Wonders of Physics: Battling the War on Science Illiteracy

Plasma Globe Wonders of Physics Instagram

32nd Annual Wonders of Physics

The Wonders of Physics presentation dates for 2015 have just been announced: Saturday, February 7, 2015 1, 4, and 7 pm Sunday, February 8, 2015   1 and 4 pm Saturday. February 14, 2015 1, 4, and 7 pm Sunday, February 15, 2015 1 and 4 pm

Free tickets are now available for all shows and can be obtained by:
Web:   http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/tickets.htm (preferred)
Phone: 608-262-2927  Email: wonders@physics.wisc.edu

Scoop these up while you can! The shows usually fill up right away!!

UPDATE  JAN. 23,  2015:  All the tickets for The Wonders of Physics 2015 have been issued. There are usually some empty seats if you would like to come and take a chance. They will have a monitor where you can view the show on video. Otherwise, you can leave your name and email address, and they will notify you when tickets are available for next year’s shows. You might also check back a few days before the show since some tickets are usually returned.

Physics Fair 2015

The Physics Fair is free and open to the public. Click the image for details.

Studies have shown time and time again a general lack of interest in science and an overall decline in science literacy in the United States. Since 1984, the University of Wisconsin – Madison has been active in combating this problem of science illiteracy with their annual Wonders of Physics program. WOP logo Wonders of Physics covers motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light in a fast paced, entertaining  show  suitable for people of all ages and backgrounds. *Scroll down for a ton of resource links, experiments to try, and videos with Prof. Sprott. The theme of the program changes from year to year. If you’ve attended the show, you can give them feedback so that they can continually improve the shows every year. More resources courtesy of the Wonders of Physics program are listed below. Check them out!

Wonders of Physics, Prof. Clint Sprott

Professor Clint Sprott

The show has been presented by Professor Clint Sprott, Emeritus Professor of Physics, University of Wisconsin, on the Madison campus over 200 times to a total audience of about 70,000. The Wonders of Physics presentations are held each February in 2103 Chamberlin Hall, 1150 University Avenue, Madison, WI.  DIRECTIONS   Free tickets are available (beginning January 1st) using the On-Line Ticket Form. Be sure to specify the show you prefer and the number of tickets.  Electronic tickets will be used — you may print your own tickets or pick them up at the show. wonders of physics Univ Wisc MadisonCheck out the video from the 2013 Show.

To check on availability and order your free tickets, click here.

You can also catch the free Physics Fair held in same building on Feb. 14th, which features hands-on demonstrations, activities for kids and families, laboratory tours, and a chance to talk with real-live scientists.  There are exhibits representing the research groups of the Physics Dept. as well as displays on physics topics.  Additionally, the Ingersoll Physics Museum will be open. The Wonders of Physics team also has developed a traveling showpresented by physics graduate students and staff over a thousand times to audiences of all ages throughout Wisconsin and the nation.  They also have available educational materials including videos, software, a demo book, and a lecture kit.

Wonders of Physics, Prof. Sprott, UW-Madison - video streaming

You can stream the videos directly to your computer for free by clicking on the links on http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/wop.htm

Shows fill up fast, order your free tickets click here.

Here’s Professor Sprott in action at the 2011 Cairo Science Festival as he talks about sound waves and explains how electricity works by using a Tesla coil to generate very high voltage to create electromagnetic waves in the air.   Videos are available for purchase or free online streaming here.

Prof. Sprott currently has 30 shows available for viewing on YouTube here.


Just For Kids — Here are some Experiments you can try at home Experiments You Can Do At Home from Professor Clint Sprott and the Wonders of Physics Download a PDF with many different experiments that you can do at home exploring motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism and light. You may have heard of Newton’s Cradle, but have you ever heard of Newton’s Beads?  Check out this video of Mike uncovering the science behind this demo.  You can even do at home! More Science Links and Physics Resources from the Wonders of Physics Program: Home Experiments (pdf) Download printable version UW Space Place: Education and public outreach center of the UW-Madison Astronomy Department Science is Fun: Educational website for Chemistry from the mind of UW-Madison Chemistry professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri Geology Museum: Explore the Geology Museum and take a peek into Wisconsin’s deep history Institute for Biology Education: Raising the next generation of Biology Scientists Science Alliance: UW-Madison Science Outreach on Campus Synchrotron Radiation Center: UW-Madison SRC aiding researchers in their discoveries Science Friday (SciFri): Weekly science radio show hosted by NPR, Fridays 1-3pm Wonders of Physics Demonstrations – more information on the physics behind the show Teacher’s Guide (pdf)- printable information on the physics behind the show Physics Demonstrations book by Clint Sprott Database of Physics Demonstrations – from the UW Physics Department Books of Science Experiments – from the University of Maryland Physics Department How Stuff Works Science Links for other UW Science Outreach Programs The Wonders of Physics program inspires interest in physics among people of all ages and backgrounds. Videos are available for free online streaming here. For more information, performance schedule, and tickets visit: Wonders of Physics Home Page. You can also access more information on their Facebook page or subscribe to their YouTube page. The Wonders of Physics program is made possible by grants from the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences of the United States Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Department of Energy logoNational Science Foundation logo

 Originally posted 2012.



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