On September 30th, for the first time PONYS took part to the European Researchers’ Night (ERN) 2016, with two simultaneous outreach events in two cities: Naples and L’Aquila. The main organizer was Frascati Scienza, who managed the event all over Italy in more than 10 cities. Thanks to the National Institute for Nuclear Physics (INFN), who led the Naples one, the initiative took place in Toledo metro station, the most impressive underground station in Europe according to The Telegraph. Such a special place has been chosen being a daily life place, where most of the people pass every day, in their routine, most of the time even without looking around what is going on. And it is in this daily life that they had the chance to meet the science and the researchers work.
The metro stop architecture made it possible to split the event into three levels. At ground level, experiments on sports’ physics and some had been shown. The PONYS comics “Physics4Comics” was freely delivered to every visitor. Every pedestrian was attracted by the sports’ physics activity and it has been amazing seeing their reactions on the most crowded street of Naples!
At the lower level there were optics, particles and microwave physics experiments. Everyone who had to take or took the metro made a first stop to the PONYS stand. Children built their own particle with LEGO, after an explanation on quark physics: it was the first time that we proposed particle physics in this funny-playing way.
At the lowest level, where train tracks are located, INFN showed the institute research. The most spectacular are the studies on the muons, which started in Naples in the late ’60. Nowadays Toledo station hosts a muon telescope, at minus 40 meters from the street level.
It has been a fundamental experience of professional growth for PONYS, for many reasons. We challenged the organization of a double event, in two different cities. The team had to split in two groups, collaborating anyway. Moreover, we had the chance to a strength the collaboration with INFN. . Last, but not least, our relation with our people and city: it has been great being in one of the most famous street of Naples, sharing physics!
Thanks to all our partners.