Physics show to entertain, teach attendees
BY KAYLA VAN EPS & MEREDITH WATHNE
Physics students at MSUM are gearing up for the third annual Society of Physics Students Physics Show.
The show gives students the chance to set up and perform experiments that entertain the audience while passing on knowledge.
“It’s meant to be a fun experience that we act out experiments and then describe some of the physics or science behind each demonstration,” said Tyler Lane, physics senior and SPS president.
Some of the experiments that will be highlighted at the show are the use of liquid nitrogen to freeze and shatter objects; the Reuben’s Tube; Tesla Coils that may potentially sing; induction pipes; exploding balloons and a vortex ring “cannon.”
The Tesla Coil is one experiment attendees may find interesting. Invented around 1891 by Nikola Tesla, Tesla Coils are induction coils that produce high-frequency, alternating currents for electricity. Tesla used the coils during experiments in lighting, X-ray generation and phosphorescence, but today they are used mainly in entertainment, displays and vacuums.
Lane said that when using these coils, different voltage and frequencies make the coils “sing.”
Another experiment Lane thinks the audience may enjoy is the Reuben’s Tube.
“A Reuben’s Tube, or simply a flame tube, is an antique physics apparatus for demonstrating acoustic standing waves in a tube,” he said.
At past shows, the audience was not allowed to come down and take a closer look at experiments due to safety measures. However, this year attendees may get closer, ask questions and get a better understanding for the projects.
The SPS puts on various events throughout the year besides the annual physics show, like guest speakers, field trips and physics outreach to local schools and the community. Lane is grateful for his time spent in the organization and what it offers members.
“It has helped my college career by taking a leadership role in SPS,” he said. Lane also cited that the society introduced him to many friends that have a common passion.
The SPS Physics Show takes place from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday in Langseth 104. It’s a free, all-ages show and is open to the public. SPS meets at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays in Hagen 314.