Physics students float large balloon over CMU campus

A large solar balloon floated over the buildings on the Colorado Mesa University campus causing traffic to slow on North Avenue Tuesday afternoon.

Traffic slowed near 11th Street and North Avenue Tuesday afternoon as drivers gazed at a large black balloon floating over Colorado Mesa University.

A long string attached to the balloon was wrapped around the hand of Dirk Terptra, president of the Society of Physics Students.

“That’s a giant solar sausage,” he said while slowly reeling in the solar bag.

Each Tuesday, the club gives some type of science demonstration to their fellow CMU students as a way to attract them to the sciences.

“This one is demonstrating that hot air is lighter than cold air,” Terptra explained.

The club has shown students a wide variety of other physics examples including dropping eggs from the library’s roof, launching a tennis ball cannon, and letting some lie on a bed of nails.

The group is a chapter of the national Society of Physics Students organization. More information is available at


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