# RWTH in Fall

Thu, Nov 11, 2021 tags: [ rwth aachen physics ]

I like taking photos of my university campus; so much, in fact, that I’ve created a Flickr group dedicated to it. These days, the late fall light gives some special feeling to the Melaten campus especially (that’s the part built as a greenfield project some time in the 1970s, I believe).

My endearingly snarky treatment of my alma mater is well-deserved, and I hope some things will change in the upcoming years. Except for the bunnies, of course.

These photos were taken with the Sony Z f/4 16-70mm zoom lens, as I was feeling lazy.

Formerly a mechanical engineering building, in which I actually worked in 2019/2020 at the IGMR (institute of mechanism theory and robotics). Quite bizarre to see the elevators intact like always while the floor right in front is missing. This is (will soon have been) one of the typical RWTH Melaten buildings of the first generation, with the same layout as the still-standing Physics building and the electrical engineering Schottky building (see below).

To be fair, these buildings are quite nasty. Good riddance.

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The sun shining through the empty shell of a building – a warm contrast against the cool concrete. Missing windows lack reflections.

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Same layout, this time the physics building. Balconies unfortunately only to be used in an emergency. But the glass color is nice.

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In my mind, a ridiculous choice of color for the blinds. Orange?? Yellow seems to be the highlight color of choice here, also see further down.

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Disrepair, blue glass and yellow somethings on top. Is this decoration, or does it have some physical purpose? I know at least that there is a lab experiment where we measured athmospheric muons on different levels in the building, the idea being that the thick concrete floors will retain a fraction of muons – leading to more muons being measured in the top floors.

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28 is the building number: The Physics center occupies buildings 26 and 28. The yellow top can be seen from across the city, in fact. However, as opposed to the nearby Schottky building, this one doesn’t have a literal UFO on top. Sad!

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Next door, the production cluster. No 1970s feelings here! This is the electric mobility center of, I guess, Western Germany? The Aachen electric car maker e.go as well as the StreetScooter (known from DHL/Deutsche Post) originate here.

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Extremely uncomfortable seating opportunities in front of the university hospital.

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Bunnies are common on the RWTH campus at Melaten: I saw at least five as I was walking across it today. Best observed after most people have left, i.e. in the late afternoon.

Maybe this has to do with Lindt’s chocolate bunny (Goldhase) manufacture in Aachen? (joke reproduced here by courtesy of Polina)

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Arnold Sommerfeld, formerly professor of technical mechanics at RWTH Aachen (1900-1906) was the first professor of theoretical physics in Germany – however, in Munich (LMU). Sommerfeld is probably one of the most important physicists of the 20th century; he’s the inventor of the fine structure constant ($\alpha = e^2 / h c$), indispensable in quantum mechanics; worked on theoretical mechanics (spinning top theory), and achieved a whole lot more which I can’t do justice here. Extremely impressive! According to my superficial research, he was nominated 81 times(!) for a nobel prize, which however was never awarded to him.

A very honorable name for the street that the humble RWTH physics department is located in.

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Between the 1970s and the 2010s on the right – the physics workshop to be seen in the middle.

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