The Wonders of Physics to hold special event Aug. 15

July 22, 2014

The Wonders of Physics, a long-running science outreach effort at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, will host a special preview of its new presentation, “The Physics of Plasma,” as part of a fundraising event Aug. 15.

Guests who visit the Discovery Building's Town Center (330 N. Orchard St.) from 6-9 p.m. will enjoy fun, fast-paced demonstrations of various plasma devices, including plasma globes, a Van de Graaff generator, Jacob’s ladder, a Tesla coil and two new musical Tesla coils. They will also have the opportunity to ride a hovercraft, test their skills in the Rube Goldberg Lab, play with interactive plasma displays and fire a football cannon.

A silent auction will feature UW-Madison and Green Bay Packers sports memorabilia, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will also be available. Unlike most Wonders of Physics shows, this is an adults-only event.

More than 300,000 people have attended presentations of The Wonders of Physics since Professor Emeritus Clint Sprott created the program in 1984. Last year, The Wonders of Physics performed 170 presentations across the state, reaching an estimated 36,000 people, including students in traditionally underserved communities. The program has plans to expand throughout Wisconsin, which would allow it to reach thousands more young, budding scientists.

The Wonders of Physics receives only limited funding from UW-Madison. For years, about 90 percent of the program’s financial support came from federal grants that are scheduled to expire in 2015.