Physics and Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy

Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Groningen

The first successful science communication activities by these researchers involved a ring-binder and a CD‑ROM about astronomy. These have since been joined by countless popular science articles, lectures, media appearances, a public exhibition, and currently MOOCs and YouTube videos. The trio of researchers at the University of Groningen aim to inform and enthuse the widest possible audience about science, physics and astronomy, often with an entertaining approach and a dose of humour.

One notable project has been a publication about the phases of the moon on Saint Nicolas present-wrapping paper and Christmas cards. Instead of the usual evening moon (first quarter), a morning moon is usually shown here (last quarter). The research led to an appearance on a popular TV talk show on 5 December (the feast day of Saint Nicolas). Other TV appearances included popular physics demonstrations on another talk show. The group’s activities also include public and school lectures on quantum physics, solar cells and new materials, as well as a public exhibition on quantum conduction. With these activities, the scientists aim to ensure understanding, appreciation, and support for physics and astronomy among the general public, school pupils, journalists, and policymakers.

The grant from the Rewarded! Fund will go towards the Scientific Murals project. Inspired by initiatives in Leiden and Utrecht, Groningen will be enhanced by a number of murals in public areas that will generate questions, interest, and support for science.

Diederik Roest
Casper van der Wal

Peter Barthel, hoogleraar

Other group members:
Diederik Roest, hoogleraar
Caspar van der Wal, hoogleraar

Foto van het RUG Academiegebouw de RUG Universiteitsbibliotheek aan het Broerplein
Foto gemaakt door Peter Barthel. Op de afbeelding is het RUG Academiegebouw de RUG Universiteitsbibliotheek aan het Broerplein te zien; linksboven op de muur van de bibliotheek zal de eerste Academische Muurschildering van de RUG onthuld worden.