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Science Rocks!

Researcher’s Night 2013

For the sixth consecutive year The Cyprus Institute participated to the annual European event Researchers' Night. The event’s main objective is to bring the public at large and researchers together, and to present and explain science in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. It offers the opportunity to discover research facilities and equipment that are usually not open to the public, show the most recent technologies and instruments with the guidance of scientists, participate in experiments, watch demonstrations and simulations, and exchange ideas with the researchers. Hundreds of events took place in about 300 cities all over Europe.

The Cyprus Institute participated this year with two activities:

The hidden Corals of Cyprus reveal their old secrets and their uncertain future

The Corals of Cyprus were practically unknown until a few years ago. Uncovering the Corals of Cyprus required a lot of diving and exploring of the Cypriot seas by Enalia Physis Environmental Research Centre and The Cyprus Institute’s Marine Ecology team; a research activity still ongoing. In an attempt to educate the public and inspire the younger generation to appreciate the beauty of the Cypriot seas, a kiosk with information on what was discovered and which are the corals of Cyprus was organised, accompanied by an aquarium packed with corals and fish (courtesy of our research collaborator Aqua Cosmos). An aquarium stereoscope allowed viewers to have a closer look at the coral colonies, making individual corals and their extending tentacles more viewable. Questions by curious youngsters and perplexed parents were answered while a presentation on the Corals of Cyprus was running in the background. A second screen was showcasing the work being done, in association with the Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC) of The Cyprus Institute, on the creation of 3D models of coral skeleton.

Unravelling the Past

The Science and Technology in Archaeology Research Center (STARC) demonstrated the process required to scan an artifact with a 3D laser scanner, the post-processing of the data produced and the final 3D model of the artifact.  The demonstration included a 3D laser scanner, NEXT Engine, which was scanning a replica during the event, so that visitors could see the real scanning result live.  CyI researchers also used two screens to enhance the quality of the demonstration. The video was an animation presenting the 3D models of the artifacts from the Department of Antiquities that was made as a part of an exhibition held at Brussels during the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of the European Union.  A very detailed step by step analysis of the whole process from scanning to final 3D model was also presented.  In a second touch screen, the researchers showed final 3D models of archaeological artifacts and visitors could see in detail and rotate on their own.  STARC researchers also presented the Large Format Photography which can be used in all types of environments for a wide range of materials. In CyI’s case, its applicability in unwrapping cylindrical surfaces from ancient cylinder seals produced enormous detail providing us with High Resolution panoramic images. This Large Format unit at CyI is being customized for the needs of cultural heritage requirements in collaboration with the University of Southern California and is fully flexible to add-ons so to fit the criteria of any case study.

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