Exceptional success of student Anna Radochová and the Open Science programme

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Anna Radochová, a talented high school student, won the first prize in the České hlavičky 2023 competition in the UNIVERSUM category. Anna's successful research project was motivated by her participation in the Open Science programme at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences, where she worked on the topic "Properties of new photosensitive liquid crystals".

Anna's journey leading to the award began with her selecting the topic of liquid crystals. She was captivated by their use in various technologies and future innovative potential in, for instance, reducing energy consumption. But it was also her curiosity about what’s hidden behind the mobile phone screen that played its role, because, as she admits, she has her smartphone constantly at hand for several hours a day. She uses it for work as well as entertainment.

Anna Radochová was presented the award was presented by the Dean of the MFF UK Mirko Rokyta (photo: Česká hlava)
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Anna Radochová was presented the award was presented by the Dean of the MFF UK Mirko Rokyta (photo: Česká hlava)

"I am really grateful that I could work at the Department of Dielectrics under the guidance of Alexey Bubnov and Vera Hamplova, who were very helpful and answered all my questions. Moreover, I was offered further cooperation, so I have had a very positive experience with the Institute and I can imagine coming back," says the first-year student of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University.

Anna decided to study a programme for future teachers of physics because, in addition to science itself, she wants to pass on and spread awareness of physics to the next generation and arouse curiosity about science in others.

In her work, she used five experimental methods. Polarized light microscopy became her favourite because she enjoys observing visually pleasing textures, from which she deduces the types of individual liquid crystalline phases. The substances she helped study have a relatively long recovery time and are therefore proposed for use in optical memories.

 

In the future, Anna can imagine liquid crystals being used in phototransistor devices in photovoltaics, for example, or in prescription glasses to change dioptres. In her opinion, options for their use in new applications and innovations are immense.

Research into photosensitive liquid crystalline materials remains a fascinating topic for Anna, and although she has no concrete plans for the future, she believes that it has not been her last time at the Institute of Physics.

České hlavičky is aimed at upper-secondary school students and focuses mainly on technical and scientific fields. The prestigious award of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics of Charles University recognises experimental and theoretical work, studies and projects in the field of physics and mathematics, especially those with potential for practical application.

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