Physics at the frontiers, the frontiers of physics — Lecture series "Wissenschaft für Alle" continues as hybrid format


The lecture program of the series “Wissenschaft für Alle” by GSI and FAIR will continue in the first half of 2023. This time, the lectures will be about the limits of physics — both about exploring them and going beyond them. Interested parties can either attend the event in the lecture hall of GSI/FAIR following a registration or dial into the broadcast of the event via video conference using an internet-enabled device such as a laptop, cell phone or tablet. The program will begin on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, with a talk by Dr. Silvia Scheithauer of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg on the James Webb Space Telescope.

In December 2021, the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) launched into space on an Ariane rocket from Europe's Kourou Spaceport in French Guiana. JWST is the largest observatory ever sent into space and is an international collaboration of the U.S., European and Canadian space agencies NASA, ESA and CSA. JWST can look further into the past than ever before, observe the first galaxies, and will enable the expansion of knowledge about the birth of stars and planets and about planets outside our own solar system.

The technology of the satellite itself is unique and a masterpiece of engineering. For example, the observatory — which is the size of a tennis court — had to be folded up for launch on the Ariane 5 rocket and then unfolded again fully automatically in space. On July 12, 2022, the first scientific images were published, which caused excitement not only in the astronomical community. The talk will give an overview of the fascinating history of JWST: From the idea to construction and testing to launch, commissioning and the first scientific results.

Dr. Silvia Scheithauer studied physics at the University of Potsdam and received her PhD in engineering from the University of Bremen. Since 2006, she has been working at the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Heidelberg in the field of instrument construction as a systems engineer and project manager, including at the JWST.

While the lecture on the JWST is about expanding our knowledge frontiers and venturing into still unknown areas of space, the other lectures will deal with overcoming other frontiers: For example, new methods for visualizing radiation, the development of even more accurate time measurement using quantum technology, or the investigation of the synthesis of matter with the help of heavy ion collisions at the HADES detector of GSI and FAIR will be discussed. In addition to a look at the benefits of fundamental research in nuclear and particle physics for society, talks will also take a look at the complete crossing of physical boundaries, on the one hand fictitiously in Hollywood film productions, and on the other hand in the illumination of the very real sinking of the passenger ship “Titanic” by Professor Metin Tolan, the President of the Georg August University of Göttingen.

The lectures start at 2 p. m., further information about registration, access and the course of the event can be found on the event website at (German)

The lecture series “Wissenschaft für Alle” is aimed at all persons interested in current science and research. The lectures report on research and developments at GSI and FAIR, but also on current topics from other fields of science and technology. The aim of the series is to prepare and present the scientific processes in a way that is understandable for laypersons in order to make the research accessible to a broad public. The lectures are held by GSI and FAIR staff members or by external speakers from universities and research institutes.

Current program
  • Wednesday, 25.01.2023, 2 p. m.
    Das James-Webb-Weltraumteleskop: Ein neuer Blick in die Tiefen des Universums
    Silvia Scheithauer, Max-Planck-Institut für Astronomie
  • Wednesday, 15.02.2023, 2 p. m.
    Neue Entwicklungen zu Nachweis und Sichtbarmachung von radioaktiver Strahlung
    Kai Vetter, University of California Berkeley/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
  • Wednesday, 15.03.2023, 2 p. m.
    Grundlagenforschung in der Kern- und Teilchenphysik – was ist der Nutzen für die Gesellschaft?
    Ulrich Wiedner, Ruhr Universität Bochum
  • Wednesday, 26.04.2023, 2 p. m.
    Vom Schwerionenbeschleuniger zur Atomuhr: Wie Quantentechnologien neue Experimente möglich machen
    Peter Micke, Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, Heidelberg
  • Wednesday, 17.05.2023, 2 p. m.
    Stark, stärker, schwer! Was uns Schwerionenkollisionen über die Entstehung der Materie verraten
    Joachim Stroth, GSI/FAIR
  • Wednesday, 21.06.2023, 2 p. m.
    Physik in Hollywood III – Die Rückkehr der Naturgesetze
    Sascha Vogel, science birds
  • Wednesday, 19.07.2023, 2 p. m.
    Titanic: mit Physik in den Untergang (Dauer: 75 min)
    Metin Tolan, Präsident der Georg-August-Universität Göttingen