Israeli high school students visit DESY in Hamburg

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A group of 23 Israeli students visited the German Electron Synchrotron (DESY) in Hamburg for a week. The group comes from the Israeli Schwartz/Reisman Science Education Center, an institution under the umbrella of the renowned Weizmann Institute of Science.

The visit had been planned many months in advance, and safety was a top priority from the outset. However, the main aim of the visit was to understand more physics – for highly talented seventeen and eighteen-year-old students at the Schwarz/Reisman Center, which is a unique platform for physics enthusiasts in Rehovot and other cities Israel. There, for two days a week, students are trained in a special physics program at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot – by teachers, many of whom do not come from school, but from science or industry. Physics from the real world of research instead of from the textbook.

At DESY, the students felt safe and almost like at home at the Weizmann: interesting equipment, exciting experiments and researchers everywhere. The visit program comprised three full days at DESY and a final morning at the European XFEL X-ray laser in Schenefeld. The program offered insights and hands-on experiments on many typical DESY topics: Meytal Landau, a structural biologist from Israel herself, explained the Centre for Structural Systems Biology (CSSB) and her group´s work on protein fibers and with amyloids, which are associated with neurodegenerative diseases, to the young people. Other stations were: Insight into accelerator technology in the Accelerator Module Test Facility, where, for example, tests of superconducting cavities and accelerator modules can be carried out. In the DESY Test Beam Facility, the students had the opportunity to assemble and test a mini calorimeter themselves. Other highlights were their participation in the Light and Schools school laboratory at the University of Hamburg, where the young people were able to independently set up a Michelson interferometer in small groups and carry out precision measurements, and experiments at the Quantum Lab of the DESY School Lab.

In addition to the fascinating scientific program, there was also a harbor tour – sponsored by the Association of Friends and Sponsors of DESY (VFFD), and a cultural evening with a theater improvisation.

DESY Director Helmut Dosch says: “DESY has once again shown that, true to its mission, it is a place of open encounters and exchange, committed to special social responsibility and to the promotion of young scientists.”

Ronen Mir, Director of the Schwartz/Reisman Science and Education Center, adds: “The Schwartz/Reisman team is extremely grateful to DESY for making the students´ dream of visiting this cutting-edge laboratory become a reality. We all felt safe and welcome at DESY, and we thank the entire team at DESY for hosting us so warmly. We are looking forward to a continued collaboration.”

Source: DESY