Pumpkin Drop Returns to Physics Tower

cutout letters that spell "pumpkin drop" in the bushes

On October 30, under a cloudy night sky, the Society of Physics Students (SPS) held their annual Pumpkin Drop. Due to the ongoing renovation of Rhodes Tower last year, SPS resorted to smashing pumpkins outside Burrow. But this year they returned to the physics building to hurtle the orange gourds, which are frozen solid with liquid nitrogen, from the roof of the six-story building.

This Halloween custom arose from physics students wanting to measure triboluminescence, a spark that theoretically should occur when a frozen pumpkin shatters. As the spark hasn’t been seen yet, the fun tradition should continue for years to come.

SPS also set up demonstrations during the event to show how fun physics can be, from fire tornadoes to shrinking marshmallows. Parents brought their young children to enjoy the face painting and movie marathon, and students and toddlers alike enjoyed interactive demos ranging from sticking their hands in goo to watching fire imitate sound waves to “This is Halloween” and other Disney classics.

By Swaneet Mand '18