Department of Physics and Astronomy Open House - November 7 - Fall 2015

Come join us for a day of Physics Phun at our Department of Physics and Astronomy Biennial Open House! The open house is free and open to anyone. Activities and talks will be geared towards a wide range of ages from elementary grades up through the ever-young and curious at heart. (That's a graceful way of saying K-99, Grades Kindergarten to Grade 99, in education speak).

Activities and shows are listed here with scheduled times where appropriate. Please keep in mind that this is a dynamic event that relies on a lot of equipment and people. We may need to move some events around at the last minute. Some talk titles may change slightly as well over the next few weeks.

The Open House videos from our 2011 Open House are up on our YouTube channel (OhioUPhysics). Check out "Open House 2011" for a great overview of the day. As well, check out the "Why Physics?" series of videos, particularly if you're considering Physics as a career.

Feel free to contact Dr. Mark Lucas if you have additional questions or requests for information.

Please help us spread the word!


The Matrix - How does Computer Memory Work? - Clippinger 194
Single 30-40 minute talk at 1:30PM - Dr. Gang Chen and Dr. David Drabold
Come learn about the physics behind different ways to store information in a computer. They'll also talk about ongoing research at Ohio University focussed on a new type of memory called CBRAM.
Cosmic Explosions and the Stuff They Leave Behind
Dr. Madappa Prakash, Time 12:30
Relative Reality
A trip through town at near the speed of light!
Dr. David Onley, Time 1:30
The Dark Side of the Universe
Dr. Doug Clowe, Time 2:30

Physics Shows

20-25 minutes duration unless otherwise listed. The times listed are tentative.

Fun with Liquid Nitrogen - Clippinger 119
What NOT to Do with Your Microwave - Clippinger 135
10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30
Levitation: Beating Back Gravity - Clippinger 133
10:00, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 4:00
Sharks with Lasers on Their Heads - Clippinger 205
11:30, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00, 4:00
Fashioning Patterns: Atoms on the Runway - Clippinger 131
Atomic tailoring to create functionality
11:00, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30
Power of Air - Third Floor Lobby Clippinger
10:30, 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 1:30, 2:00, 2:30, 3:30, 4:00 (Ping pong ball cannon)
AthensMakers: Arduinos, MakeyMakeys, Magnetic Trains and More - Clippinger 215
12:00 through 3:00 - Have fun with magnets and lots of bizzare demos.
Catch a Wave! - Clippinger 103
11:00 through 3:00 - A variety of sound demos.

Hallway Activities and Displays

The Hallway Activities are scattered throughout the lobby area on the three floors and are available the full day unless otherwise noted.

3D Printers
Come see the Replicator 2 in action - 3rd Floor Hallway
Infrared Camera
See yourself in a new light! - 3rd Floor Hallway
The Sky is NOT the Limit ... with a Telescope
How to choose a telescope. 1st Floor lobby
nanO stUdio
A tabletop collection of advanced and compact microscopes including AFM, STM, SEM - 12-3 Savas Kaya (NQPI, Russ College of Engineering) - Hallway near 131
Moire Movies
Make your own Moire patterns and movies - Hallway near 131
Covering Flatland
Come and tile with Bravais, Escher and Penrose as guides - Hallway near 131
Sail down the hallway on a cushion of air - 3rd Floor Hallway
Physics Arcade
Games and simulations that involve physics - 2nd Floor Hallway
Hallway Slingshot and Funky Pendulum
3rd Floor Hallway
Physics Construction Challenges
Sail Car Challenge and more - 2nd Floor Lobby
Bowling Ball Slalom
Getting a feel for inertia - 2nd Floor Lobby
Angular Momentum Demos
Twist and Spin! 2nd Floor Lobby
The BOOKS Project
2nd Floor Lobby
Water Rockets (Weather Permitting)
West Lawn
Solar Viewing (Weather Permitting)
10AM-2PM Front Sidewalk
Physics and Toys Corner
Variety of Physics-related toys for the younger set and young at heart! 2nd Floor Lobby and Hallway
Cosmic Ray Booth
Cosmic Ray Detector and Cloud Chamber - 1st Floor Lobby
Physics Art Table
Future Scientist Prize
Attend shows, participate in activities and you can earn a small prize on the way out. Three levels of prizes depending on the number of shows and activities.

Lab Tours

Tours of various labs. Some tours required reserving a place in the tour by picking up a free ticket at the Welcome Table.

Edwards Accelerator Lab
10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby.
Single Atom Manipulation Lab - Nanoart
10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15, 12:45, 3:15, 3:45 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby.
Helium: the Chilling Substance of Science
12:00, 1:00, 2:00 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby. Age 10 and older.
Laser "Tweezers" Lab - Clippinger 352
11:00-12:30, 1:30-3:00
Scanning Electron Microscope - Clippinger 353
11:00-12:30, 1:30-3:00


The easiest way to reach Clippinger Labs is to follow US-50/S.R. 33 to the 682 exit. At the roundabout at Richland Avenue, veer right. Cross the Hocking River and turn right onto South Green. The stadium will be on your right. Continue past Oxbow Trail and turn left onto University Terrace. As you swing around to the left, Clippinger is the large building on your left. You can park in any of the lots in the area.

For more general directions to Athens, check out Traveling to Ohio University Athens Campus.

A photo of Clippinger can be found here.


Parking is free and available in Dark Green and Purple color designated lots including lot numbers 83, 84, 86, 88 next to Clippinger Laboratories. Additional parking is available in Dark Green and Purple lots 132 and 134 next to Peden football stadium and Margaret Walter Hall. A parking pass is not needed in any of these Dark Green and Purple lots. Parking information is available here. Clippinger is building 81 and is located at H-6.


Help Spread the Word! A copy of the poster can be found here. Feel free to print this and post it!

Here are links to a bookmark that has been distributed to some of the local schools:

More Information

For more information, contact Prof. Mark Lucas ( (740)597-2984.