The energy bike demonstration hosted by the Society of Physics Students on Friday did more than highlight the physics department — it also helped spread awareness about energy efficiency.
“I had the idea that if they were able to feel it in their body, they would get it,” Physics department chair Ken Hayes said.
The demonstration, in the Grewcock Student Union on Friday afternoon, consisted of a bike hooked up to three types of lightbulbs. Participants who rode the bike could see how much pedaling it took to light up incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, or LED bulbs. LED bulbs are the most energy efficient of the three.
The project was started two and a half years ago by Michael Tripepi ’17. It was taken over and finished by senior Rebekah Roundey.
The project was “very nearly done,” when she got it, Roundey said.
Between 30 to 50 people tried the bike on Friday, according to Roundey.
The point of the bike was to demonstrate energy efficiency.
“It’s a way to bring physics to people,” said junior Laura Salo, who helped lead the demonstration.
Hayes said that exposing people to science is part of the reason the society does these demonstrations.
“Right now, there’s a lot of people in the country who don’t view science with a lot of respect, and that’s a tragedy,” Hayes said.
Hayes said he hopes that people would relate to the demonstration since it deals with issues like energy efficiency, economics, and conservation.
Roundey echoed his sentiments.
“It’s not only important from a conservation side, but from an economic side,” Roundey said. “We think it’s important for non-science majors to think about it.”