The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University invites audiences across Texas, the nation and even the world to get up-close and personal with science and technology at the 2018 Physics & Engineering Festival, an entertaining and informative weekend scientific extravaganza for all ages.
No fees or tickets are required for the free annual event (view promotional poster online), scheduled for Saturday, April 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the George P. Mitchell ’40 Physics Building on the Texas A&M campus (click here for directions and parking information).
Ride a square-wheeled bicycle, run through a pool of cornstarch or shoot balloons with lasers — three of the nearly 200 exciting, interactive exhibits and demonstrations that will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The event also will feature Science Circus performances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., as well as respective lectures at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. by NASA astronauts and Texas A&M professors Dr. Gregory Chamitoff and Dr. Nancy Currie-Gregg.
Other special events on tap include Large Hadron Collider virtual tours at noon and 1 p.m., tours of 1996 Nobel Prize-winning Texas A&M physicist Dr. David M. Lee’s laboratory, and five performances of the Low-Temperature Physics Extravaganza at 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 1:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. Finally, a Texas-sixed five-barrel depth charge featuring 1,000 plastic balls will close out the exhibition portion of the show at 3:30 p.m. on the south side the Mitchell Physics Building.
At 4 p.m., University of Chicago astrophysicist and author Dr. Rocky Kolb will deliver a keynote presentation, Mysteries of the Dark Universe in which will explore the 95 percent of our universe that is “missing” and believed to be composed of dark matter and dark energy.
On Friday evening, Harvard University physicist Dr. David Weitz will team up with local celebrity chefs Mitch Siegert (Truman Chocolates) and Tai Lee (Veritas) for a 7 p.m. free public lecture, Physics of Cooking, in the Hawking Auditorium.
All events are hosted by the Texas A&M Department Physics and Astronomy in partnership with several other campus units, including the Departments of Aerospace Engineering, Chemistry, Mathematics, Biology and Atmospheric Sciences as well as the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History.
All events are sponsored by the Texas A&M University System, the Department of Physics and Astronomy, the George P. and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Institute for Fundamental Physics and Astronomy, Dr. Charles R. ’62 and Judith G. Munnerlyn, ExxonMobil, the Willard and Anne Levin Foundation, Ahmed Mahmoud ’87, Michele Mobley ’87, Susan Sheskey, CC Creations, Schlotzsky’s College Station and Pepsi. The event is a member of the Science Festival Alliance.
Watch a recap video from the 2017 Physics & Engineering Festival on YouTube and see past event photographs on Flickr: