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It's That Pumpkin Drop Time of the Year

A smashing good time is promised for all who attend the Old Dominion University Society of Physics Students' annual Pumpkin Drop at the Batten Arts and Letters (BAL) Building on Thursday, Oct. 29, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

If all goes as planned, pumpkins are dropped nine stories into student-built pumpkin catchers that cushion their landing. But some the pumpkins miss the catcher, and some destroy the catcher, causing splats and smashes.

As befits a serious scientific enterprise, students conduct experiments using the plummeting pumpkins.

They will study the effectiveness of different pumpkin catcher designs for harmlessly dissipating the pumpkins' kinetic energy. Past pumpkin catchers have ranged from a simple bucket of mud to complicated counterweighted structures.

Students also have on occasion inserted a video camera in a pumpkin to provide a pumpkin's-eye-view of the fall.

Prizes will be awarded for the most creative and the shortest working pumpkin catchers.

This article was posted on: October 29, 2009

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