Press Release 22/2008

Cosmic Coffee Pot Arouses Interest in Technology

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) demonstrates interesting experiments at the “IdeenPark” of the ThyssenKrupp Foundation at the Neue Messe, Stuttgart
Innovative inventions of animate nature

Roundabout 500 engineers, researchers, tinkerers, and students will explain their ideas and show how innovations are created by more than 200 exhibits. The KIT will present four fields of work at the “IdeenPark”. Using the “cosmic coffee pot”, scientists from the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe will make cosmic radiation visible. Visitors may choose their own settings of this “coffee pot” and learn that cosmic radiation is always with us. Scientists will report how they build gigantic experiments from this simple experimental arrangement in order to solve the mysteries of the universe (hall 6).

Amazing engineering capabilities of nature will be presented by the Forschungszentrum’s exhibit “Bionis”. Professor Dr. Claus Mattheck, head of the Biomechanics Division of the Institute for Materials Research II and laureate of the German Environmental Award in 2003, will present a three-dimensional sculpture to demonstrate how extremely light and stable components are constructed in line with nature. This exhibit that was designed together with Professor Luigi Colani represents a mixture of art and research in the field of bionics (hall 4).

A fitness check for the complete family will be offered by the Center for School Sports and the Sports of Children and Adolescents (FoSS) of the Universität Karlsruhe. How is fitness measured? This is the question asked by the sports scientists to the visitors. The latter may then turn to fitness researchers. Exercises will allow conclusions to be drawn with respect to endurance, skillfulness or power of the family members and will be evaluated together with the scientists (hall 4).

“KATRIN - The Neutrino Scales” will help answer one the key questions of modern physics: What is the mass of the neutrino and which role does it play in the development of our universe? The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino experiment (KATRIN) is currently under development at the Forschungszentrum. At the “IdeenPark”, measurement of the neutrino mass will be demonstrated by a pinball machine, where the pinball stands for the neutrino. This demonstration will be complemented by a model of KATRIN and a film about the 8800 km long travel of the KATRIN spectrometer (weight 200 tons) in 2006 (hall 6).

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) is the merger of the Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe, member of the Helmholtz Association, and the Universität Karlsruhe. This merger will give rise to an institution of internationally excellent research and teaching in natural and engineering sciences. In total, the KIT has 8000 employees and an annual budget of 700 million Euros. The KIT focuses on the knowledge triangle of research – teaching – innovation.

The Karlsruhe institution is a leading European energy research center and plays a visible role in nanosciences worldwide. KIT sets new standards in teaching and promotion of young scientists and attracts top scientists from all over the world. Moreover, KIT is a leading cooperation partner of industry.

zk, May 13, 2008

zk, May 13, 2008


Monika Landgraf
Head of Corporate Communications, Chief Press Officer
Phone: +49 721 608-41150
Fax: +49 721 608-43658
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Viktoria Fitterer
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Tel.: +49 7247 82-8760
Fax: +49 7247 82-5523
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