It’s Halloween and if you don’t have a costume yet, obviously you’ve got little time to put one together. But that’s OK, because we’ve dug up a few ideas for easy costumes with a science theme:
1 ) Mad Scientist: Yes, it’s an obvious one, but it will be easy to put together. All you need is messy hair, a geeky t-shirt (if you don’t have one, just take a plain shirt and write a few equations on it) and/or white lab coat, perhaps some safety goggles or protective gloves, and a glass container (a beaker or Erlenmeyer flask would be nice) with some colored liquid, bubbling away with the addition of some dry ice.
2 ) The Pacific Garbage Patch: This idea, from the Mother Nature Network, requires only some blue clothing and whatever bits of plastic you’ve got lying around the house. Glue or otherwise attach the plastic bits in a large patch to your outfit, get a little background info on the problem so you can inform anyone who asks, and you’ll be good to go.
3 ) Schrödinger’s Cat: This is a classic example of a feature of quantum physics in which something can be in two states simultaneously. Schrödinger’s Cat is in a box and is both dead and alive. For this costume, you’ll need a box to wear (at least over your head, like idea number 1 here) with a flap cut out for your face. Give yourself whiskers and a cute cat nose.
4 ) Squid: There are plenty of reasons to love these undersea creatures. But the ability to make a squid hat using nothing more than paper and a couple of CDs (as seen here on Discoblog) is another.
5 ) Dark Energy or Dark Matter: Find a “My Name Is” sticker and write “Dark Energy” or “Dark Matter” on it. No one knows what either of them looks like, so your guess (whatever you’re wearing) is as good as any other.
(And if you haven’t yet carved your pumpkin, be sure to check out these ideas from around the Smithsonian.)