World Year of Physics highlighted

- February 25, 2005

This image shows how the lasers appear when in use in a laboratory setting. Photo Credit: Dan Abriel

How are you celebrating the World Year of Physics? No plans yet?

You can celebrate by visiting the holo-tent, a travelling road show of interactive physics fun that will wind its way through Nova Scotia during 2005. It all starts Friday, February 25 at the Halifax Shopping Centre.

Organized by the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, the holo-tent is a free, hands-on exhibit of lasers, holograms and Albert Einstein's ideas in action. The goal is to raise awareness of physics in our everyday lives, and to inspire the next generation of scientists by showing the fun side of physics. Outside the holo-tent, visitors can explore the inside of a laser, talk to a Dalhousie physics professor and student, and learn about Albert Einstein. Inside the holo-tent, visitors get to use lasers to create their own souvenir hologram.

The holo-tent will visit malls in eight Nova Scotia communities during 2005:

City/ townLocationDate
HalifaxHalifax Shopping CentreFriday, February 25/ Saturday, February 26
New MinasCounty Fair MallSaturday, March 12
TruroTruro MallSaturday, April 30
AmherstAmherst MallSaturday, May 21
DartmouthMic Mac MallFriday, September 23/ Saturday, September 24
SydneyMayflower MallSaturday, October 22
AntigonishAntigonish MallSaturday, November 19
ShelburneShelburne MallSaturday, December 3

Holo-tent organizers thank Vice President Academic and Provost Sam Scully, Dean of Science Keith Taylor, and Gerhard Stroink, head of the Department of Physics and Atmospheric Science, for their support.

Hewitt and Shcherbak
Assistant Professor Kevin Hewitt is organizing the holo-tent special event. Together with graduate student Maryna Shcherbak, he sets up equipment that will reveal material composition through laser-aided analysis. Photo Credit: Dan Abriel

About the World Year of Physics 2005

The World Year of Physics 2005, declared by the United Nations and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, is a global celebration of physics and its contribution to science and technology. 2005 was chosen to mark the 100th anniversary of Albert Einstein's "miraculous year."

In 1905, Einstein published three papers on the "Brownian" motion of molecules, the photoelectric effect, and special relativity (in which he described the famous equation E=mc2). Although Einstein was young and unknown at the time, these three papers were the basis of his 1921 Nobel Prize in physics, and they forever changed our world.

For example, Einstein's work describing stimulated emission of light and the photoelectric effect resulted in the invention of the laser (Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation). Lasers are now ubiquitous, used in CD and DVD players and recorders, pointers, power tools and laser levels, to name a few applications. One of the most fascinating applications of lasers is the production of holograms, demonstrated in the holo-tent.


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