Science and Technology

Float into QUT to experience Physics Observatory at The Cube

Love the idea of floating through space in the October school holidays? The Cube at QUT’s Gardens Point campus will unveil its latest attraction on September 17 2016– The Physics Observatory – which will soar across two storeys of high-tech screens.

This massive, free interactive display will be open from 10am to 4pm each day of the 2016 October school holidays and will continue into early 2017.

Cube Studio Manager Sean Druitt said The Physics Observatory gave visitors the chance to experiment with gravity and watch how changes affected objects in the observatory.

“It features a rotating mechanical solar system, called an orrery, and a gravity changer that visitors can adjust from zero gravity to the same gravity as the Sun,” he said.

“All of the objects on the screens are affected by these gravity changes – the blocks, a swinging pendulum and even water flowing from a lion’s mouth fountain.

“It’s a game-like environment where children and adults of all ages can play and learn about physics, all driven by touch interaction on the screens.

“We are all inherently quizzical and The Physics Observatory is a great way to discover and experiment with various items under different gravitational conditions.

“You can learn about famous physicists, play with Tesla coils and even witness the immense gravity well which smashes objects into each other.”

The Cube is one of the world’s largest digital interactive learning and display spaces and includes 48 multi-touch screens in its 190 square metres of display space that soars two storeys high.

QUT’s STEM teacher-in-residence, Christopher Farrelly, was a consultant on the Physics Observatory project and said it had been designed in keeping with the STEM national curriculum.

“It provides a great opportunity for students to step outside the classroom and learn about physics in a fun way,” he said.

“It’s interactive and highly visual and lets students experiment with the force of gravity elsewhere in the solar system – something they cannot do at school.”

The Physics Observatory will open daily from 10am to 4pm at The Cube in QUT’s Science and Engineering Centre (P Block) at the university’s Gardens Point campus. Entry is free.

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