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Juniata Students Demonstrate Science at Physics Phun Night

(Posted April 9, 2012)

Physics Phun Night entertains through science demonstrations.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- The Juniata College students in the Society of Physics Students will take a break from manipulating lasers, mapping stars and other experiments to entertain Huntingdon residents by demonstrating scientific principles at Physics Phun Night at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 12, in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Academic Center on the Juniata campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Sponsorship of Physics Phun Night, sponsored by the Society of Physics Students, has provided entertainment and education to students and community members for more than a decade. The event is just one of the activities recognized in naming Juniata's chapter of SPS for 12 straight years.

Perhaps the most popular demonstration during Physics Phun Night, at least among the student body, is showing how the distribution of force over a wide area can lessen the effects of the force. Randy Rosenberger, associate professor of management, will willingly agree to illustrate this phenomenon by balancing a cement block on his chest while lying on a bed of nails and allowing Borgardt to smash the block with a sledgehammer.

Other demonstrations will include:

Barrel Crush: A team of students will use atmospheric pressure to "violently implode" two 55-gallon drums.

Liquid Nitrogen: Students will use liquid nitrogen to instantly freeze a number of substances.

Dancing Oobleck: Oobleck is a substance that acts as a liquid when poured but has the properties of a solid when force is applied to it. Oobleck is named after a gooey green substance in a Dr. Seuss story.

Ping Pong Air Cannon: Students will use scientific principles to shoot table tennis balls out of a tube.

Flaming Jug of Fiery Death: Despite its name, this demo shows how methane reacts when poured into a water jug. When a match is dropped into the jug, it flies across a horizontal wire.

In all, the students will demonstrate more than a dozen concepts in an entertaining and informative presentation.

The student leaders for Juniata's SPS chapter are as follows: Austin Ankney, president and a senior from Somerset, Pa.; Chris Arnold, vice president and a junior from Altoona, Pa.; Liam Sharp, secretary and a senior from Berwyn, Pa.; and Kerrick Dando, treasurer and a senior from Murrysville, Pa.

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