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Smith to present ‘Night of Physics’ at Huntington

Huntington, Ind.-Dr. Gerald D. Smith, Huntington University professor of physics and chemistry, will present a "Night of Physics: Favorite Demonstrations - The Grand Finale" on April 30 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Hiner Hall of the Science Hall at Huntington University.

Demonstrations include the Rocket Cart, Bed of Nails, Tablecloth Pull and many more.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

Dr. Gerald D. Smith joined the Huntington University faculty in 1967. His interests in nuclear chemistry and physics took him to the University of Washington for graduate study following completion of his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Huntington, and subsequently to Purdue University where he completed a Ph.D. in radiation physics.

He was active for many years in the Fort Wayne area section of the American Chemical Society for which he edited the section's newsletter and served as section chair. He was recognized as Chemist of the Year in 1982.

Smith served as vice president and dean of Huntington College for 16 years, intermittently teaching physical chemistry and liberal arts physics before returning to full-time teaching in 1998. His evolving interests in cosmology and astrophysics prompted him to erect a radiotelescope on the new Science Hall where he studies galactic rotation. He is engaged in active research on muon decay that retains his interests in nuclear physics.

Smith is a member of numerous professional organizations including the American Physical Society, American Chemical Society, American Association of Physics Teachers and the American Association of University Professors.

A complete list of demonstrations for the "Night of Physics" is as follows:


Hydrogen balloons pop

Sound and Light Waves

Domino string

Standing waves - spring on wall

Slinky waves

Torsion waves

Space phone sound waves

Tuning fork in water

Natural frequencies - bicycle flag, tuning fork

Resonance-tuning fork box, music box, aluminum rod, stove pipe hoot tube

Large mirror reflection hanging in space

Scattering of sunlight - blue skies

Internal reflection of laser beam


Rocket cart

Superposition of motion - dropping ball vs projected ball

Shooting the monkey out of the tree

Dish pull

Swinging pendulum

Move the Earth

Inclined ramp with rolling balls

Dropping rolls of paper

Pen in bottle

Coin in cup

Rotating bicycle wheel

Rotating platform with weights

Swinging water pail, water glass on plate

Coat hanger blobs of clay

Hot wheels on board

Spool of wire spin

Newton's cradle

Twenty nails on the head of a pin

Balloon thrust

Pushing with fingers

Carts on floor pull

Helicopter spin

Air track collisions and momentum

Track projectile motion

Dropping ball and projected ball

Relativity of length of meter stick


Rubber flap on stool

Vacuum expansion of peep and shaving cream

Cartesian diver

Crush pop can and gallon can

Jar of water and screen

Plunger on table

Can holder

Drinking Coke from bottle

Bernoulli's shower curtain

Bernoulli's beach ball on air stream

Umbrella inversion

Bed of nails


Drinking bird

Liquid nitrogen flower crush, banana

Hot/cold plate melting ice

Burn dollar bill

Burn ethanol vapor bottle