The Physics Lecture Demonstration Facility at the University of Maryland Proudly Presents


the 2013-2014 Demonstration Program Series

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Since its inception in 1982, The University of Maryland Physics Department has presented a yearly series of free public lecture-demonstration programs affectionately known as PHYSICS IS PHUN.


Welcome to the 32nd year of PHYSICS IS PHUN, hosted by the staff of the Physics Lecture Demonstrations Facility with the assistance of numerous invaluable volunteers. These shows aim to educate and entertain the public through the use of both interactive and faculty-led demonstrations.

For evening shows, hands-on demonstrations are set-up for visitors to use, with volunteer supervision, 30 minutes before each program begins.


The two days of World in Motion, the April Physics is Phun programs, drew over 400 people from all over the Washington, DC metro area to the University of Maryland. 


The program included two evening presentations, and one afternoon family program with an exciting presentation of demonstrations and a series of hands-on activities. The events included volunteer presenters from area high schools, community colleges, and undergraduates and graduates from the Department of Physics at Maryland.


The evening program presented by the outstanding UMD physics instructor, Dave Buehrle, made some noise with the Rocket

Trike, Vacuum Launcher, and Pencil through Plywood demonstrations. The Vacuum Launcher received extra loud applause on Friday night as a ping pong ball shot through an empty soda can. 


Audience members took home the remains of the ball and can as souvenirs from the program (see picture).   Another exciting part of the program was matching physics demonstrations with the events at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, which provided examples of how the laws of motion are studied and used by coaches and athletes.

 The afternoon program focused on Newton’s Laws.  After a 20 minute presentation of entertaining physics demonstrations, guests were given a passport to Newton’s World, which they took with them to each of the 7 hands-on activities stationed inside and outside of the building (see pictures).  After completing each activity, visitors checked off which of Newton’s Laws applied to the activity on their passports.  Once the passports were complete, guests received a reward and walked away from the event as experts on Newton’s Laws!  As one guest stated, “Physics really is fun!  See you again soon.”


Please check back to this page for updates and look for our emails regarding upcoming events.