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Juniata's President Plays with Pain at Physics Phun Night

(Posted April 8, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- College presidents occasionally have to perform painful duties, but Juniata College's leader, Tom Kepple, will go beyond the call of duty by lying on a bed of nails on the stage of Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Science to entertainingly demonstrate physics principles during Physics Phun Night at 7 p.m. April 11.

Physics Phun Night, sponsored by the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and the Physics Department, is free and open to the public. Glow sticks and glow necklaces will be on sale for $2 each.

James Borgardt, assistant professor of physics and sponsor of the SPS club, says Kepple will lie on a bed of nails to demonstrate how force is distributed. To add to the excitement, and perhaps to President Kepple's misery, another faculty member will use a sledgehammer to break a cinder block as it lies on Kepple's chest.

Other demonstrations will include breaking a wine glass using sound waves, burning bubbles, how to turn a skateboard into a rocket and a demonstration that allows the audience to "see" sound waves.

"President Kepple volunteered to lie on the bed of nails at a faculty meeting, so we are taking him up on his offer," Borgardt says. "It's not every day you get to put a president on a bed of nails and perhaps even learn a little about physics during the evening."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.