Event was part of national March for Science

When Professor James Kakalios was invited to give a talk on The Physics of Superheroes at the teach-in as part of the March for Science on April 22, 2017, at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., he planned on using his usual powerpoint presentation, but a science professor always has to be ready for the unexpected.

Shortly before his presentation, Kakalios was told by the event organizers that there is no power on the Mall for projectors. The sponsors of his talk, the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America came up with the idea of transferring his slides for use with View-Master viewers. The sponsors lent out 50 viewers to the audience at the teach-in. View-Master viewers are a classic toy that uses stereoscopic 3-D images on small cardboard discs. The event was a success with a standing-room-only packed tent of interested people wanting to learn more about physics.

“Everyone in the audience loved the View-Masters, and they had so much fun they did not mind when I snuck some physics into my presentation,” Kakalios said. “The enthusiasm and energy of the audience and crowd on the National Mall was inspiring. Politics may swing one way or the other, but science will always prevail!”

Kakalios is the author of The Physics of Superheroes, The Amazing Story of Quantum Mechanics, and The Physics of Everyday Things. He has appeared on National Public Radio’s Science Friday and delivered lectures on popular physics topics at numerous national and international conferences. He has worked as a science consultant on several films including The Watchmen and The Amazing Spider-man.