November 1, 2017 at 11:15 pm

Physics & Astronomy Open House, Fun with Lasers and More, Nov. 4

See what colorful lasers can do! Catch a sound wave! Beat back gravity! It’s all there to explore at the Ohio University Physics & Astronomy Open House on Saturday, Nov. 4, from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Clippinger Laboratories on the Athens campus. The event is free and open to the public. Families are especially encouraged to attend.

Every other year the department turns the building into an interactive science museum for the day where visitors enjoy hallway challenges, physics demonstrations, talks, and lab tours.

Dr. Mark Lucas, Associate Professor in Physics & Astronomy, is the main faculty organizer of the event.

“We see this as a great opportunity to help people of all ages learn more about the world around them in a fun, informal setting,” Lucas says. “This also provides a chance for our own students to learn more about sharing the excitement and fun of science with the public.”

This year’s event will have several new hallway challenges, including an all-new physics construction challenge. There will be a display and activities about rockets and aviation presented by the student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

In addition, the newly constructed Ohio University Observatory also will have drop-in hours, in the evening from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. (weather permitting). Visitors will be invited to view the night sky using the newly refurbished Fecker telescope as well as a number of portable telescopes. The telescope night will be canceled if the sky is cloudy or stormy.

The daylong Open House features hands-on shows, demos, and lab tours, including:

  • Catch a Wave! Sound and Light demos
  • Fun With Liquid Nitrogen
  • What NOT To Do With Your Microwave
  • Levitation: Beating Back Gravity
  • The Power of Air: Ping Pong Ball Cannons
  • “Sharks with Lasers on Their Heads”
  • 3D Printing, Arduinos, and more
  • Physics arcade
  • Edwards Accelerator Lab tour, STM tour, Optical Tweezers tour
  • How to Choose a Telescope Interactive Display

The all-day open house provides a venue for the general public to learn more about the world around us and highlights important concepts of the natural world. Faculty, staff, and students in the department—as well as volunteers from other departments and the community—come together to share their excitement and fun of science with attendees.

Date: Saturday, Nov. 4, 2017

Times: 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Open House at Clippinger Laboratories); 8 p.m. – 10 p.m. (Observatory at The Ridges – Drop-In, weather permitting)

WHERE: Ohio University Athens Campus

WEBSITES: Physics & Astronomy Open House (day) and Ohio University Observatory (evening)




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