Center for Magnetic Self Organization

in Laboratory and Astrophysical Plasmas

For Teachers:


Educational public outreach is centered around The Wonders of Physics program.

The program includes a series of six public presentations, made in February, combined with tours of Physics Department laboratories, including MST. Each year over 2000 members of the Madison community see a Wonders of Physics presentation on campus. Although the presentations cover all areas of classical physics and are mainly intended to generate interest in physics, special emphasis is given to plasma physics and its application to magnetic fusion energy and to astrophysical processes. Videotapes, computer software, and a lecture kit describing The Wonders of Physics are available for purchase.

A traveling show has  been developed to visit schools and other sites in Wisconsin and throughout the U.S. About a hundred performances of the traveling show are made each year. In honor of the World Year of Physics 2005 the traveling show made a grand tour of Wisconsin, visiting every county in the state that had not previously seen a Wonders of Physics show.

A math competition, the Integration Bee, is held every spring for UW students, to encourage the study of calculus.  Students solve integrals for prizes in head-to-head competition at the blackboard.

A CMSO exhibit is being developed for the UW Space Place.  
Outreach efforts from CMSO and the other Physics Frontier Centers are coordinated through the Physics Frontier Center Educators Outreach Network (PFCEON), headquartered at the Center for Gravitational Wave Physics at Penn State. Currently PFCEON is collaborating with the Exploratorium in San Francisco to find ways to present cutting edge science that engage and excite the general public.

A National Science Foundation Physics Frontier Center,
established in coordination with the Department of Energy.