properties and medical activity. These presentations focused on various natural and synthetic compounds, as flavonoids and alkaloids. All of them are yellow for human eye, but have different luminescent properties. We observed e.g. blue fluorescence of chinine, found in commercial Tonics, and yellow fluorescence of spices and vitamine B2.
2.Visible multicolored (green, red and blue) emission excited by near infrared light ( = 980 nm). This is possible due to the up-conversion process occurring in NaYF4, Gd2O3 and ZnAl2O4 nanoparticles, doped with rare earth (RE) ions such as erbium or thulium and ytterbium. Such nanoparticles were applied as luminescent markers in HeLa cancer cells and astrocytes. Owing to the large magnetic moment of Gd3+ they can be used also as a MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) agent, as well. In the presence of other RE ions, Gd3+ ions are paramagnetic.
3.We have demonstrated a self-made microscope using smartphone. This microscope was used for observations of various biological objects.
4. Demonstration of superconductivity. We showed magnet levitation, zero-resistance measurement of high-Tc superconducting coil immersed in liquid nitrogen and large electric current flowing through superconducting coil immersed in liquid helium.
5. Magnetic properties of matter. Visitors have an opportunity to observe diamagnetics, paramagnetics and ferromagnetics. In particular, we have demonstrated a number of CuNi alloys exhibiting transitions to ferromagnetic phase at low temperatures. Additionally, we showed that diluted magnetic semiconductors fulfill Curie law .
The demonstrations were presented by a team of the Institute employees (division or lab in brackets):
1. Grzegorz Grabecki (SL2) 2. Joanna Grzyb (SL4) 3. Anna Niedźwiecka (SL4) 4. Przemysław Kowalik (SL4) 5. Izabela Kamińska(SL4) 6. Remigiusz Worch (SL4) 7. Magdalena Łazicka (PhD student SL4) 8. Katarzyna Kopeć (PhD student SL4) 9. Marek Fołtyn (SL2) 10. Piotr Dziawa (ON1) 11. Izabela Kuryliszyn-Kudelska (ON1) 12. Marta Galicka (ON4) 13. Anna Reszka (ON4) 14. Paweł Misiuna (ON3) 15. Igor Bragar (PhD student SL2) 16. Magdalena Majewicz (PhD student SL2)