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Wednesday July 29, 2015

Holiday Science Show to Dazzle Young, Old Alike

Media Advisory
Monday December 7, 2009

Holiday Science Show to Dazzle Young, Old Alike

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WHAT: Twelfth annual Rutgers Faraday Christmas Children’s Lecture
WHEN: Friday, Dec. 11; Saturday, Dec. 12; and Sunday, Dec. 13; 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
WHERE: Physics Lecture Hall, 120 Frelinghuysen Road, Busch Campus, Piscataway

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University will present its ever-popular, spectacular holiday show – the annual Faraday Christmas Children’s Lecture.

smoke rings

David Maiullo explains fluid mechanics with a smoke-ring cannon

Designed to dazzle and capture the imaginations of young and old alike, the demonstrations feature such spectacles as real flowers frozen to the point where they shatter like glass, exploding hydrogen balloons, a person lying on a bed of nails and a fire extinguisher used to rocket a person across the room.

The shows are based on the tradition of famous British physicist Michael Faraday, whose work in the early 1800s laid the foundation for the electric motor and electrical generation. His Children’s Christmas Lectures at London’s Royal Institution, which continue today, were designed to communicate to youngsters the excitement of scientific discovery during a season of joy and celebration.

flying ring

Mark Croft energizes electromagnet and sends metal ring flying

Rutgers’ version is produced by Mark Croft, a physics professor in the School of Arts and Sciences, and physics support specialist Dave Maiullo. The demonstrations they will present are routinely used in university physics courses not just to inform students but also with an eye toward humor, exciting the imagination and emphasizing the fun in science.

This year’s show is dedicated to the memory of George Horton, physics professor held in high esteem by students and faculty for his enthusiasm, expertise, ability to communicate and dedication to his students. He was known for effectively using demonstrations like those being shown at the Faraday lecture in his undergraduate classes. Horton passed away in November after nearly 50 years of service to Rutgers.

The shows are open to the public and free of charge. Early arrival is advised to ensure seating. Further information, including images from past performances, driving directions and weather-related rescheduling, can be viewed at

Media Contact: Carl Blesch
732-932-7084, ext. 616

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