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Pumpkin Drop is Oct. 25 at BAL

Pumpkin DropA student celebrates a successful pumpkin "catch" in last year's Pumpkin Drop

What is the sound of a pumpkin plummeting from the top of a tall building? The Old Dominion University Society of Physics Students invites you to go to
http://www.lions.odu.edu/~lweinste/sps/PumpkinMono.mp3 to find out.

The organization also invites you to be present from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 25, for ODU's annual Pumpkin Drop from the roof of the nine-story Batten Arts and Letters Building.

As befits a serious scientific endeavor, the ODU physics students will conduct many different experiments using the plummeting pumpkins. They will study the effectiveness of different
pumpkin catcher designs for harmlessly dissipating the pumpkins' kinetic energy. Past pumpkin catchers have ranged from a simple bucket of mud to complicated counterweighted structures.

They also will insert a video camera in a pumpkin to provide a pumpkin's-eye-view of the fall. Finally, they will repeat Galileo's classic experiment using pumpkins instead of cannon

Prizes or extra credit will be awarded for the best pumpkin catchers.

To participate in the pumpkin catcher contest, participants must contribute three 8-10 pound pumpkins by Monday, Oct. 22, and bring their catcher to the North Lawn of BAL by 11:30 a.m. on the day of the Pumpkin Drop. More extensive rules are on the ODU Department of Physics website under Pumpkin Drop and further information is available by contacting student Christian Wooten at cwoot006@odu.edu or faculty member Steven Bueltmann at sbueltma@odu.edu.