New concept introduced in the plasma workshop of the project week

The project week for students in grade 8 and 9 is a educational offer of the SFB 1316, Faculty of Physics and zdi that offers workshops and a broad programme in and around university free of charge twice a year during Easter and Autumn break.

From 4th to 7th October 2022, the project week took place in the Alfred-Krupp-Schülerlabor and at the Chair of Experimental Physics II. Four workshops were offered hosting over 60 high school students. The concept of the plasma workshop From plasma to gold coating was adapted accordingly to feedback by students and workshop leaders from the last years.

The focus of the topics was shifted from theoretical work towards application based discussions with exercises to practice and apply newly gained knowledge. The focus has been set to enable the students to plan and execute their research as well as analyse the data and present their findings creatively and self-determined. The workshop leaders and material should guide through the workshop, offering the students a democratic say in the concrete design of the week.

To adapt the material to modern standards and the vast digital resources available for student online, the project guide now includes online resources that can be used for better understanding or diving deeper into different topics by using the QR-codes to access articles and videos.

In the future, this guide can also be used with and on tablets and as a digital version, enhancing the interactivity and individualisation of the learning process of the students even further. The concept of the plasma workshop and project guide will be revised continuously to continue to meet modern requirements and interests of the students.

Experience Physics

Announcement of Students' Project Week Autumn 2022

From October 4th to 7th 2022, the students' project week for for all students attending grade 8 and 9 will once again take place in the Alfried Krupp student laboratory of the Ruhr University Bochum. Registration will be open as early as 15.08.22 online.


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Career Orientation

School internship in plasma physics

Laboratory - you often see little of it at school. However, one opportunity is during an internship in physics. While in recent years we have often carried out project work on the sputter coater during the week, the programme is now being expanded. This is intended to give students a deeper insight into the laboratories and current research. In addition, they can generate their own authentic data through their own small work on experiments that are otherwise used by bachelor's and master's students. In view of the ever-growing importance of digital data evaluation and safe handling of data on the computer, this area is now also more strongly included in the programme. Thus, interns can gain experience with Excel, Python or other data analysis programmes according to their individual prior knowledge. The data is obtained by means of diagnostics that are also frequently used in everyday laboratory work. Optical emission spectroscopy offers a wide range of applications that generate exciting data, which is also tangible and evaluable for students through its graphical representation.

From 20th to 24th June, we welcomed Lilly to the department. After a short theoretical introduction to the basics of plasma physics, we immediately continued with the work on the sputter coater. In addition, several doctoral students and students presented their experiments and laboratories in laboratory tours or offered to work together in the laboratory. For half a day, she worked independently on the COST-Jet and carried out OES measurements for voltage and oxygen admixture variations. After evaluating the data, she and David, who also supervises the experiment for students, discussed and analysed the data together.

In addition to the laboratory work, many interns also ask themselves "Is studying physics the right thing for me?". So, we always try to offer an insight into undergraduate lectures and seminars.

Career Orientation

Girls'Day 2022

On April 28th, the annual Girls'Day took place. Offering a 5-hour hands-on workshop on plasma physics, female students could dive into university physics as well as learn more about science, studying and career options pursuing studies in physics. During the workshop, the school students first got to know the basics of plasma – what does it consist of, how can we influence its behaviour and which characteristics does it have. Following this rather theoretical part, the school students worked on the sputter coater, making samples to analyse with a profilometer and identify the thickness of the surface coating from the sputtering process. The aim of the Girls’ Day is to offer female school students an insight into technical and scientific careers and motivate more school students to choose a degree in a MINT-subject. We also aim at reducing prejudices and fears towards a physics degree.

Public relations

Students' project week during the Easter break 2022

After the successful resumption of the students' project week in the last autumn vacations, the project week for female students will now also take place again at Easter 2022. From April 11-14, a week full of exciting activities awaits female students in grades 8, 9, and 10 in the three projects "Physics in Medicine," "Astronomy - The Colors of the Stars," and "The World of Plasmas." During the project week, participants will have the opportunity to conduct their own research, visit laboratories, interact with scientists and take part in the physics duel - the final event of the project week.


Students' Project Week Easter 2022

During the first week of the Easter break, the project weeks for female high school students (in German Schülerinnenprojektwoche) took place and opened the doors towards plasma physics, astronomy and physics in medicine for school students grade 8 to 10. Hosting three projects, the offer is continuously expanding after the Corona lockdown. During the project week, students attended a lecture given by PD Dr. Horst Fichtner on ‘news from the edge of the solar system’, visited the Planetarium in Bochum and worked on scientific projects during their workshops. The outcomes of the research projects were presented in a poster session followed by a quiz and shared lunch, which formed the conclusion of the week. To lower the entry barrier of the project week and offer school students the chance to participate no matter of their financial status, some changes were implemented as a trial. School students who do not own a ticket for public transport had the option to receive a ticket for transportation to and from university. Also, meals were newly included in the project week. While only breakfast used to be supplied, students could now share a free lunch in the campus dining hall, enhancing the group dynamics and their feeling of belonging in the group. The feedback to this changes were positive according to the feedback of the participants, so that the changes will be continuously adapted to the program of the project week The project week in autumn will presumably take place with four projects at full capacity.

Career orientation

Student internship in plasma physics

From 31.01. to 04.02. a student of grade Q1 visited us to complete his one-week internship in the context of the school's career orientation. A student internship offers students interested in the field of physics the opportunity to learn more about the field of plasma physics, to gain first experimental laboratory experiences, to get to know the university and its teaching formats better and to further develop their own interests in physics.

During the week, there is 1:1 supervision by undergraduates, graduate students, and research assistants. This week we worked on the sputter coater and evaluated samples obtained from there using a profilometer and transmission measurements and graphing the results using different software. In addition, we looked at the plasma with optical emission spectroscopy to identify different species in the plasma. In addition, Tim was able to look at the different laboratories at the chair and thus get to know several projects of the SFB first hand. Furthermore, he attended two lectures for bachelor students.

During the internship, there are also opportunities for students to solder, work with simulations and analyze data computer-assisted, and get a tour of the campus, depending on their main interests.