Researcher's Night again at FZU

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The Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences participated in Researchers´ Night together with other research institutions on Friday 27 November 2020. This time, like perhaps all events in the past few months, it was affected by the impacts of the global pandemic and had to be made available on-line. The opportunity to view the workplace of Czech physicists opened up to many enthusiasts at least from their homes. You can also view and check most of the programme at

Martin Ledinský (left) and Martin Přeček discussing questions in Ask a Physicists programme - Researcher's Night
Martin Ledinský (left) and Martin Přeček discussing questions asked by their audience in an on-line consultation programme.

"Our Institute had prepared nearly twenty original programmes and we were happy to see the attention they attracted," Milada Moudrá, a popularization event manager of the FZU, said. Let’s take a look at some of them now. Some thirty people took interest in the Ask a Physicist programme, in which two fervent researchers – Martin Přeček and Martin Ledinský, logging in from the Střešovice site, were answering questions asked by the audience. They expertly explained the phenomena of our everyday life, of the universe and of the micro-world; they touched upon their work on thin layers, and they also devoted some time to how a curious boy may become a researcher and what it actually is like to be a researcher.

A similar number of people viewed a physics fairytale, prepared by colleagues from HiLASE. And it wasn’t only about lasers! In a series of experiments, scientist Martin Duda engagingly explained the real-world origins of a number of supernatural powers held by Dlouhý, Široký a Bystrozraký, characters in an eponymous Czech fairytale, to children (and any other participants), as – after all – scientists we are, and we cannot settle for anything as vague as magic!

Martin Duda explaining the experiments related to a “physics fairytale”.
Martin Duda explaining the experiments related to a “physics fairytale”.

The neighbouring laser centre ELI Beamlines captured the audience’s attention by presenting a series of live lectures. They were joined by the manager of laser system development Bedřich Rus, laser safety consultant Marek Bizdra and the previously mentioned Martin Přeček. They talked the audience through the long journey, which the laser took from its conception until the present day and which was full of useful applications as well as high expectations of future discoveries. We also looked into the safety: can work with intensive lasers pose any risks? A number of surprising facts about the safety of lasers both at the laser centres and in everyday life was revealed to listeners as part of the presentations.

Premiered was an educational online game laserLAByrinth. It introduces you to key components of a laser lab and their specific function as you turn up at a virtual laser hall to instantly turn into a researcher, whose task is to set up and test a series of laser experiments. A logical and fast solution is what counts!

These are just some examples of events we organized for you. Researchers’ Night presented a huge number of workshops, lectures, discussion panels, games, exhibitions and virtual tours, and – as standing out from the competitors is a great challenge – we are more than happy to see that until 12 December over 3000 people expressed their kind interest by watching our programmes. We are looking forward to meeting you again next year and we hope to be able to meet you face-to-face again.

The Researchers’ Night of the year 2020 was implemented with the support of the HR Award and STIMUL programmes in the framework of the Research, Development and Education Operational Programme. The Researchers’ Night 2020 was also supported by the EU programme for research and innovation Horizon 2020 based on a grant agreement No. 955326.