'Take nail and banana:' Texas physics teacher goes viral with TikTok experiments

i24NEWS

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An actress carries out an experiment on stage during a science festival in Paris, France.
FRANCOIS GUILLOT / AFPAn actress carries out an experiment on stage during a science festival in Paris, France.

She will show you how to hammer a knife into a huge potato or stand on lightbulbs

Have you ever slept through a physics lesson? That’s because you weren’t lucky enough to have Tatiana Erukhimova as your teacher. 

She will show you how to hammer a knife into a huge potato or stand on lightbulbs while actually becoming smarter in the meantime. 

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This physics and astronomy professor at Texas A&M University gets millions of views on TikTok explaining the most important physics laws in the most unusual ways. 

Putting an egg on a cardboard toilet paper roll and mounting it on a plate over a full glass of water? Why not? Especially if it teaches you a thing or two about inertia and puts a smile on your face. 

“Are you ready to do something stupid?” Erukhimova asks her students in the latest video posted on the university’s TikTok account. She pulls out a brick of wood, a nail, a banana, and some liquid nitrogen. The audience cheers with excitement, anticipating a new mind-blowing experiment. 

“Tatiana's energy is so infectious, I love that!” the most popular comment under the video read. 

“And this is how you engage young people towards STEM. She’s fabulous!” another user added. 

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Born in Russia’s Nizhnij Novgorod, Tatiana moved to Texas in 1999 to teach what she knew best growing up in a family of physicists

“My passion for physics is just in my genes, and I cannot imagine my life without physics,” she said.

However, she soon learned that American students were bored with theory and didn’t think physics would ever be useful in real life so she invented her own teaching method to attract their attention. It is based on demonstrations and includes the most common objects in her experiments that everyone can find at home. 

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