Virtual ‘Spooky Physics Demonstrations’ Set for Friday

Department of Physics and Astronomy offering night of fun and frights for all

Archive Photo: Students and faculty members from the UM Department of Physics and Astronomy demonstrate how liquid nitrogen can quickly freeze everyday items at a previous year’s ‘Spooky Physics Demonstrations.’ This year’s edition of the annual Halloween-themed science show will be streamed via Zoom from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday (Oct. 30). Photo by Megan Wolfe/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services

OXFORD, Miss. – Even in the face of a pandemic, the University of Mississippi Department of Physics and Astronomy will present its annual “Spooky Physics Demonstrations” this Friday (Oct. 30) although this year it will be held virtually from Lewis Hall.

The program via Zoom runs 6 to 8 p.m. The family-friendly show includes demonstrations of energy, electricity, magnetism, sound and waves, and the physics of ultracold temperatures.

“While we cannot invite everyone into the Department of Physics and Astronomy, we will still be bringing you amazing, hilarious and ‘spook-tacular’ demonstrations right into your home,” said Jake Bennett, assistant professor of physics and co-coordinator of the evening’s activities.

“Expect a literal hair-raising experience as we shoot enough electricity through our volunteers to make their hair stand up on end.”

A variety of visual activities are scheduled throughout the evening. These include freezing objects in liquid nitrogen, generating sound waves with Bunsen burners and tubes, and levitating magnets with superconductors. Other fun presentations include optical illusions with mirrors, a bed of nails and other contraptions.

Bennett said the annual event is the department’s way to give something back to the community.

“The Spooky Physics Night is a great opportunity to see physics in action,” he said. “Faculty and students will host some interesting demonstrations and explain some of the science behind fascinating phenomena.”

To join in on the fun, go to or click here.