Saturday Morning Physics returns to FSU

Florida State University’s physics department will host the annual Saturday Morning Physics program starting Saturday, Oct. 5, and invites the community to learn about the important role physics plays in our world.  

Founded in 1983, the Saturday Morning Physics program gives students and community members a chance to learn basic physics concepts through the guidance of faculty members at an esteemed research institution. While the program is primarily designed for middle-to-high school students, any and all interested in physics are welcome to participate.

“We are happy with every person that turns up, from elementary school to retiree, from any walk of life. Anyone can be interested in physics!” said Kevin Huffenberger, associate professor of physics and chair of the committee overseeing Saturday Morning Physics since 2014. 

The program is updated each year with new session topics. This year’s topics include exploding stars, the physics of sports, a planetarium show on light and dark matter, and a trip to the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory to learn about superconductors. The visit to the MagLab is often the most popular presentation of the series. 

Sessions are free to all, beginning at 9:30 a.m. and ending around 11:15 a.m. Each session will have a 20-minute break with complimentary pastries and juice available. Due to the popularity of the MagLab presentation, a second session will begin at 10:30 a.m. that week. 

Except during MagLab week, each session will be held in Room 101 (the large lecture hall) of the Richards Building Undergraduate Physics Laboratory on FSU's campus. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes for all events held at the MagLab, located at 1800 E. Paul Dirac Drive in Tallahassee.

“We hope to inspire curiosity about the world,” Huffenberger said. “We hope that the people who attend Saturday Morning Physics see that physics can be interesting and enjoyable. We also want them to see the research about the fundamental properties of nature that is happening here at FSU, conducted by real people in their own community.” 

For information, visit the Saturday Morning Physics website.

All session dates and topics are below: 

Oct. 5: Astronomy in a universe filled with light and dark matter

Oct. 12: Physics of waves

Oct. 19: Physics on the web/Quantum Information

Oct. 26: Particle physics: What matter is and how we know

Nov. 2: Forging elements in exploding stars and in the lab

Nov. 9: The National MagLab and strange superconductors

Nov. 16: Physics of sports