Phantasmagorical Physics Demo Show

people looking at experiment
November 2, 2023

On Saturday, October 28th from 6:30pm to 8:30pm in the Sloane Physics Laboratory, the Physics department and Pathways to Science hosted a Haunted Hallway and Demonstration Show. The event was organized by Stephen Irons, Paul Noel, Caitlin Hansen, and Eduardo da Silva Neto (video) of the physics department and Maria Parente & Rick Crouse (Registration, advertising) and Atagun Isiktas (photography) of Pathways to Science.  We would also like to thank the volunteers without whom this event could not have happened. Those affiliated with Yale were Emily Pottebaum, Andrew Tamis, Aaron Greenberg, Paul Klaucke, Claire Laffan, Sabrina Zacarias, Celin Hildago, Halona Dantes, Fernanto Flor, and Eunice Beato. Those from Pathways to Science were Michele Torres, Kevin Chen, and Peter Nelson.

Over 160 people attended. For the first hour people could walk the hallways and classrooms and see 13 different scientific phenomena explained by our volunteers. They could look into a cloud chamber and see tracks left by decaying radioactive particles, see and hear the vibrational nodes on an oscillating plate, levitate a magnetic spinning top, over 2 inches in the air, observe the effects of polarized light on birefringent materials, and watch a magnet slowed to a crawl as it fell down a tube.

At 7:30 the show started. For the show we had over 20 different demonstrations performed by 7 different members of the department. Guests witnessed a glowing pickle, a beaker shattered by sound, a giant pumpkin pendulum, a ping pong ball shot through a soda can, a bed of nails, electricity conducted through glass, a giant smoke ring cannon, and a rocket propelled tricycle, just to name a few.

See our flickr album for photos from the event.

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