Brain-Teasers, Experiments to be Used as Part of Award-Winning “Physics is Phun” Program

By Mary Beth Spina

Release Date: March 16, 2001

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Department of Physics at the University at Buffalo will present the award-winning program "Physics is Phun" from 7-8:15 p.m. March 27 in 20 Knox Hall on the UB North Campus.

The program will be free of charge and open to the public.

The program, to be given by Richard Berg, a professor at the University of Maryland, College Park, presents physics concepts at the high school level through the use of demonstrations. It aims to educate, inform and entertain. "Physics is Phun" recently won an award of merit from the Maryland Higher Education Commission.

The evening will consist of the audience trying to figure out -- and then voting on -- the outcomes of physics "brainteaser" questions that later are answered with demonstrative experiments. The experiments are qualitative, graphic and involve only basic elementary-physics concepts. The experiments have been included in the program in large part because of their counterintuitive element -- so college physics professors are almost as likely to guess the wrong result as are high school students.

For more information about the presentation, contact Andrea Markelz at 645-2006 or at amarkelz@buffalo.edu, or check out the physics department's Web site at http://www.physics.buffalo.edu.