Learning the difference between a superconductor and a supernova: FSU physics faculty welcome community to classroom

Florida State University physics professors are welcoming the community into the classroom this fall to learn about magnets, waves and exploding stars through the annual Saturday Morning Physics program.

“Saturday Morning Physics gives students and community members the chance to interact with scientists who research cutting-edge disciplines of physics,” said Associate Professor of Physics Kevin Huffenberger. “The program lets everyone learn about those fields in an accessible way.”

The Saturday Morning Physics program has been running since 1983 and welcomes hundreds of kids and adults to the FSU campus each fall to learn about basic physics concepts from FSU faculty. The first session will be on magnets and quantum materials Sept. 22 at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory. Participants are required to wear closed-toe shoes in the MagLab.

Other session topics include particle physics, exploding stars, astronomy, physics on the web and the physics of waves.

The session on astronomy will feature a free planetarium show, and on Oct. 13, the Department of Physics and the Department of Mathematics will join forces for a community open house with demonstrations and activities for children.

Other than the first week’s class at the MagLab, classes will be held in the Richards Undergraduate Physics Laboratory on the FSU campus.

Sessions are free and begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until about 11:15 a.m. There will be a 20-minute break with free pastries and juice. During the week at the Maglab, due to limited space, a second session will start at 10:30 a.m.

The session dates and topics are below:

  • Sept. 22: The National MagLab and Dark Energy of Quantum Materials
  • Sept. 29: Particle Physics: What Matter Is and How We Know
  • Oct. 6: The New Astronomy
  • Oct. 13 FSU Circus of Physics and FSU Math Fun Day
  • Oct. 20: Physics on the Web
  • Nov. 3: Physics of Waves
  • Nov. 10: Forging Elements in Exploding Stars and in the Lab

For more information, visit the Saturday Morning Physics website.