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PUMPKINS TO DROP FROM THE SKY TODAY IN ANNUAL PHYSICS EVENT

Dozens of pumpkins will plummet nine stories from the top of Batten Arts and Letters Building on the Old Dominion University campus as part of the ODU Society of Physics Students' annual Pumpkin Drop on Tuesday, Oct. 30, from 12:30 to 1:30.

As befits a serious scientific enterprise, the Pumpkin Drop will include many different experiments.

Students 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. A catcher shaped and decorated like an oversized Starbucks latte won a creativity prize in 2005.

Participants also plan to insert a video camera in a pumpkin to provide a pumpkin's-eye-view of the fall. They will also repeat Galileo's classic experiment using pumpkins instead of cannon balls.

Prizes will be awarded for the most creative and the shortest working pumpkin catchers. To participate in the pumpkin catcher contest, participants must contribute three 8-10 pound pumpkins by Monday, Oct. 29, and bring their catcher to the North Lawn of BAL by noon on the day of the event.

Rules are at http://www.physics.odu.edu/~weinstei/pumpkindrop2007.html

This article was posted on: October 12, 2007

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