In Tel Aviv, Quantum Physics Is Taught Over a Glass of Beer

Scientists raid Tel Aviv bars for one night a year, as part of the successful tradition called 'Science on Tap.'

World class scientists and top research students raided Tel Aviv bars on Monday, in another installment of what a successful tradition called "Science on Tap."

For one night a year scientists from the Weizmann Institute taking part in the program trade their labs and classrooms with dark, smoky bars, and the young students with a wide range of listeners, holding not a pen, but a beer in their hand.

Tel Aviv's best bars not only hosted those who are usually considered as outsiders, but turned the spotlight to them, with topics ranging from alternate realities; the fate of the universe; genetic engineering; and even on how quantum physics works in a glass of beer.

The idea to abandon the labs and hit the city's nightlife formed when the Weizmann Institute decided it wants to broaden its student base. Instead of trying to convince people to come to class and listen to scientific lectures, they come to where the public is and talk in an informal, friendly, day to day language.

Dr. Guy Shakhar about the "immune system's dance of war." "Science on Tap", Tel Aviv, April 30, 2012
Dr. Guy Shakhar about the "immune system's dance of war." "Science on Tap," Tel Aviv, April 30, 2012.Tomer Appelbaum

While at first some were skeptic, today it's clear the event is a success, with 55 bars taking part (compared to 40 in the past year) and people signing up for the event weeks in advance.