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Sciency science at Spectrum Berlin

Before I start recapitulating the amazing and astonishing events of our journey to the burg of ham I want to talk about something completely different. If you can’t wait for it, go get your fix over at Tegan’s place, she got most of the dirty details already written down and backed up by colour pictures.

Doro’s cousins from the frenchland were in town and so we met them to get into and through the spectrum Berlin Science museum that has just been renewed. The last time I went must have been ten years ago, and the exhibition was already old back then. The museum is a separated part of the Museum für Verkehr und Technik, that displays all kinds of machinery and sciency bits, but relies more on an exhibition than a hands on concept. That’s were the spectrum comes into the picture. It is where young and old aspiring scientists can perform experiments to understand the basic principles of physics.

The sun shined bright while we hid inside.

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The first thing to see is the famous experiment by Galilei to prove the earth’s rotation.

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The exhibition was sorted by different topics with optics being the first one. We mixed colours additively, substractively and with lasers. Also more lasers.

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One way mirrors all the way!

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Yes, this is non distorted mirror.

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This bit was hanging in a corner a bit inconspicuously but was actually quite impressive. A software tracked your face, analysed it and gave it a score for either angry, happy, sad or surprised. It determined your gender and your mental age, which is for me of course 11. As you see the software could easily handle half a dozen people and could quite well identify key values. Scary and impressive at the same time.

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Endless Doros.

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The proof that I am actually quite cool.

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There was also an amazing little house were you were seated on a small bench in the middle and then the whole surrounding started turning while you remained perfectly still. This created the illusion of movement and induced quite a bit of nausea. But science!

The next floor was all about electricity and magnets.

Ferrofluids! Magnets! (But how do they work?!)

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Danger! Danger! High Voltage!

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Then there bits about mechanics, pendulums, statics, pulleys and such.

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Then there was a bit about waves and giant tank filled with two non mixing liquids that Doro moved quite effectively to induce some ocean waves.

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The last bit I photographed was a smoke tornado where you could illuminate just a slice with a planar laser optic. This made the currants within the whole thing visible.

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I vined it.

And a water tornado, too.

Then we had to leave because of lateness so we couldn’t really visit the top floor on acoustics.

I must say although I knew most of the experiments and understood quite well the principles of physics, I was amazed. I felt like a child again, discovering the laws of induction, gravity or light. The refurnished museum is great to visit with anyone who has the slightest interest in classic science.

They also did a great job on the descriptions. They told you first what to do, then in the next paragraph what you should be observing and then in the end they gave the explanation for the actual phenomenon. A simple way to practice the scientific method of performing experiments, describing and then explaining them.

Go there. Now. Experiment. Enjoy science!

I leave you with a picture of a wind turbine wing that is placed in front of the museum.

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2 Comments

  1. Tegan says

    Good use of videos. It looks pretty cool!

    • I realised that a 360p video is a tenth of the size of a gif with the same content and it only loads when wanted, which is nicer for mobile users

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