Large Crowds Expected at Physics Open House

OGDEN, Utah – What do glowing pickles, cats, Star Trek and a university president 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 seventh annual Physics Open House, Oct. 4 from 6 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. 

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. WSU president Charles A. Wight, a longtime chemistry professor, will be a special guest presenter at this year’s “Circus of Physics.”

“We’re keeping President Wight’s presentation under wraps until show time,” said associate physics professor John Armstrong, who helps organize the annual event.

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?

Outdoor presentations will include HARBOR high-altitude ballooning, rocket launching, catapults, and Science in the Parks demonstrations. This year’s event will also feature a panel discussion of science in sci-fi movies. In addition, the Ott Planetarium will present shows and a star party that evening (weather permitting).

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, 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.

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

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John Armstrong, associate physics professor
801-626-6215 •
John Kowalewski, executive director of University Communications
801-626-7212 •