Student projects met with great interest at the "Highlights of Physics”

Accompanied by Prof. Dr. Frank Zimmer, students of the Media Computing programme at Rhine-Waal University took part in this year's Science Festival in Bonn to present their latest projects.The projects had been developed in cooperation with the Group for Radio Astronomical Fundamental Physics at the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy (MPIfR), Prof. Dr. Michael Kramer (Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Manchester and Director at the MPIfR) and Dr. David Champion.

From September 16 to 21, 2019, around 60,000 visitors came to Bonn's Münsterplatz and many other places in the city centre to take part in hands-on activities, live experiments, lectures, workshops or other interesting scientific events including a highlights show presented by TV celibrity Ranga Yogeshwar.

Following an invitation by the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Prof. Zimmer and his students took the opportunity to present the results of their joint projects in the field of visualization and machine learning to a broad audience together with scientists from the MPIfR.

Sarah-Maria Rostalski demonstrated a new method to detect artificial radio signals in pulsar data. Pulsars are compact, rapidly rotating remnants of exploded stars ("cosmic lighthouses"). With the help of machine learning and an automated approach, human-induced disturbances in pulsar observations, caused for example by mobile phones, could be identified and the signals corrected. David Bolczyk's animation explaining the mode of operation of a radio telescope was also enthusiastically received. "We were very pleased that the MPIfR has invited us to join the event. The exchange with other scientists has been extremely motivating and inspiring for us. We have taken home a large number of new project ideas," emphasizes Prof. Zimmer.

The Science Festival is organized by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the German Physical Society (DPG) and the University of Bonn. In September 2020, the "20th Highlights of Physics" in Würzburg will focus on the 175th birthday of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen.