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Grad Students Present "Mad Science" Experiments at the UGA Theatre for "Young Frankenstein"

April 16, 2019

The students performed fascinating Frankenstein-themed physics demonstrations before the musical.

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Graduate Students (from left to right): Abed Mohamadzade, Lenny Shenje, Yingqi Qu, and Bijay Duwal

The UGA Theatre closed out its Spring 2019 season with Mel Brooks' comedy musical "Young Frankenstein". Physics graduate students working under Professor Susanne Ullrich provided pre-show entertainment with a 'Mad Science' competition.

The four graduate students, Bijay Duwal, Lenny Shenje, Abed Mohamadzade, and Yingqi Qu, decided to stage a pseudo-competition between 2 groups, each with 2 demos and all related to the reanimation theme of the play.

The show starts off with a vacuum demo where they vacuum seal a ‘human body’ for preservation.

They then moved on to melt a galvanized nail with a large electrical current generated from a transformer.

The third demonstration involved using a vacuum pump on marshmallow ‘organs’ in a glass jar and watching them expand, filling the jar.

Lastly, they performed the Jacobs ladder demo, which is a high-voltage travelling arc like the one featured in the original movie, to show the amount of energy needed to ‘revive’ Frankenstein’s monster. The audience then got to decide which demo they liked best and crown the ‘maddest scientist’.

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We had a blast doing these, even though we clearly can’t act. I like to think they had more fun watching our presentation than the musical but I could be wrong.
–Lenny Shenje

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