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IOP Holds 2020 Public Science Day

Date:25-05-2020 Print

On May 23, 2020, the 17th IOP Public Science Day themed as IOP’s Bizarre Adventure sponsored by the Institute of Physics (IOP), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) was successfully held in Beijing. Due to the epidemic situation, it was the first time for the Public Science Day to be held by live webcast. As a carnival of physics and science, the activity attracted millions of cloud viewers.

This year’s Public Science Day was themed as IOP's Bizarre Adventure, with the aim to demonstrate wonderful science adventures online from a first-person perspective. From 10:00 am to 9:00 pm, the 11-hour continuous live webcast was divided into five sections, namely the Brainstorming, Revealing Lab Secrets, Lunch Tea Party, Science in Food and Fantastic Science Competition. The activity provided an unprecedented science feast integrating popular science lectures and general principle explanations given by Academicians, experts and young scholars with the participation of main uploaders on Bilibili who have 20 million followers.

In the Brainstorming section, Academicians, experts, young scholars and internet-famous doctors gave the viewers a scientific brainstorm, explaining profound theories in simple terms. Prof. Yu Lu, CAS Academician, delivered his talk Beauty of Symmetry-Breaking Physics, in which he took superconducting phenomenon as an example and led viewers to experience the beauty of symmetry breaking in strange natural phenomena. Prof. Meng Sheng of IOP, viewed the natural world from the perspective of atoms and elucidated the secrets and properties of atoms through the talk Dancing with Atoms. After listening to the talk Lifetime of an Electron made by Prof. Shen Jie of IOP, viewers experienced the life of the quantum by following the growth of an electron. In the Big Ideas Behind Popular Science, Bi Xiaotian, nickname "Bidao THU", shared interesting subjects he had studied and various ideas on these subjects, helping viewers discover scientific mysteries in daily life.

In the Revealing Lab Secrets section, Puff and Mommytalk, both uploaders of Bilibili and Prof. Li Zhilin of IOP showed viewers IOP’s History Museum, Party Member Theme Education Base and its landscape, as well as 12 national or academic key laboratories. It is worth mentioning that some laboratories were open to the public for the first time. During the show, scientific researchers in these laboratories introduced the history and development of IOP, encouraging viewers to learn from the elder scientists' spirit of working hard and bravely bringing forth new ideas. The secrets of liquid nitrogen experiment, atomic manipulation, laser pulse, magic crystal and sodium-ion battery were revealed one by one in the National Laboratory for Superconductivity, the State Key Laboratory of Magnetism, the Key Laboratory of Optical Physics, the Laboratory of Micro-fabrication and the Low-temperature Operation Guarantee Center, giving viewers a magnificent visual feast.

In the Lunch Tea Party section, jointly sponsored by IOP and "Our Space" Innovation Practice Center, invited Cao Ping, Deputy Director of the Key Laboratory of Space Nutrition and Food Engineering, China Astronaut Research and Training Center to introduce different kinds of food provided for astronauts in the space including rehydratable beverage, food packaged by retort pouch or aluminum can and porridge. In addition, Cao Ping explained the difference between space food and normal food. After listening to his explanation, viewers posted bullet comments such as "I have learned new useful knowledge". Then Wang Tingyu from IOP Department of Graduate Students elaborated on the issue of student admissions mostly concerned by the viewers.

In the Science in Food section, the host Gaoleng Xiaojiang, together with guests including Mouhuanjun, XYsanren, Mushang from Daoyueshe Shiyuji, Bidao THU and Li Zhilin, attended a food salon and discovered scientific secrets in food. When cooking instant noodles in a water bath canner, Li Zhilin talked about the precise control of temperature, numerous anecdotes in laboratories and the difference between various heating modes. Mouhuanjun used citric acid, baking soda and mineral water to produce carbonated beverages favored by "Fat Otaku", meaning die-hard ACGN fans. On this basis, Mouhuanjun introduced the production of soda water, the development of acidity and alkaline, and the history of artificial sweetness. XYsanren showed viewers how to make a Jianbing Guozi (deep-fried dough sticks rolled in a thin pancake) based on the principle of non-Newtonian fluid, and summarized the physical skills of making Jianbing Guozi. Bidao THU demonstrated the production process of artificial refrigerator and liquid nitrogen ice cream, revealing the heating process of the central processing unit and the various usage of liquid nitrogen. At last, Mushang provided his finale delicacy-Fried Shrimps. The entire process of making this dish, including the physiological structure of shrimps, chemical reactions of frying, stir-frying and boiling, and different collocations of seasoning, depends on the scientific principles.

In the Fantastic Science Competition section, Han Xiaomu and Hao Xianghai (slayerboom) played the role as comperes while Chen Zheng, a teacher from the School of Science, Beijing Jiaotong University served as the judge. Guests were divided into two teams to compete with each other through scientific interaction experiments. The competition included quick Q&A, guessing the song played by Tesla coil, naughty brooms, charged KTV and upturned vortex ring, testing both the physical and mental strength of the guests. Motivated by the competition, viewers posted numerous bullet comments and brought the atmosphere to a climax. Finally, on behalf of the winning team, the activity sponsor donated 1,000 popular science books to Bilibili Meili School in Weishan, Dali, Yunnan, to help popularize scientific knowledge and transmit scientific spirit to students there.

The activity was broadcast live on IOP account on Bilibili, and synchronously rebroadcast by Yangshipin, and the Our Space media platform. The total number of viewers watching the live activity sets a new record.

The IOP Public Science Day enables viewers to get close to science and physics, learn about their principles, and understand that science is not unreachable but reflected in all aspects of our daily life. It is the second time for IOP to collaborate with Bilibili to hold the activity. The strong alliance breaks the dimensional wall and attracts more teenagers to participate in the activity, making scientific knowledge super popular among the public.

Yu Lu gives a talk on Beauty of Symmetry-Breaking Physics 

Meng Sheng elucidates the secrets and properties of atoms

Shen Jie gives a talk on Lifetime of an Electron

Visits to IOP laboratories

Science in Food-discover scientific secrets in food

Fantastic Science Competition-scientific interaction experiments bring the atmosphere to a climax