Physics Department to Host Open House for All Ages

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

WSU’s Department of Physics will host the fifth annual Physics Open House, Oct. 14 from 5:30 to 9 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.

This year’s event is being held in the fall for the first time. In previous years it was held in April. “Spring is so busy for science activities, like Science Fair and Science Olympiad, that we wanted to try spreading the joy around a little more,” said associate physics professor Stacy Palen, who is organizing the open house this year.

Scheduled events include the “Circus of Physics” demonstration show presented by physics professors 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, professor Ron Galli will answer the age-old question: Why do cats always land on their feet?

Other presentations will tackle the latest about particles from the Large Hadron Collider, lasers, flight, the physics of yoga and hospitable planets elsewhere in the universe. Since its inception in 2007, community interest and participation in the annual open house has been strong, with attendance as high as 1,400 people.

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 Bank.

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

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.


Stacy Palen, associate physics professor
801-626-7030 •

John Kowalewski, director of Media Relations
801-626-7212 •