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UM Physics Department Sets Night of Frightful Fun

By Edwin B. Smith

University of Mississippi

University of Mississippi physics graduate students help prepare ice cream using liquid nitrogen as costumed customers await during Spooky Physics Night, hosted by the Department of Physics and Astronomy. Photo by Megan Wolfe/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

A frightfully fun time for all is in the air as the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy hosts its annual Spooky Physics Night, set for Oct. 20 in Lewis Hall.

The program starts at 6 p.m. with a family-friendly show that includes demonstrations of energy, electricity, magnetism, sound, waves and the physics of ultracold temperatures. Indoor and outdoor demonstrations and will run through 8:30 p.m.

New additions will feature astronomy demonstrations including a mobile planetarium, which will showcase an awe-inspiring display of the cosmos. Children and adults are encouraged to wear costumes, and prizes will be awarded.

“The Spooky Physics Night is always a lot of fun,” said Jake Bennett, assistant professor of physics and co-coordinator of the evening’s activities. “We enjoy thrilling and amazing kids and other community members and, hopefully, sharing the enthusiasm and excitement we have for the science behind the demonstrations.”

Two demo shows will be held in Lewis Hall, Room 101, featuring physics demonstrations, including an air cannon and imploding a barrel using only temperature changes, at 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. Low-temperature physics shows, featuring the effects of ultracold temperatures, will run concurrently in Room 109 and will include flash-freezing ice cream with liquid nitrogen.

This year’s activities also include an outdoor show, set for 7 p.m. All events are free and open to the public.

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