When bananas become pianos, and lemons become batteries, the mouse fans tinker at the e-conversion stand.

Mouse fans, big and small, were able to go on a journey of discovery about science on 3 October 2023. The nationwide campaign day “Türen auf mit der Maus” (“Open Doors with the Mouse”) is organized by WDR. As was the case last year, numerous institutes on the research campus in Garching opened their doors during Mouse Door Opener Day and provided insights behind the scenes. The rush was overwhelming, and all the attractions that could only be discovered by registering were fully booked in no time.

At the four Munich Clusters of Excellence, everything revolved around future technologies and the universe: using virtual reality, visitors traveled to a real quantum research laboratory or made refrigerator magnets with pictures of galaxies to take home. The mouse fans could photograph themselves in front of a selfie wall measuring over two meters in size, giving the impression that they were in the tunnel of the famous particle accelerator at CERN. At the e-conversion stand, children made batteries out of lemons, connected them in series, and generated enough power for an LCD clock. The banana piano and the orange bongo drums were also a lot of fun. And if you needed quick energy for your gray cells, we gave you a small packet of glucose. Around 800 pieces were enjoyed by inquisitive mouse fans and show: Like every year, Door Opener Day is a great event to get young and old excited about science and research.

A special message from Stockholm gave the day a unique shine in the morning: The Nobel Prize Committee awarded the researcher Ferenc Krausz, who was preparing a presentation for Mouse Day, the 2023 Nobel Prize in Physics. Krausz is a director at the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching and Professor at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich and received the award together with Pierre Agostini (Ohio State University, USA) and Anne L’Huillier (Lund University, Sweden). At this point, we send him our warmest congratulations!

It remains to be seen whether there will be such news next year. But we are already looking forward to seeing the mouse and elephant again on 3 October 2024.