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Media Advisory

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The "Physics Force" show is unique mix of physics demonstrations and slap-stick humor suitable for adults and children of all ages.

U of M Physics Circus brings large-scale stunts and physics lessons to kids

Media Note: Members of the media may attend any of the school group shows at the Minneapolis Convention Center to get photos and video at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 7; 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 8; 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 9; 10:30 a.m Thursday, Feb. 10.

Contacts: Rhonda Zurn, College of Science and Engineering, rzurn@umn.edu, (612) 626-7959
Preston Smith, University News Service, smith@umn.edu, (612) 625-0552

February 2, 2011

If you’ve never seen a physicist drop 20 feet through thin air while a friend shoots a ball at him from a cannon, or grown men and women shooting streams of toilet paper over an audience with a leaf blower, the University of Minnesota Physics Force has a show for you.

The Physics Force will present its largest show of the year, called the “Physics Circus,” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 10, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, 1301 2nd Ave S, Minneapolis. The show is a unique mix of physics demonstrations and slap-stick humor suitable for adults and children of all ages. The show is free, but registration is requested at http://umnphysicsforce2011.eventbrite.com.

The Physics Force is an entertaining outreach program of the University of Minnesota’s College of Science and Engineering. The group’s goal is to show that difficult subjects like physics and math can be fun and interesting. Each year the group performs for more than 20,000 school-age kids at its annual shows.

The Force consists of high school teachers and University of Minnesota physics professors. The group has performed variations of their show at Disney's Epcot Center, on Newton's Apple, and the Knoff-Hoff Show, a popular German television science program.

Demonstrations include dropping one of the Force members from a 20-foot garret while shooting a ball at him to demonstrate the effect of gravity on projectiles; collapsing a 55-gallon drum using only water to show the force of air pressure, and one of the Force members propelling across the stage on a cart by emptying a fire extinguisher to demonstrate how forces come in pairs (for every force, there's an equal and opposite force).

For more information and a video preview of the demonstrations, visit http://www.physics.umn.edu/outreach/pforce/index.html.

Tags: College of Science and Engineering

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