MAX IV Open Day — An enlightening exploration of science

Nao bot from Vattenhallen group at Open Day 2023

MAX IV Laboratory welcomed nearly 1000 visitors on Open Day, the facility’s first major public event in five years. A fantastic lineup of interactive science stations with enthusiastic staff engaged guests inside the experimental hall of the large ring. In the mix, exhibitor booths, Vattenhallen, the Lund Robotics group with Buster the dog, Tetrapak, ESS, Kraftringen, Nano Lund, Medicon Village, and the Uppåkra archaeological group, drew interesting discussion.

learning how vacuum systems work
Learning how vacuum systems work with balloons. Credit: Johan Persson

‘Exciting.’ ‘Cool.’ ‘Interesting.’ ‘So much to be explored in this field!’ ‘I was amazed by how much further we can push the boundaries of what can be observed and measured.’ Many visitors commented on their experience at Open Day. Many smiling faces were seen in the ring as people watched and asked questions about the different scientific demonstrations.

Boston Dynamics, Buster the robot dog on the move
Boston Dynamics robot dog Buster on the move. Credit: Johan Persson

Heidi LaGrasta, Outreach Officer and event organiser was thrilled by the curiosity and spirit all round. “One person who attended said they were excited about science again for the first time in 47 years. That is what this event was all about. We are glad for the opportunity to share our enthusiasm and knowledge about what happens at MAX IV, and we hope that it helps create a greater understanding about the important research going on in Lund. We are already thinking about next time!”

Children try the mini-ForMAX experiment.
Children learn how experiments run at the mini-ForMAX display with the Tetrapak group. Credit: Johan Persson
The insertion device group describes different systems.
MAX IV staff with the Insertion device group describe the different systems. Credit: Laura Hrastar, MAX IV

Guests were greeted with a message from MAX IV Director Olof Karis at the entrance. Inside the ring, small crowds gathered at science stations or stopped to read educational signage about the different beamlines.

Children were invited to test a miniature display of ForMAX and learn how a beamline works, dress like a scientist at the photo booth, create at a colourful art station, and play Mindcraft with the Uppåkra group. There was a maze with Vattenhallen BlueBot robot mice, and humanoid robot Nao. Buster, Boston Dynamics robot dog, also showed off some skills.

Make protein crystals at the BioMAX station
Making protein crystals at the BioMAX beamline station. Credit: Heidi LaGrasta, MAX IV

Visitors could view virtual reality simulations at the Uppåkra and the European Spallation Source (ESS) displays, and try hands-on experiments relating to magnets, tomography (3D imaging), vacuum with marshmallows and balloons, make your own crystals, and resonance with music. MAX IV scientists also spoke about Veritas beamline and accelerator physics.

Waiting for ice cream make with liquid nitrogen
Eagerly waiting as the MAX IV Safety group makes the next batch of ice cream with liquid nitrogen. Credit: MAX IV

Outdoors, children had fun with giant soap bubbles, a bouncy house, tipsrundan, and at one the most popular stations, taste ice cream made with liquid nitrogen.

MAX IV Open Day 2023 was a great success and thoroughly enjoyed by the public. Thank you to all that attended and volunteered for this fun and engaging event.