Ohio University

Physics & Astronomy Open House

Save the Date: 2019 Open House Schedule for Saturday, Nov. 9

Thanks everyone for a great 2017 Open House! Over a 1000 people came through the halls of Clippinger to join us for shows, activities, talks and tours. We especially would like to thank the more than 140 volunteers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Russ College of Engineering and Technology, Patton College of Education, and various high schoolers who helped out with the event.

See the video (above) showing some of the highlights of the 2017 Open House. We look forward to hosting another event in 2019. In the meantime we will leave up the information from 2017 as an example of shows and activities at a typical open house. Check out videos from 2015 and 2011 as well.

Sample Schedule from 2017

10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Clippinger Laboratories at Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Come join us for a day of "Physics Phun" at the Physics & Astronomy Department Biennial Open House! The open house is free and open to anyone. Activities and talks will be geared toward a wide range of ages from elementary grades up through the ever-young and curious at heart.

Activities and shows for this year are listed below and are subject to revision as we get closer to the day of the event.

Contact Us

Feel free to contact Dr. Mark Lucas if you have additional questions or requests for information.


A series of talks occurring at 11, 12, 1 and 2 including Computer Simulations in Physics, Gravitational Waves and the LIGO Observations, and Dark Energy.

Physics Shows

20-25 minutes duration unless otherwise listed. The times listed are tentative.

Fun with Liquid Nitrogen - Clippinger 194

  • 10:30, 12:30, 2:30

What NOT to Do with Your Microwave - Clippinger 194

  • 11:30, 1:30, 3:30

Levitation: Beating Back Gravity - Clippinger 132A

  • 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00

Sharks with Lasers on Their Heads - Clippinger 205

  • 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:30, 3:30

Power of Air - Third Floor Lobby Clippinger

  • 10:00, 10:30, 11:30, 12:00, 1:00, 1:30, 2:30, 3:00, 4:00 (Ping pong ball cannon)

Makers Corner: 3D Printing, Arduinos, Makey Makeys and More - Clippinger 215

  • 11AM-4PM

Catch a Wave! - Clippinger 103

  • 11:00 through 3:00 - A variety of sound demos.

Hallway Activities and Displays

The Hallway Activities are scattered throughout the lobby area on the three floors and are available the full day unless otherwise noted.

The Sky is NOT the Limit ... with a Telescope

  • How to choose a telescope. 1st Floor lobby

Sail down the hallway on a cushion of air - 3rd Floor Hallway

Physics Arcade

  • Games and simulations that involve physics - 2nd Floor Hallway

Hallway Slingshot

  • 3rd Floor Hallway

Physics Construction Challenges

  • Zip Line Challenge and more - 2nd Floor Lobby

Bowling Ball Slalom

  • Getting a feel for inertia - 2nd Floor Lobby

Angular Momentum Demos

  • Twist and Spin! 2nd Floor Lobby

Water Rockets (Weather Permitting)

  • West Lawn

Solar Viewing (Weather Permitting)

  • 10AM-2PM Front Sidewalk

Physics and Toys Corner

  • Variety of Physics-related toys for the younger set and young at heart! 2nd Floor Lobby and Hallway

Cosmic Ray Booth

  • Cosmic Ray Detector and Cloud Chamber

Physics Art Table

Future Scientist Prize

  • Attend shows, participate in activities and you can earn a small prize on the way out. Three levels of prizes depending on the number of shows and activities.

Lab Tours

Tours of various labs. Some tours required reserving a place in the tour by picking up a free ticket at the Welcome Table.

Edwards Accelerator Lab

  • 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 1:30, 2:30, 3:30 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby.

Single Atom Manipulation Lab - Nanoart

  • 10:45, 11:15, 11:45, 12:15, 12:45, 3:15, 3:45 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby.

Spin-polarized Scanning Tunneling Microscope Lab

  • 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 - Ticket required. Leave from first floor lobby. Age 12 and older.

Scanning Electron Microscope - Clippinger 353

  • 11:00-12:30, 1:30-3:00