Michael Londesborough's borane show and Martin Ledinsky's non-Newtonian fluid has become, without precedent, the biggest hit of this year's neighbourhood festival called The Different City Experience. In addition to science popularization presentations, participants could sew a bag, play ping-pong or watch an evening laser show.
Constructed in the middle of the Institute of Physics premises, a model of the borane molecule became the centre of daring young scientists who, wearing white coats, had a mixture for rocket drives blasted off their hands ice-calm. Michael Londesborouhg explained to children the background of secret borane research in Řež, describing the bonds of molecules forming the borane or hydrogen mixtures ignited just as enthusiastically. Children could assemble molecules themselves from sticks and jellies. In fact, they sometimes served as improvised earplugs in the blasts.
The principle of non-Newtonian fluid prepared in a kiddie pool attracted curious children who eventually ventured to test the behaviour of starch dissolved in water not only with their palms but also with their feet. Martin Ledinsky set an example and selflessly demonstrated the miraculous behaviour of the mixture, dipping his hands and feet into the pool by turns. Much to the delight of their parents, the children were able to take home a sample of the liquid in jam jars to continue their experiments after the successful attraction ended.
A pleasant warm Indian summer contributed to a relaxing Saturday afternoon and this year's event surpassed last year's in attendance. Thanks to the successful early-evening concert and subsequent laser show, the audience did not shrink despite the crisp evening chill. The moving patterns on the facade of the Institute of Physics building highlighted its architectural beauty, and for those who hadn't seen the afternoon flyby of fighters over Prague on their way back from the „NATO Days“, lasers made up for the experience as fighters also glided on the facade.
The neighbourhood festival The Different City Experience has been held since 2006. It is organized by Automat society and for the second year running, the event is held also at Ořechovka thanks to Martina Křížková's initiative.
Photo: René Volfík