Physics Department to Host Open House for All Ages

OGDEN, Utah – What do glowing pickles, floating soap, cats and game shows all have in common? They’re all part of the annual physics open house returning to Weber State University in April.

WSU’s Department of Physics will host the fourth annual Physics Open House, April 9 from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. in Lind Lecture Hall. The event, which is free and open to all ages, will feature presentations, demonstrations and interactive activities conducted by WSU physics faculty and students.

Scheduled events include the “Circus of Physics” demonstration show presented by Adam Johnston and Colin Inglefield, featuring levitating billiard balls and disappearing test tubes in addition to the aforementioned pickles and soap. 

In demonstrations on electricity, spinning objects and cats, Ron Galli will answer the age-old question: Why do cats always land on their feet?

Other presentations will tackle the physics of vision, global warming and hospitable planets elsewhere in the universe. New in 2010, professor Stacy Palen will host a physics game show where contestants will have a chance to differentiate between real science and science fiction.

Since its inception in 2007, community interest and participation in the annual open house has been strong.

“Last year we had a snowstorm hit the night of the event, and we still attracted 600 people despite the weather,” said assistant physics professor John Armstrong.

While the event remains free to the public, this year event organizers are conducting a canned food drive. Visitors are encouraged to bring canned foods to the open house, and race them down an inclined plane in soup can races.  After the event, all donated canned goods will be given to the Utah Food Shelter.

The Ott Planetarium also will be presenting shows and a star party that evening.

Weather permitting, WSU’s high-altitude ballooning team will inflate a giant helium balloon, part of a vehicle to deliver student-built instruments to the edge of space.

Visit for a complete list of all the activities planned at the open house, along with directions and other event information.

Visit for more news about Weber State University.
John Armstrong, assistant physics professor
801-626-6215 •
John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •