In a great start to National Science Week, CNBP researchers at the University of Adelaide participated in the annual University Open Day, engaging with prospective students and the general public with a host of interactive demonstrations, talks and laboratory tours.
According to CNBP General Manager Mel Trebilcock, “Our X-factor this year by far, was the vast amount of experiments, interactive and hands on activities that we were able to offer to prospective students and to the general public. Fantastic outreach was had and we flew the CNBP flag high.”
Experiments on display included a laser fountain using water pumps and laser pointers to show how light can be “bent” by water using total internal reflection (the same principle used in fibre optics). This was shown alongside examples of optical fibre made at the University of Adelaide.
Solutions of fluorescent dyes were also prepared, with laser pointers used to show how the dyes fluoresce, turning the light of the laser pointer a different colour.
Also set up a was a cloud chamber which allowed the public to see cosmic rays and other radiation, and a crystal garden to show how metal salts can grow into corral-like structures in sodium silicate solution.
“The day was a great success! A big thanks to our passionate researchers who enthused about our science,” Mel Tebilcock concluded.