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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

UM Physics Department Offers Hair-Raising Night of Science

‘Spooky Physics Night’ shows off scientific principles in educational, fun format


A fairy princess has a hair-raising experience at a previous ‘Spooky Physics Night.’ Photo by Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

A fairy princess has a hair-raising experience at a previous ‘Spooky Physics Night.’ Photo by Nathan Latil/Communications

Frights, food and fun are the order of the evening when the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy presents its annual “Spooky Physics Night” demonstrations from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28) in Lewis Hall.

The program will include a stage show at 8 p.m. Hands-on activities for the public through the evening include freezing objects in liquid nitrogen (at minus 320 degrees), generating sound waves with Bunsen burners and tubes, and levitating magnets with superconductors. Other fun presentations include optical illusions with mirrors, hair-raising encounters with a Van de Graaff generator, a bed of nails and other contraptions.

Physics department personnel also will prepare ice cream with liquid nitrogen and award prizes for the most original, scariest and cutest costumes to kids 12 and under.

“We at the Department of Physics and Astronomy really look forward to this event,” said Marco Cavaglia, associate professor of physics and coordinator of the evening’s activities. “As in the past years, there will be shows and a lot of hands-on science demonstrations with a Halloween twist to experience weird physics phenomena, from electricity to heat and pressure to the ultra-cold.

“And to make the evening sweeter, guests will be able to taste our world-famous liquid nitrogen ice cream!”

Visitors can park across the street in the various lots around the Turner Center. For more information or for assistance related to a disability, call the Department of Physics and Astronomy at 662-915-5325.