Yearly Archives: 2014


Science hackers and nuclear popcorn

Modern physics investigates phenomena so removed from everyday experience that even building a simplified, intuitive picture of what is happening is extremely challenging. But can one try and build analogies with common experience that help us grasp the underlying structure of an exotic phenomenon? Isn’t physics, after all, supposed to search for universal principles, applicable to […]

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Do smart people choose to study mathematics, or does mathematics make all who study it smart?

In a recent Café Scientifique at the Royal Society, Matthew Inglis (Loughborough University) discussed evidence in favor of both views. For centuries, mathematicians have maintained that studying mathematics makes you better at a whole range of other logical and problem-solving tasks, so that studying mathematics should be encouraged in all people, not just those who […]


Women and science

Gender differences continue to afflict technical workplaces, and universities are not an exception. On Wednesday, April 23rd, a discussion panel met at Betahaus to report on their experiences on this topic and try to identify possible causes and solutions. The panel was organised by the Pop Science Cafe and moderated by Sarah Hermanutz; it included […]

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Colliding with science

Even though the attempt to understand and control the world is one of the oldest human endeavours, the everyday life of a scientist remains a mystery to most people. What exactly happens when someone decides to start a science career? How do they transform into full-fledged researchers expected to produce new knowledge? And —a question […]


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Girls’ Day (Mädchen Zukunftstag) at Wissenswerkstatt Berlin

  Within the framework of Girls’ Day (Mädchen Zukunftstag), Wissenswerkstatt Berlin hosted last Thursday a dozen curious girls exploring the interface between science, technology, and entrepreneurship. Our guests hauled from a handful of different schools in Berlin and Potsdam, and participated in two one-hour workshops: “What exactly is a supercomputer?” and “The mathematics of paper […]


What is the best number?

“The best number is 73. Why? 73 is the 21st prime number. Its mirror, 37, is the 12th and its mirror, 21, is the product of multiplying 7 and 3… and in binary 73 is a palindrome, 1001001, which backwards is 1001001.” Sheldon Cooper, The Big Bang Theory   That prime numbers are funny objects […]

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New Year at Wissenswerkstatt Berlin

The new year has started and Wissenswerkstatt Berlin is again open for business. The schedule presently includes three courses: 1) The Junior Videogame Workshop for children aged 7 to 10, meeting Tuesdays from 16:00 to 18:00. 2) The Practical Math series, meeting Tuesdays from 19:00 to 21:00. 3) The Introduction to Cosmography, meeting Fridays from […]