An Evening of Physics and Astronomy at WSU

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University’s Department of Physics will present a lecture on early life on Earth and a physics demonstration show on March 28. The evening will conclude with a star party.

These free events are part of the annual regional meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).  The meeting will continue on Saturday with sessions designed for physics teachers and students.

At 7:30 p.m., professor John Armstrong will present the lecture, "The Search for Earth – The New Science of Astrobiology."  Armstrong, who is currently an adjunct instructor at WSU and a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Washington, is an astronomer whose research focuses on the history of early life on Earth and possible life on Mars.  His recent publications on these topics have been reported by Sky and Telescope magazine.

At 8:15 p.m., members of the Idaho-Utah Section of the American Association of Physics Teachers will present "Daring Physics Demonstrations."  The demonstrations will include "Levitating Soap and Glowing Vegetables," "Safety Seat or Launching Pad?" and "The Latest Litter of Galli Cats."  These demonstrations will entertain audiences of all ages.  (Small children should be accompanied by their parents.)

At the conclusion of the demonstration (approximately 9:15 p.m.), the staff of the Ott Planetarium at WSU will host an outdoor star party, weather permitting.  Through the university's 25-inch telescope and several smaller telescopes, participants will enjoy views of the moon, Saturn, Jupiter, and selected deep-sky objects.  In the event of cloudy weather, the star party will be replaced by a 35-minute indoor planetarium show on the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI).

The lecture and demonstration show will be held in the Lind Lecture Hall, room 121, near the northeast corner of the WSU campus.  The star party (weather permitting) will be held at the WSU observatory, across the street to the north of the Lind Lecture Hall. 

All three events are free to the public.  Parking on campus is also free during the evening.

For more information, visit
Dan Schroeder, physics professor
(801) 626-6048 ·
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
(801) 626-7212 ·