Quarks (TV show)

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Television broadcast
Original title Quarks
Country of production Germany
original language German
Year (s) Since 1993
West German Broadcasting Cologne
length mostly 45 minutes
genre Science - TV magazine
idea Ranga Yogeshwar
music Symphonic Dances (Op. 45, 1st movement) by Sergei Rachmaninow
First broadcast April 14, 1993 on West 3

Quarks (until 2017 Quarks & Co ) is a weekly science television magazine on WDR television that was originally hosted by Ranga Yogeshwar . Since 2019, Ralph Caspers and Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim have alternated moderation. The Quarks editorial team also publishes its content on the radio and on the Internet.


Quarks (until 2017 Quarks & Co ) originally started as a weekly science television magazine on WDR television , moderated by Ranga Yogeshwar . Since 2019, Ralph Caspers and Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim have alternated moderation. The subject of the usually 45-minute program (e.g. " earthquake ", " autism " or " lignite opencast mining ") is brought closer to the viewer with (studio) experiments and reports - mostly from different perspectives. The Quarks editorial team works with universities and scientists . Quarks is one of the most successful scientific magazines on German television.


Quarks has been broadcast by WDR since April 14, 1993. The program runs on Tuesdays at 9:00 p.m. and is repeated on Saturday morning. Initially there were 12 programs a year with a summer break, later Quarks ran every two weeks, alternating with magazines like Q 21 . The program has been broadcast weekly since the beginning of 2007. There are texts on the Internet for the broadcasts. Up until the end of 2009 a script was produced for each broadcast that can be ordered; The scripts have been available for download as PDF files since 2010. As a rule, the program is offered for streaming in the WDR media library and as a video podcast in MP4 format even before it is broadcast , with purchased images occasionally being cut out for licensing reasons. A live stream has also been available since May 2011 .

Offshoots and special programs

Quarks & Caspers was an offshoot of the show moderated by Ralph Caspers between 2010 and 2017. In general, Quarks & Caspers moderated and explained in a more understandable, relaxed and sometimes more silly manner. An additional part of the show was a list of seven facts on the subject. In the beginning there was the slogan “Seven things you should know”. After the addition in the program title was omitted, Caspers moderated the program alternately with Yogeshwar.

As part of the WDR program action turns was with quarks You & 2015 another format with Ralph Caspers launched. In two programs so far, reports on rather abstract topics (e.g. "The First Time") have been reported with a lot of audience involvement and sometimes unconventional attempts. A social experiment as part of a Quarks & You sequence caused discussions even before it aired. In a bus in Essen, actors created a situation in which it should be shown how citizens react to exclusion.

At irregular intervals there are special programs that, at 90 minutes, are twice as long as the normal programs and start at 8:15 p.m. This includes the Quarks Arena , which is recorded in a large studio with an audience and guests.

Idea and naming

The predecessor of Quarks was the science show that Ranga Yogeshwar initially hosted together with his mentor Jean Pütz . After Pütz had gradually withdrawn from the TV business, Yogeshwar continued to moderate the series on his own from 1990.

The program Quarks was started by Yogeshwar and his two best friends in 1993 because the old name of the program "Science Show" seemed inappropriate for topics such as AIDS , which had little to do with a show. The name Quarks & Co was agreed : Quarks are the building blocks of matter in the standard model of particle physics .

Since September 12, 2017, the program has simply been called Quarks in order to standardize it with its offshoots and to create a common multimedia science brand of the WDR.

In November 2018, Ranga Yogeshwar announced his departure as moderator.

Background information

  • The presenter Ranga Yogeshwar made himself available for experiments on the program, often in self-experiments.
  • Quarks' striking title music comes from the orchestral work Sinfonische Tänze by Sergei Rachmaninoff . These are excerpts from the first movement of the work ( tempo designation [Non] Allegro ).
  • The original studio background with its white lines on a dark background was designed based on a particle accelerator test result. In the meantime the studio has been designed differently.
  • Yogeshwar used to greet a program with the words: “Hello. Welcome to & Quarks Co . Thank you for your visit."
  • The moderation by Yogeshwar always took place with the words: “(And as always :) Thanks for watching. Stay loyal to us, recommend us to others. (See you next time.) Bye! ”During the last word he closes both eyes.


  • 1997: The episode Human Failure was nominated for the Adolf Grimme Prize
  • 2008: Nomination for the German Television Award in the category of best information broadcast: Best knowledge broadcast
  • 2010: Nomination for the Golden Camera in the category Best Information (knowledge broadcast)
  • 2010: Helmut Stickl Prize 2010 for the program How much vaccination must be?
  • 2011: German Business Film Award in the category of films about the economy (feature films) for the program Die Welt in der Debtkrise - Who pays the bill?

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ↑ Program profile
  2. Quarks on the radio
  3. ↑ Program profile
  4. https://www.facebook.com/QuarksundCo/photos/a.10150304658480564.561243.399241730563/10159280847045564/?type=3
  5. After 25 years of "Quarks" Ranga Yogeshwar passes on moderation to Mai Thi Nguyen-Kim and Ralph Caspers
  6. State Secretary Burgbacher awards the 2011 German Business Film Prize ( Memento of the original from November 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (BMWi press release of November 18, 2011) @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / bmwi.de