Henning Krause from the Helmholtz society invited me to another great event. It was a science tweetup at Hamburg. In Hamburg, there lies the DESY that is some particle accelerator and used for rocket science. We had the honour to visit the several accelerators and talk to the scientists about their work. I met Quantenwelt, too, a long term friend from twitter.
We started the day with meeting up. Till Mundzeck is the PR manager of DESY and he organized the whole event for us. Hamburg has mainly three projects. First we visited XFEL which is still built. It is a linear accelerator. It is no collider for they do not let particles collide, but they accelerate electrons and then slow them down by putting the electrons in some kind of slalom parcour on what they emit x-rays. With that x-rays several experiments are done. Mainly they do experiments about biology, chemistry and geology. Quantenwelt for example is investing proteins with the x-rays. So they can say something about the structure of the molecules by x-raying them same as when we go to the doctor and have our bones examined.
Second we went to Petra that is a ring accelerator. Like in Cern they put particles in a ring and accelerate them and with several measure points they see what x-rays one can produce. We also saw the flash accelerator that is a linear accelerator as XFEL. The measuring point of Flash was rather interesting. We spoke to the professor that takes care of the experiments. He explained to us, that the experiments are simply based on photo-electronic panels that transform the photons of the x-rays into charge. So they can calculate from the voltage and the change of the voltage the structure of the materials.
In between we had very great lunch. The kitchen of DESY beated the one of the science center Julich. After the sightseeing we had a speeddating with scientists. My twitter friend Quantenwelt, aka Joachim Schulz, was one of them. I was inside a little disappointed that he is experimenting with proteins for he is a great physician at quantum mechanics and other quantum physics. But I did not spoke it out. The speed dating was very interesting. Some colleague of Quantenwelt is doing 4-dimensional electron tracking. That is a technique that was awarded with the nobel price of chemistry. I went to Berlin earlier this year to a symposium of Angewandte Chemie where Ahmed Zewail had a lecture about that 4-dim electron photography. The scientist at DESY is hoping to improve this technology by making it faster with more pictures per time unit. I asked him if they wouldn’t want to make 4-dim pictures of neutrinos, but this will last some time, because neutrinos are not that interacting. I think Pauli and his people did make a photography of the neutrino to proove its existence by some fog chamber experiment, but never mind. At last we had a female scientist that is experimenting with materials that are far beneath the earth. Some fellow in my group made the joke that she is investigating hell. She is interested in materials that are between the metallic-magnetic middle of the earth and the earth mantle.
It was very nice at the DESY. I had a good journey and was very content with the hostel they have. So I can recommend to everyone to visit the DESY when they have their open days.