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    Schneeflöckchen, Weißröckchen

    02.01.2013 14:10
    Special Christmas lecture of Prof. Oliver Ambacher As a grand finale, the lecture room was exposed to a wild snow flurry created by white feathers whirled into the room by several fans.

    As a grand finale, the lecture room was exposed to a wild snow flurry created by white feathers whirled into the room by several fans.

    The head of the institute, Prof. Oliver Ambacher, provided interesting facts about snowflakes to students and staff members in his special Christmas lecture, which he held on December 13th at the Department of Microsystems Engineering of the University of Freiburg and at Fraunhofer IAF on December 20th. More than 300 students and staff members were not only introduced to scientific aspects of the phenomenon of snow, but were also entertained with musical, poetic and video contributions.

    Is snow really white? How do ice crystals grow out of water in the air? Why are snow crystals shaped as a hexagon? In his Christmas lecture, Prof. Oliver Ambacher, director of Fraunhofer IAF and head of the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of the University of Freiburg, explained scientific details of the »white glory«. Starting with the elements of hydrogen and oxygen, moving on to the growth of ice crystals in the air leading to the building of a complete snow flake, he described the formation and the journey of snowflakes with vivid and descriptive explanations. Furthermore, facts and figures about this enchanting phenomenon were presented: a standard snow flake falls with a velocity of 1 m/s and the biggest natural snow flake ever recorded supposedly had a diameter of 38 cm.

    But snowflakes were not only regarded from the theoretical point of view. Poetic, musical and multimedia-based contributions offered a different perspective on the topic. Poems that were recited by IAF staff members, created a peaceful and contemplative atmosphere. Christmas Classics like »Let it snow« were played live with trumpets in the rooms of the university department and Fraunhofer IAF. Humorous videos, all related to snow in their own way, brought cheerful laughter into the audience. As a grand finale, the lecture room was exposed to a wild snow flurry created by white feathers whirled into the room by several fans.

    Although the white joy was already melting away outside, around 300 students were eager to follow the Christmas lecture at the Department for Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) at the University of Freiburg on December 13th. After many staff members had expressed their great interest, Prof. Oliver Ambacher held the lecture again at Fraunhofer IAF, this time in front of more than 120 employees.



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