Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Saturday Morning Physics

I love, love, LOVE something like this. If you are in Ann Arbor, MI, you are damn lucky!

This news article highlights the "Saturday Morning Physics" held at the University of Michigan.

"It started over in West Hall in a small auditorium and about 50 people came to the first one," said Carol Rabuck. "By the second one, they had to come over here (Dennison Auditorium) and we've been popular ever since."

Brad Orr, chairman of the Physics Department at the University of Michigan, said people enjoy it because it's accessible to the layperson and the speakers try to make technical subjects across a wide variety of science accessible so people can learn from them.

"Really, from Day 1, there have been several hundred people coming," he said. "And whether it's high school students who are coming because their teachers have encouraged them or given them extra credit, college students, we encourage this in our classes ... or parents will come with their kids, or retired folks. It's just a really broad spectrum of the community."


This is the type of activities that we sorely need more of. It isn't just the opportunity to learn about physics, but also the accessibility of the public to talk to physicists and ask questions that they either are curious about, or don't understand. I've always applaud such activities, including those coffee-house physics activities, and the likes. The fact that this Saturday morning physics has become wildly popular is clear evidence that if we have such a thing and promote it well, the people will come!

We truly need more of this. Universities in large cities with good physics departments should organize something like this.


1 comment:

poprocks said...

I went to this all the time with my dad back in high school. It's the reason I decided to major in physics!