Monday, February 28, 2011

Fun with Science

The High Energy Magnet Lab had an open house this weekend,  The faculty and staff volunteer a day for the public to come see the fun side of science--pickles turned into light bulbs (a bit smelly), electromagnet cannons shooting metal rings, and the ever popular potato cannon.  There was a lot of liquid nitrogen around.  For the electromagnetic cannon, cooling the metal rings will decrease the resistance, and they shoot about three times as far.  Dip a flower into it, and it freezes solid and smashes into a powder.  Pour some into a bowl of cream and sugar and you have instant ice cream.   

They also had some Telsa coils there.  OK--these were about 3 feet high rather than the 3 stories high that we've seen at the science museum in Boston, but they still throw some pretty impressive sparks.  And the ones in Boston don't have reindeer.  Electric reindeer--useful for guiding sleds on foggy nights.

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