Support the Physics Department

Your donations go to our department's discretionary fund which we use to support our students in creative and new ways. For example, your donations helped us to

  • Start a peer-mentoring program
  • Support students to do summer research. 
  • Support student projects associated with senior capstone seminars and papers.
  • Purchase a kinesthetic ball sculpture that livens up our hallway by demonstrating physics principles to all who walk by. We use this sculpture for class demonstrations and labs. The slow-motion video of the sculpture allows quantitative analysis of the spinning, jumping, and rolling balls as they move through the sculpture.

How to Donate

Make a Financial Donation

  1. Go to the Online Giving Site.
  2. On the "Please direct my gift to" field, select "Other."
  3. In the "Other" field, fill in "Physics Department." 
  4. Complete all the other fields and submit.

Ball Sculpture

Metal structure using rolling ball to demonstrate a variety of physics concepts

Balls roll along the undulating path speeding up and slowing down as they exchange kinetic for potential energy. The effect can be seen with the naked eye. The effect can also be quantitatively analyzed by filming it and then slowing down the frames to measure speed and elevation change showing that 0.5*mv2=mgh.

Balls are launched from a ramp and land on the ruled platform shown below. By measuring the geometry of the ramp, students predict the balls’ projectile motion. Students test their prediction by observing where balls land on the platform.

Ball sculpture demonstrating concepts of energy exchange

Landing platform of the ball structure
Report an issue - Last updated: 02/16/2023