Video: Pumpkin Drop 2007


The Society of Physics Students (SPS) Pumpkin Drop has been a Halloween tradition at Rhodes for eight years. Pumpkins are frozen in liquid nitrogen at a temperature of
−320 degrees Fahrenheit and dropped from the sixth story observation deck of the physics building on to the concrete below. 

When pumpkins are frozen in this way, the sugars in the pumpkin create light on impact through a phenomenon called “triboluminescence.” The light is faint and difficult to see, but the impact of the frozen pumpkin is very dramatic. The pumpkin shatters just like a large glass sphere. 

As an event, the Pumpkin Drop has grown tremendously in the last few years, attracting crowds that number in the hundreds. The event now features music with a laser light show, a costume contest, several Halloween-inspired special effects designed by physics and chemistry students, and of course lots of frozen falling pumpkins!

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