Session H7 - Physics Demonstrations in the 21st Century.
INVITED session, Sunday morning, April 06
Regency Ballroom C1, Loews Philadelphia Hotel

[H7.002] The Wonders of Physics

J. C. Sprott (University of Wisconsin - Madison)

In 1984 the University of Wisconsin began an outreach program called The Wonders of Physics. The program initially consisted of a series of public lectures intended to generate interest in physics through a series of fast-paced demonstrations suitable for a diverse audience. The demonstrations are organized around the areas of classical physics, including motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light. The presentations include music, costumes, skits, and surprise appearances of special guests. The presentation has been given about 160 times on the Madison campus, nearly always to capacity crowds totaling over 50,000. Each year the program is videotaped and distributed to individuals, schools, and cable TV stations. In 1990, a Lecture Kit was produced and is widely distributed. A traveling version of the show was developed in 1988 and has been given about 800 times to a total audience of approximately 100,000, mostly school children in nineteen states and provinces. The program is funded by the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the Department of Energy and by donations from those for whom the presentations are made as well as a few corporations and benefactors.