Saturday Morning Physics Fall 2014 Schedule

Beginning on Saturday, October 11th, the University of Michigan Physics department will begin hosting their weekly Saturday Morning Physics lectures.  The lectures will be held Saturday mornings, 10:30-11:30 AM in 170 Dennison on central campus. These events are free and refreshments will be served from 10:00 to 10:30 AM prior to the lecture.

Designed for general audiences, the lectures are an opportunity to hear physicists discuss their work in easy-to-understand, non-technical terms. The multimedia presentations include hands-on demonstrations of the principles discussed, along with slides, video, and computer simulations.

You can find out more information by clicking here, including parking suggestions and seminar guidelines.

Continue reading

Camelopardalis – Meteor Shower on May 24th


Courtesy of the University of Michigan Museum of Natural History

“In the early morning hours of May 24, we have an opportunity to observe a brand new meteor shower, the “Camelopardalids,” named after the constellation (Camelopardalis) they will radiate from. The origin of the meteoritic debris is a comet called 209P. It has been around for a while, shedding debris as it goes, and this debris has been stacking up in the inner solar system for a long time.


Between about 1:40 AM and 4:50 AM Eastern Daylight Time on the morning of May 24, the Earth will pass through some of this debris. Forecasts range from 1000 “shooting stars” per hour to 100 per hour. Here in North America, we will be in a pretty good place to observe them. The downside has to do with where the radiant is located.


The radiant is about one third of the distance between the North Star and the nose of Ursa Major, the Great Bear. During the prime event time, this point will be fairly low on the northern horizon, meaning that tall trees and close-by houses could block your view. It may be necessary to find a location with a clear horizon in the north.


Of interest with this shower is that the objects are moving relatively slowly, about 40,000 miles per hour, or about half as fast as many “shooting stars.” While fast by our standards, it means a better chance to spot and follow one as it streaks across the sky.


A new meteor shower is rare and worth the effort to observe. The peak duration is short, and it isn’t sub-zero outside! There are a number of websites with information and history related to this event, but be sure to convert the Universal Time to Eastern Daylight Time. Subtract four hours.”


For more information you can visit these websites.



“Scientists Fair 2014″ (Saturday, May 31st)

A2 S&S Logo - for Blog

On Saturday May 31st, the Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics are hosting the third annual “Scientists Fair,” a science fair where the exhibits are actual scientists.  The event will take place from 1:00pm to 3:00pm. This will be free and open to both Ann Arbor Science & Skeptics members and the public.

Located in the Multi-Purpose room (in the lower level of the main branch), there will be several professors and researchers from the University of Michigan with expertise in general fields of knowledge, available to answer your questions. Some of the topics will include: Astrochemistry, Geology & Earth Science, Exploring Mars, Climate Science, Medical Research, Nuclear Power, and more

You can watch a short video about the Scientists Fair here (video)

The purpose of this event is two-fold:

  1. For our members and the public to not only acquaint people to scientific knowledge, but also to how that knowledge is obtained.
  2. For the scientists and professors to talk about their research with you, and to share with you their excitement and passion.

There is no reservation limit for this meet-up. And we are encouraging you to invite as many of your family and friends who enjoy science. This year the library is sponsoring our event, and we’d really like to get a big turnout.

Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire 2013

Ann Arbor Maker Fair 2013On Saturday June 8th, A2geeks is hosting the 5th annual Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire, a community-scale version of the big Maker Faires in Detroit, San Francisco, and New York City. The mini faire is free to attend and will feature exhibits and demonstrations by local builders, artists, students and Makers.

From the website:

Maker Faire is the World’s Largest Show (and Tell) festival—a family-friendly showcase of invention, creativity and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the Maker movement. It’s a place where people show what they are making, and share what they are learning.

Makers range from tech enthusiasts to crafters, educators, tinkerers, hobbyists, engineers, artists, science clubs, students, authors, and commercial exhibitors. They are of all ages and backgrounds. Maker Faire’s mission is to entertain, inform, connect and inspire these thousands of Makers and aspiring Makers.


  • Ann Arbor Mini Maker Faire
  • Saturday June, 8
  • 10 am – 5 pm
  • Morris Lawrence Building, Washtenaw Community College

Get there early and you’ll have plenty of time to head out to our Meet-Up at 4pm.


Saturday, May 25th “Scientists Fair II”

A2 S&S Logo - for BlogLocated in the Multi-Purpose room (in the lower level of the main branch), there will be several professors and researchers from the University of Michigan and other institutions with expertise in general fields of knowledge, available to answer your questions. Some of the topics will include particle physics, human cloning, climate change, the Big Bang, and more.

You can watch a short video about the Scientists Fair here (video).

The purpose of this event is to not only acquaint people to scientific knowledge, but also to how that knowledge is obtained. We want people to ask these experts how theories are supported with experimentation, what hypotheses were tested and confirmed or falsified, and to what extent is there consensus amongst their colleagues about a given theory.

Pic3 Participants talking with physicists Dr. Sean Tulin and Dr. Brian Nord

Chicago Skepticamp 2013

Skepticamp ChicagoThe Chicago Skeptics will be hosting its third Skepticamp on March 2, 2013.  Chicago Skepticamp 2013 will be at the Irish American Heritage Center, located at 4626 N. Knox Ave., Chicago, IL  60630.  Doors will open at 10:30 am. The event will run from 11 am to 6 pm.

Skepticamps are informal, lively gatherings promoting science and critical thinking.  Participants are encouraged to discuss and question both traditional skeptical topics and new subjects.  Attendance is free, though all attendees are encouraged to help by either speaking, helping set up/clean up, or making a donation.  No one, however, will be turned away because they don’t have a specific task.

Last year’s event attracted skeptics from around the Midwest.  A range of topics were presented from psychology to conspiracy theories to youth outreach.

Over 100 people are expected to attend Chicago Skepticamp 2013.  Everyone who will be attending Chicago Skepticamp 2013 should register at  More information will be available at

Founded in 2006, Chicago Skeptics seeks to promote science and critical-thinking skills. Chicago Skeptics sponsors speakers and organizes discussion groups.  They also organize social events and concerts.  Past events include speeches by Hemant Mehta, Brian Dunning, and Rebecca Watson.  George Hrab has performed three concerts for Chicago Skeptics.

More information about Chicago Skeptics can be found at  Chicago Skeptics are also on Twitter @chicagoskeptics.

Additional information about Skepticamps around the world can be found at

Event Contact:
William Brinkman