Monday, March 22, 2010

What Every Dog Should Know About Quantum Physics

Union College Physics Professor Chad Orzel was kind enough to give a talk based on his new book, How to Teach Physics to Your Dog to a group of local homeschoolers I organized. Even better, he posted the video and slides he showed us in the talk on his blog! The presentation included a look at helium and neon lights using diffraction grating and a demonstration of the double-slit experiment using a laser beam. I'm adding the books he recommended -- some for a popular audience, some aimed at freshman physics students -- to my Amazon store as well.

After the talk, Dr. Orzel brought in his famous dog and co-author Emmy for a photo op. Then we got a tour of his laser cooling lab, the school's own basement particle accelerator, and the astronomy department's observatory. One interesting fact about Union is that, because there are no graduate students to compete with, undergraduates get to use the fancy equipment right from the start.

The talk was entertaining and informative. As you can see, the kids were as interested as the parents. Thanks to Dr. Orzel for such a great program!

UPDATE: Listen to an interview with Chad Orzel from WAMC Northeast Public Radio.
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