As part of its ongoing efforts to inspire the potential scientists of tomorrow, UNM’s Department of Physics & Astronomy is once again hosting its Lecture Demonstration Show on Wednesday, Nov. 2 at 7 p.m. inside the Regener Hall Auditorium on main campus.
The show, which takes place twice a year, brings in students from across the Albuquerque area to watch live physics demonstrations illustrating some fundamental principles of mechanics, optics, electricity and magnetism. In the past, more than 300 students, ranging from elementary to high school, have attended the event.
“We have a responsibility to encourage the next generation,” said UNM Physics Professor David Dunlap, the event’s primary faculty organizer. “We hope to show younger students what physics is all about; perhaps they’ll decide it’s something they want to pursue further.”
Aside from giving back to the local community, Dunlap says the event is an educational experience for the UNM students who host it. While, Dunlap and other faculty members help organize and plan the event, graduate and undergraduate students are the ones who present the demonstrations and answer questions from the audience.
Students use a very large Newton’s Cradle to demonstrate the conservation of momentum and energy. There’s also an oversized pendulum and a Rubens’ Tube designed to show the standing wave patterns for sound in a musical instruments.
“Outreach is very important to our department and UNM as a whole,” said Dunlap. “If we’re able to expose these kids to science at a young age through these demonstrations and get them excited about it, then we’ve done our job. Plus, if they decide to continue their studies at UNM, it’s great for us too.”
The event is free and children of all ages are welcome to attend.
To learn more, visit the Department of Physics & Astronomy webpage.