Physics and St Patrick’s Festival

26 March 2015

Physics was at the heart of Dublin during the recent St Patrick’s Festival. Kicking off the four-day event, the Spire of Light on O’Connell Street was specially lit up in green for the first time to mark the UNESCO International Year of Light. The spectacular illuminations used the latest in light technology and the Spire also displayed a stream of twitter feeds throughout the festival. The Grand Marshall of the 2015 St. Patrick’s Festival, Brendan O’Carroll officially switched on the lighting system and was joined by physicists throughout Ireland.

Physics and St Patrick’s Festival

Professor Martin Leahy, NUI Galway, Chair of the Irish National Committee for IYL in Ireland commented, “This global project seeks to raise awareness of how optical technologies can promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health. It is gratifying to see one of Ireland’s best loved landmarks lit up in celebration of such an important initiative. I would like to commend those involved and to thank our supporters PHILIPS Worldwide and Dublin City Council.”

Meanwhile the physics buskers were out in full force around Merrion Square bringing science to the huge crowds who converged on the city. Among the activities were demonstrations of Archimedes’ principle, shown with a tug of war, Bernoulli’s principle, shown with a giant windbag, Faraday’s law of induction, shown with a simple motor, and a vortex blower, musical straws, windmills, rocket launching and much more. The weather was kind and buskers commented that it was ‘one of the best outings yet for the group.’

Physics and St Patrick’s Festival