Bright lights for ESRF at Science Festival


This year's edition of the national science festival, FĂȘte de la Science, partnered with the International Year of Light to emphasize the essential role that light plays in our lives. Like light, the ESRF was omnipresent during the festival with stands at the Mini Maker Faire, Parvis des Sciences and through short conferences programmed at the Physics Festival and Night of Light.

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With science at every turning point in town, the last week has been a busy one for the ESRF's outreach and education programmes. Over 10 000 people participated in the events where the ESRF was present. The public came out in force and activities were tailored to suit all levels of curiosity.

At the Mini Maker Faire, more than 1900 people visited the ESRF stand and 300 children, parents and even grandparents built their own spectroscope to separate the colours contained in white light.

At the Parvis des Sciences, the ESRF proposed crystallography and diffraction experiments along with neighbouring institutes ILL, EMBL and IBS, at the same time demonstrating the complementarity of the institutes and the importance of geographical proximity.

Six classes of students from the region's high schools discovered the principles of spectroscopy and electromagnetic radiation during hands-on sessions.

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ESRF welcomes the public at the Mini Maker Faire and Parvis des Sciences, Grenoble, 3-11 October 2015. Photos: ESRF/C. Argoud

For the open days of the CNRS (Centre National de Recherche Scientifique), Jean Susini, ESRF Director of Research, introduced synchrotron radiation with a short conference on the principles and examples of applications.

Marine Cotte, scientist on the ESRF's ID21 beamline, presented how synchrotron radiation can be used to decipher the internal composition of materials used in works of art and objects of cultural heritage at Night of Light, an evening of short conferences on the theme of light and light-based technologies. Read more about this research.

Many thanks to the public for making this such a fun and rewarding encounter.


Text by Kirstin Colvin

Top image: An introduction to spectroscopy at the Mini Maker Faire. Photo: ESRF/C. Argoud