Visitors to the National Eisteddfod of Wales on the outskirts of Ebbw Vale will be looking forward to ‘ymryson’, poets, competitions, choirs and dance performances, so what will they make of the loud lollies and tornado tubes awaiting them?
The Institute of Physics (IOP) in Wales is sending its Physics in the Field team of physics buskers to the event on Tuesday, 3 August to challenge visitors’ perceptions of physics. They will be busking outside the Science and Technology Pavilion of which the Institute of Physics in Wales is a sponsor.
Physics tricks are hand-held demonstrations using things that can be found at home. Some are messy, some are noisy, but all of them are crowd pleasing and help illustrate different areas of physics.
Visitors and the artists from Cerbyd, a project that links artists with specialist community groups across Wales, will be encouraged to find out how to do the tricks themselves and give on-the-spot performances to their friends and families.
At a Physics in the Field event last year, one visitor revealed, “I saw things that you wouldn’t normally see and it was cool”. Another commented, “We have seen amazing wonders. Balloons that don’t pop! Storms in bottles!”
Angharad Thomas, IOP National Officer for Wales, said: “I love doing Physics in the Field because people are really interested in what we are doing and want to find out more.”
“What is really satisfying is when you show someone a trick, and they relate it to something they have come across in everyday life – but just hadn’t thought of it as physics before.”
“We know that once people of all ages have a go at the tricks, they’re hooked and go on to tell their friends about them. This really helps us in our aim of taking physics to people who wouldn’t actively seek it out.”
And for those visitors who can’t get enough, all the tricks performed by the team, including loud lollies, tornado tubes or turning pints of water upside down over a friend’s head without drenching them, are available on www.physics.org with full explanations.