Physics Department to Host National Physics Day Show and Hoxton Lecture

April 15, 2008 — The University of Virginia's Department of Physics will host two free public events this week: the National Physics Day Show on Wednesday, April 16; and the Hoxton Physics Lecture on Thursday, April 17.

The 14th annual National Physics Day Show will be held at 7 p.m. in room 203 of the Physics Building. This family-oriented demonstration of physics principles always delights and excites a crowd, young and old, novice to expert.

Have you ever had trouble generating the energy to come up with a new idea? Physics pros Mike Timmins, Nilanga Liyanage and Robert Watkins will show you how new technologies make it easier to light up that bulb over your head. Young attendees will have the chance to ride a bicycle generator that demonstrates the differences in power required to generate light from different types of light bulbs.

Parking is available in the Emmet Street parking garage or, after 5 p.m., in the football stadium parking lots.

Alan Watson, a world expert on cosmic ray physics from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom, will give the 38th Annual Hoxton Lecture in Physics on Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Chemistry Building Auditorium (room 406). A reception will follow.

Watson will discuss "The Birth of Cosmic Ray Astronomy on the Argentine Pampas." He is co-founder, with Nobel laureate James Cronin, of the Auger Observatory in Argentina to observe mysterious, rare and very high-energy cosmic rays that reach Earth from the far reaches of the universe. Understanding these rays can provide clues to the constitution of the universe.

Watson is another distinguished guest lecturer in a long line of first-rate researchers to give the annual Hoxton Lecture, named in honor of the late U.Va. physicist Llewellyn G. Hoxton who served the department of physics from 1907 to 1948.

For information on either of these events, call 434-924-3781.