COSAM News Articles 2023 October Gameday physics event captivates tailgaters

Gameday physics event captivates tailgaters

Published: 10/31/2023

By: Kristen Jackson

Minds were enriched and children and parents alike were fascinated by the Gameday Physics event hosted by the Auburn Physics Department and COSAM Outreach on Saturday, Oct. 21 from 2 – 4 p.m. in the Academic and Classroom Learning Complex (ACLC). The event brought the wonders of physics to the public prior to gameday kickoff through a series of interactive exhibits and demonstrations. 

Demonstrators drew families to the event with a liquid nitrogen ice cream stand and the smell of popcorn, but visitors were pleasantly surprised to find fascinating exhibits inside the ACLC. More than 500 attendees of all ages explored 12 hands-on physics activities showcasing fundamental physics principles.

Thirty-four faculty and university students from the Department of Physics, including students from the Society of Physics Students and Physics Graduate Student Association, provided interactive demonstrations stemming curiosity in attendees. Exhibits showcased the marvels of static electricity, wave formation demonstrated with fire, fluid rotation, element spectroscopy with diffraction glasses, biophysics of proteins and viruses, superconductivity with magnets and much more!

“We were here for gameday but stumbled upon this amazing STEM outreach program today hosted by the College of Sciences and Mathematics. I love seeing all the scientific minds imparting their knowledge on the community,” said Chrissy Rice, a parent of two Auburn alumni from New Jersey.

Cathy Collier, an Auburn alumna from Fort Walton Beach said, “This is an awesome way to encourage students to get into the sciences, especially the girls.”

The event was free to the public as part of a National Science Foundation Career award for Dr. Ryan Comes’ research team in condensed matter physics.

“This event has been a dream of mine since I got to Auburn. I’m really excited we get to share the marvels of physics with the broad community of families visiting Auburn for gamedays. It’s also a chance for people of all ages to get to talk with scientists and learn a bit more about the scientific research process” stated Dr. Comes. “I hope that seeing these demos will generate interest for future physicists and help foster curiosity about the science that explains our world.”

Gameday Physics was hosted by the Department of Physics in collaboration with the College of Sciences and Mathematics STEM Outreach Center.

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