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Dozens of pumpkins will be dropped from atop the tallest building on the Old Dominion University campus on Tuesday, Oct. 31, in a traditional Halloween demonstration sponsored by the Society of Physics Students.

The annual Pumpkin Drop, which begins at 12:30 p.m. on the northwest side of the Batten Arts and Letters Building, invites student competitors to build creative and efficient pumpkin catchers. Each catcher is designed to cushion the landing of a basketball-sized pumpkin so that it survives a 100-foot fall.

Last year, the top prize for the most successful/compact catcher was shared by two teams of ODU physics students that used air mattresses in their devices. The top prize for creative catcher went to a team of high school students from Portsmouth Christian School. Their catcher looked like a giant cup of Starbucks coffee topped with whipped cream.

Charles Hyde-Wright, professor of physics, is faculty advisor for the Pumpkin Drop. More about the event is at http://www.physics.odu.edu/~sps/sps2000/. This activity serves as an outreach to the university community to demonstrate fundamental properties of physics: gravity, force, and velocity.

The rain date for the event is Thursday, Nov. 2.

This article was posted on: October 27, 2006

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