When we talk about dust, there is usually a problem: house dust triggers allergies, fine dust pollutes city air, aerosols transport dangerous viruses. But the small particles can do much more: dusty soils are very fertile, the Amazon rainforest depends on fertilization from Saharan dust, and without dust in the air, it would be much darker on earth, as it reflects sunlight into the remotest corners.
Even meteorological phenomena such as rain or snow could not exist without small particles in the air.
Clever, witty and eloquent, dust expert Jens Soentgen reports on the useful pests that surround us every day - and how he learned to love dust.
PD Dr. Jens Soentgen is head of the Environmental Science Center at the University of Augsburg. He investigates coarse, fine and, most recently, ultrafine dust in various research projects. The chemist and philosopher already devoted his doctoral thesis to dust lint - ever since, the topic has haunted and fascinated him. Soentgen has published numerous popular non-fiction books, including How to Philosophize with Fire, which was named Knowledge Book of the Year in 2016.
As part of the International Science Festival - Geist Heidelberg
Everything about almost nothing - The big universe of small particles