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Welcome to The MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group website.

About TSG
The Technical Services Group (TSG) at MIT's Department of Physics provides technical and teaching support for undergraduate courses at MIT. Our many rooms of physics demos, accumulated over the past century, display subtle physics concepts ranging from electromagnetism, to kinematics, to optics.

The undergraduate physics courses at MIT include lecture courses, as well as the Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) studio classroom courses. For more information on the MIT Department of Physics visit their website, or see MIT OpenCourseWare to download free course materials.

We provide support for most variants of 8.01, 8.02 and 8.03 classes in the form of:

  • Demonstration setup, execution and breakdown

  • Laboratory setup, execution and breakdown

  • TEAL classroom teaching assistance

  • General TEAL room support and maintenance

Additionally we occasionally provide some of the above services for departmental open houses, graduations and other special events.

Random Cool Demonstration!

Amber and Glass Rods with Helium Filled Balloons (D 2)

Keyword: Electric Charge
A negatively-charged amber rod is brought close to an uncharged conducting balloon. The balloon is attracted by the rod, touches it, becomes negatively charged, and is quickly repelled by the rod. A positively-charged glass rod attracts the balloon. The same sequence is repeated with an uncharged, non-conducting balloon. This time, the balloon sticks to the amber rod after touching it.
Alternately, when He-filled conducting balloons cannot be obtained, one can demonstrate the same principle by means of a conducting ping-pong ball suspended bifilarly (so that it oscillates in one plane) and shadow project it on to a screen.