A TryScience workshop on the topic of lasers took place at the Institut für Strahlwerkzeuge (IFSW) on 12 November 2021. TryScience is an autumn break program of the University of Stuttgart, which enables high school students to get to know different STEM study programs.
First, Prof. Thomas Graf, director of the IFSW, introduced mechanical engineering and the Institut für Strahlwerkzeuge to the 10 scholars. With the help of the image film (available at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqifStpobXU), they got a first impression on how diverse and interdisciplinary mechanical engineering is at the University of Stuttgart with its total of 42 research institutes.
The 15- to 16-year-old scholars were then taught some physics by introducing them to the basic principle of interference, the refraction of light and the laser beam itself. Afterwards, they were offered the opportunity to carry out many experiments by themselves, with everyday objects (mobile phone and CD) and also directly on various laser facilities. They were always guided by experienced doctoral researchers from the IFSW, who were also able to answer all their questions about science and technology and about their choice of study. All the participants were enthusiastic about how versatile the laser is, whether for marking, labelling, welding or cutting of different materials.