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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Science on display

Physicis+and+engineering
Photo by Provdided
Physicis and engineering

Experiments, explosions and chemical reactions are all happening this saturday as faculty and students share their love of physics and engineering with the community.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M will hold its 16th annual Physics and Engineering Festival Saturday. Nearly 200 interactive physics demonstrations and experiments organized by age group will be on display for visitors of all ages to see.
The festival started in 2003, when physics professor Edward Fry invited the world-renowned physicist Stephen Hawking to lecture and see the work at the A&M physics department.
“I decided this would be a great idea to show off the physics department, so I sent a mass email to all the faculty on campus thinking of ways to show off their favorite experiments,” Fry said. “Once Hawking spoke and having the models of what was taking place in the department, it became a big success and we’ve been doing this ever since.”
Since then, Fry said he has been amazed by the festival’s growth each year as the number attendees and demonstrations continues to rise.
“It’s incredible what this event has turned into, from something so small and to where we have 6,000 in attendance now and to have it keep growing is something unimaginable,” Fry said.
Tatiana Erukhimova, instructional associate professor of physics, has been working to put this year’s festival together.
“We will have all kinds of demonstrations taking place, some interactive, some taught by students that have been working hard the whole year and now we will present them” Erukhimova said. “What makes this event so special is the interaction between faculty and students working and showing how all the numerous experiments are done.”
Physics doctoral student Dawson Nodurft has been helping run the event since 2012 and this year his responsibilities will also include running nine booths.
“Back when I was applying for graduate school in 2011, I applied to several different schools and though I was leaning toward A&M,” Nodurft said. “I hadn’t made up my mind and when I actually visited I saw the festival and I knew right then and there this is something I wanted to be a part of.”
The festival will kick off on Friday, April 6 at 7 p.m. with the Physics of Cooking presented by Harvard professor David Weitz, featuring chefs Tai Lee and Mitch Siegert in the Mitchell Physics Lecture Hall. Then the main activities will start April 7 at 10 a.m. in the courtyard in front of the Mitchell Physics Building.
“The goal of the festival is to celebrate — the celebration of science,” Erukhimova said. “We want physics to be as accessible as possible, we want everyone from 3 to 103 to enjoy it.”

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