(Posted April 4, 2006)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Getting pummeled with a sledgehammer while lying on a bed of nails doesn't guarantee a good night's sleep, but it does entertainingly demonstrate physics principles during Physics Phun Night at 7 p.m., Wednesday, April 12 in Alumni Hall in the Brumbaugh Academic Center on the Juniata campus.

Physics Phun Night, sponsored by the Society of Physics Students (SPS) and the physics department, is free and open to the public. Glow sticks will be sold during the event for $2.

James Borgardt, associate professor of physics and sponsor of the SPS club, says Richard Laverty, assistant professor of mathematics, will lie on a bed of nails to demonstrate how force is distributed over a wide area.

Other demonstrations will include:

Freezing Everyday Objects: Students will freeze a variety of objects, including balloons

Burning Bubbles: Students will ignite bubbles filled with methane gas.

Shattered Glass: The demonstrators will break a wine glass using the power of sound.

"Using props like the bed of nails makes teaching the principles of a fairly complex science both memorable and fun," Borgardt says. "Once you see how physics applies to someone lying on nails, it helps us understand science much more clearly."

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.