Upcoming events

All events start at 6 pm (doors open at 5pm!) and take place at:
National Mechanics
22 S 3rd St, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19106

The Physics of the Perfect French Fry
Monday, December 8, 2014

We’ve been enjoying french fries for centuries, yet they continue to elude home chefs and gourmands alike. Can science explain the art of perfecting this everyday food? Dr. Scott Paulson, french fry-enthusiast and physics and astronomy professor at James Madison University, says yes. During this Science on Tap, Paulson will explore the science behind the seemingly simple act of deep-frying a potato, including important questions such as: What variety of potato works best? Does the type of oil matter? Is fresher better? He will also discuss high-heat vs. low-heat cooking techniques and the reluctant interaction of oil with water, in a quest to uncover the perfect french fry recipe.

Image: Kenji López-Alt of The Food Lab on Serious Eats 

Scott_teachScott Paulson, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia. His research interests are in nanotechnology and biophysics, but he also likes to think (and talk) about the science of more common phenomena, such as cooking and baseball.

This month’s Science on Tap event is hosted by the Wagner Free Institute of Science.

The Floor is Lava (Literally): The Dos and Don’ts of Volcanology
Monday, January 12, 2015


That’s hot.

Every year, an average of 60 volcanoes erupt worldwide; approximately 15 of these eruptions have the potential to disrupt air traffic and cause widespread destruction. The practical consequences of these damaging effects made front-page news in 2010, following the eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland (which caused extensive air traffic disruptions and flight cancellations), and Merapi volcano in Indonesia (during which 353 people were killed, and 350,000 were displaced). These events highlighted the need for novel and improved real-time volcano monitoring tools. In this presentation, Dr Vanderkluysen will talk about current eruptions in Hawaii and elsewhere across the globe, recent technological developments in volcano monitoring, and volcanic surveillance in the United States.

Speaker JanuaryLoÿc Vanderkluysen, PhD, has been studying all types of volcanoes for the last 15 years: modern and ancient, active and inactive, on land and under water, in Greece, India, Italy, Indonesia, or the South Pacific. Dr Vanderkluysen specializes in the development of novel instrumentation and techniques to monitor volcanic eruptions and mitigate volcanic disasters, in the study of ancient but exceedingly large volcanic eruptions, and in the short- and long-term effects of volcanic gas release to the atmosphere, climate, and the environment.

January’s Science on Tap event is hosted by The Academy of Natural Sciences.

Save the date for these upcoming Science on Tap events:
(Check back for speaker and topic updates.)

  • February 9, 2015: Hosted by the Chemical Heritage Foundation
  • March 9, 2015: Hosted by the Mütter Museum
  • April 13, 2015: Hosted by the American Philosophical Society Museum
Check out our past topics!