‘Magnificent Mechanics’ topic for Nov. 18 USU physics demo show

LOGAN — What makes a bicycle stay up while you’re riding it? What makes a rocket blast into space? Can a person really lie on a bed of nails without getting hurt? Inquiring minds of all ages are invited to learn the answer to these questions and more at Utah State University Physics Department’s fourth annual November Physics Demo Show on campus Friday, Nov. 18. This year’s theme is “Magnificent Mechanics.” The gathering begins at 7 p.m. in the Emert Auditorium, Room 130, of the Eccles Science Learning Center. Admission is free and open to all ages. “It’s time again to kick-off Thanksgiving week with our popular annual tradition,” says James Coburn, Teaching Laboratory supervisor and demonstration specialist in USU’s Physics Department. “This year, we’ll have lots of fun learning about Newtonian mechanics – physical principles developed by the famous physicist Sir Isaac Newton. Physics? Fun? “Absolutely,” Coburn says. “Unfortunately, many are intimidated by physics study. But it shouldn’t be that way – learning about science is something everyone can enjoy.” This year’s event features demonstrations of energy, force, inertia and angular momentum using such “toys” as a giant Newton’s Cradle, Newton’s Tablecloth, a bicycle wheel gyroscope, a ballistics cart and a huge pendulum. “It will be a ‘forceful, impulsive and chaotic’ evening,” Coburn says. For directions and parking information, visit www.usu.edu/science/unwrapped .

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