Technical Services Group
@ MIT Physics

A - Kinematics B - Forces + Mechanics C - Oscillations D - Electrostatics E - Capacitance + Dielectrics
F - Electric Currents + Resistance G - Magnetic Fields H - Magnetic + Electromagnetic Induction HT - Heat J - Magnetic Properties of Matter
K - Electromagnetic Oscillations L - LC + RLC Circuits M - Reflection N - Refraction P - Interference
PR - Pressure Q - Diffraction R - Spectra S - Color T - Polarization
V - Atomic Physics X - Miscellaneous Y - Labs Z - Films

The following is a list of named demonstrations we can provide.
We use an internal letter-number scheme for organization and requests.
For reference, we also provide the Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA) Demonstration Classification Scheme (DCS) code in brackets.
This page is under construction. If you are looking for a particular demo, there may be info here.

[A] Kinematics

To Top /\

A1 - Standard Meter [1A10.35]

Replica of metric rod stored in Paris, length 1m.

A2 - Measuring the Length of a Student [1A10.38]

A student’s height is measured once standing up and once laying down. The difference in height between the two measurements is then shown.

A3 - Various Unit Masses and Weights [1A10.20]

A number of unit masses are provided to let students get a hands-on feel for various units.

A4 - Measuring the Speed of Light [6A01.10]

A modulated laser strikes a beam splitter. The reflected laser light travels through a lens to a photodetector. The transmitted laser light travels across the lecture hall to a front surface mirror, then back through a second lens focused on a second photodetector. With a path length difference of about 4 meters, one should expect a 12 ns phase delay (3.3 ns/m or

A5 - Air Table and Pucks [1N40.24] Video play video

A small rectangular air table with a mobile air supply or a large 1.5m square air table can be connected to a classroom air supply. There are pucks and similar objects of varying masses that can be set in motion to demonstrate collisions in a 2D environment.

A6 - Apple and Gun [1D60.30] Video play video

A plush apple is suspended from a rod at one end of the lecture hall. The apple is released and begins falling at the same instant a spring gun fires a golf ball at it from the other end of the lecture hall.

A7 - Relative Motion Gun [1D60.10] Video play video

A cart moving in a straight line shoots a ball straight up. The ball follows a parabolic path and is caught in a large funnel on the moving cart. This demonstration uses the large track which can only be used in room 26-100. This demonstration shows that the velocity in the x direction stays constant during parabolic motion.

A8 - Feather and Coin in a Vacuum [1C20.10] Video play video

The free fall of a coin and feather in a vacuum are compared. This demonstrates that without air resistance all objects on the surface of Earth fall with the same acceleration (9.8 m/s^2).

A9 - Range of a Projectile [1D60.40]

Using an adjustable angle spring gun, the trajectory of a ball can be observed. Its relationship to the launch angle can then be determined. The point at which the ball will land for a given angle can be calculated and then shown.

A10 - Water Through Hoops (Retired) [1D60.50]

Water passing in a parabolic path through hoops. When the entire assembly is tilted, the water will still go through the hoops.

A11 - Ball Bearing Dropped in a Viscous Fluid [2C30.51] Video play video

Ball bearings of different diameters and masses are dropped in a glass container filled with corn syrup. The time it takes to fall a set distance is measured and the terminal velocity is measured. This is shown with a camera that can be projected onto the screens in the room. It is shown that spheres with larger radii have larger terminal velocities.

A12 - Rotating Disks (Retired) [1C10.65]

A pair of spinning wheels 1.5 meters apart is placed in the path of a bullet. The gun is fired with the wheels stationary for a reference position. The gun is fired again with the wheels spinning at a known speed. The difference between the reference hole and the second hole is compared. The bullet speed can then be determined.

A13 - Electronic Timer (Retired) [1C10.60] Video play video

On the same apparatus, two cards wrapped with thin insulated wire are placed in the path of the bullet. The distance is the same. The wires are broken by the bullet which gives a start and stop pulse triggering a digital timer.

A14 - Storage Scope (Retired) [1C10.60]

The start and stop pulses also go to a storage scope giving two pulses on one sweep with which the bullet speed can be determined.

A15 - Ballistic Pendulum [1M40.40] Video play video

A ping pong cannon is fired into a pendulum hanging from wires. The mass of the pendulum and ping pong is measured. Measurement of the displacement of the pendulum then yields the velocity of the ping pong.

A16 - Pulling an Air Cart with a Spring [1G10.16]

Demonstrates motion with constant acceleration.

A17 - Falling Apple [1C30.10]

Two wooden apples are dropped from different heights. The first from 3.2m, and the second from 1.6m. The time is measured electronically and g is calculated.

A18 - Strobe a Falling Ball [1C30.33] Video play video

Using a stroboscopic picture of a ball falling near a meter stick, the acceleration of the ball is measured. The picture is shown on the screens in the room.

A20 - Inclined 5-m Air Track w/ Strobe (Retired) [1C20.36]

The 5-meter air track is placed on the lecture tables so that it makes an angle with the horizontal. A cart slides down the track and a stroboscopic photograph of its motion is made. This has to be photographed before the lecture.

A21 - Air Cart with a Pulley and Weight [1G10.10]

A weight is attached to a cart on the air track via a string and pulley. The velocity of the cart is measured with digital timers as the weight falls. This demonstration can also be performed with heavy carts.

A22 - Hinged Stick and Falling Ball [1Q20.50] Video play video

Two wooden boards 1 m long, mounted one above the other, are hinged together at one end. A small cup is mounted near one end of the upper board with a tee for a ball on the end. The top board is propped up with a dowel and a ball is set on the tee. When the dowel is quickly pulled away, and the hinged board has completed its fall, the ball ends up in the plastic cup. This shows that the board has moved farther than the ball in the same period of time. Different balls can be used to show that it is independent of the ball's mass.

[B] Forces + Mechanics

To Top /\

B1 - Coupled Air Carts [1G10.40]

Two air tracks, one level and one at an angle of ≅6.5°, form an elementary Atwood machine. Each track has an air cart linked together by a string. The string rides on a pulley between the air tracks. The horizontal cart is released at the beginning of the track and the velocity of the cart is measured using the sonic sensor and the lab quest. Acceleration of the carts is determined and compared with theory.  

B2 - Atwood Machines [1G10.40]

Demonstrate Newton’s 2nd Law for an Atwood Machine system. Demonstrate both static and dynamic equilibrium.  

B3 - Low Friction Atwood Machine [1G10.40] Video play video

Demonstrate Newton’s 2nd Law for an Atwood Machine system. Demonstrate both static and dynamic equilibrium.    

B3a - Atwood Machine w/ Moment of Inertia [1G10.40]

This classic experiment combines the effects of linear and angular accelerations. A string carrying two, weight holders passes over a large ball bearing mounted pulley. The weight holders have appreciable mass, the accelerating force being provided by a small rider added to one of them. The acceleration of the system is small due to the large inertia of the pulley and the heavy masses of the weight holders. The linear and angular inertias of the system are comparable. The pulley has a simple geometric shape so that the Moment of Inertia can be easily calculated. The heavier weight holder is held in place on a platform so that its starting height can be carefully measured. The platform is dropped to start the experiment and the system accelerates. The weight holder falls until it strikes a fixed weight platform at the bottom of the support column. The acceleration is calculated from the times taken to traverse this distance. Repeating the experiment with other weight differences gives the data needed to calculate the effect of friction and the acceleration due to gravity.

B4 - Levitating Cart [1J30.10]

The components of a cart's weight normal and parallel to an inclined track are balanced with masses hung over pulleys. The track can then be removed, leaving the cart stationary.

B5 - Cavendish Experiment [1L10.20] Video play video

A large scale replica of the Cavendish experiment can be shown to the class for a better visualization of how it worked.

B6 - Two Balloons in a Box [1G20.75]

Two balloons are hung in a sealed box. One is filled with air and hung with a string from the top of the box; the other is filled with Helium and attached with a string to the bottom of the box. When the box is accelerated, the Helium balloon moves in the direction of motion while the air-filled balloon moves in the opposite direction.

B7 - Velocities Down Straight Slope, Parabola, Catenary [1D15.55] Video play video

Three balls travel down three different trajectories. The ball on the catenary reaches the bottom first.

B8 - Audio Tape of Bricklayer’s Letter [TBD]

The Bricklayer's Lament, a comedy bit told by Gerard Hoffnung at the Oxford Union recorded by the BBC on December 4th, 1958. Cassette Tape contains 3 copies of varying quality.

B13 - Spring Constant [1R10.10]

Weights are attached to a vertical spring. As each weight is added, the displacement of the spring is measured. If g is known, the spring constant is determined, or if the spring constant is known, g can be calculated. Various size springs are available.

B14 - Tension in Springs [1J30.23]

A series of springs with known spring constants are used to illustrate that the tension is the same in all the springs by measuring their extensions.

B15 - Series/Parallel Springs [1R10.30]

This demonstration shows that two identical springs in parallel move the same distance those two identical springs placed in series if the ratio of the masses they support is 4:1

B16 - Linear Force Scale [1R10.10]

Equal weights are added to a pull-type spring scale. The deflection of the scale is shown to be linear. Shown with TV system.

B17 - Spring Paradox [1J20.23] Video play video

This is a network of 3 strings and 2 springs in which cutting a string that supports a weight results in a rise of the weight at equilibrium.

B18 - Young’s Modulus Apparatus [1R20.15]

A wire hung from a mount is weighted with 1 kg weights. As more weights are added, the wire stretches and eventually breaks. A small mirror gradually tilts as the wire stretches. This change is shown on the wall with a laser beam reflecting off the mirror.

B19 - Hooke's Law Puzzler [1J30.20]

Two spring setups are compared to explore the concept of tension in a spring in equilibrium.

B23 - Inclined Plane [1K20.35]

The coefficient of static friction is measured by placing a wooden block on an incline and adjusting the incline until it slips. This can also be done with plastic bins of different weights but the same surface area, a rubber hockey puck, a plastic bin, and two pieces of wood with the same mass but different surface areas. The angle is determined with a digital readout level or by trigonometry.

B24 - Block with Pulley and Weight on an Incline [1K20.10]

A block of wood with three different surfaces is placed on a 2m. Wooden plank. The plank is set at an angle that is measured with a mounted protractor. A length of string is attached to the back and run over a pulley. Weights are added to the string until the block slides. The coefficient of static friction can then be measured.

B25 - Pulling Block with Newton Scale [1K20.10]

Demonstrates static and kinetic friction between two surfaces.

B26 - Leaning Plank [1K10.20]

A wood plank is leaned against a vertical board. The angle at which it falls can be measured and compared with a calculation based on the coefficient of static friction. This can also be done with a ladder against the wall.

B27 - Friction of a Rope Around a Bar [1K20.71] Video play video

The static Friction of several turns of rope around a metal bar is measured. It is shown that the amount of friction increases significantly with each wrap of the rope.

B28 - Kinetic Energy and Friction Force [1K20.90]

This consists of a single air cart on an air track with a timer. The demonstration shows that the distance an air cart moves on a nearly frictionless surface is proportional to the KE of the air cart.

B29 - Water-lubricated Bearing(Cooking Pan) [TBD]

It is shown that the coefficient of friction between two surfaces can be changed by adding lubrication.

B34 - Vector Resolution of Forces [1J30.50]

Show the vector addition of two forces.

B35 - Balance Beam [1J40.20]

Show that when the net force and net torque on a system is zero the system will be in static equilibrium, and that an object supported below its center of mass will balance.

B36 - Static Equilibrium [1J40.70]

A model crane is utilized, its design being such that the forces in its various parts may be measured. The experiment consists of the comparison of these observed and calculated forces for various loads and figurations of the crane.

B37 - Balancing Act [1J20.40]

The demonstration shows that when an object is supported above its center of mass, it is very stable against perturbing forces.

B38 - Torque on a Steel Bar [1J40.40]

This demonstration shows that the sum of the torques, which can be calculated from the readings on the two scales plus the weight on the mass, is always zero when a rod is supported at both ends.

B39 - Capillary Tubes [2A20.10]

This demonstrates the capillary effect by showing that the liquid rises in each tube because the molecules of the liquid are more attached to the molecules of the tubes than they are to each other.

B40 - Wooden Block Between Two Strings [1F20.15] Video play video

A block of wood is attached vertically between two strings. When the bottom string is pulled slowly, the top string breaks. When the bottom string is pulled quickly, it itself breaks.

B45 - Pulling a Car Out of Mud [1M20.11] Video play video

This demonstration shows that you can magnify a force by running it over a pulley and pulling down.

B46 - Cord around a Rod [1K20.71]

This demonstration shows as the number of turns around a rod is varied, the force applied changes.

B48 - Strobed Acceleration Due to a Falling Weight [1G10.24]

Take a strobed photo of a light on a car pulled by a weight on a string over a pulley. See A21.

B51 - Repelling Air Carts [1N20.22]

Conservation of momentum is thus demonstrated.

B52 - Walking Chain [1D50.70] Video play video

A flexible chain circulating at high speed is shown to “walk” across the floor. Also see C30.

B56 - Happy/Sad Balls [1R40.30]

Balls with different coefficients of restitution are personified.

B57 - Elastic Collisions [1N30.30]

This demonstrates the principle of conservation of momentum. With a lack of external forces the total momentum of a system remains constant. Here metal bumpers are used so the carts bounce off each other elastically.

B58 - Inelastic Collisions [1N30.30]

This demonstrates the principle of conservation of momentum. With a lack of external forces the total momentum of a system remains constant. Here clay is used so the two carts stick together,

B59 - Heavy Cart Collisions (Retired) [1N30.30]

6 kg carts on a 5-meter linear track can collide elastically and inelastically to provide demonstrations of collisions more dramatic than the air track. These carts can only be used in room 26-100. They are large enough to be seen easily anywhere in the room.

B60 - Bouncing Ball Bearing on a Glass [1R40.10]

Demonstrates the conservation of momentum in elastic collisions.

B61 - Impulse of Bouncing Ball [1N10.11]

Demonstrates the impulse of a rebounding ball and a ball that sticks. It is shown that the ball that rebounds has a much greater impulse.

B62 - Colliding Balls (Sliding) [1N30.15]

The conservation of momentum in elastic collisions is shown.

B63 - Force Due to a Stream of Balls [TBD]

This demonstrates continuous mass transfer. One discrete collision of the small ball bearing and the large wooden plate initially does not have much effect. But many of these small collisions one after the other creates a large deflection of the plate.

B64 - Colliding Balls (Hanging) [1N30.10]

Demonstrates the principle of conservation of momentum for elastic collisions. This is often referred to as a “Newton’s Cradle”

B65 - Many-Body Collisions [1N40.24]

The air table can be used to demonstrate many-body collisions in a nearly friction-free environment. See A5.

B66 - Ballistic Pendulum (Retired see A15) [1M40.40]

NOTE: This demonstration has been retired and is only left here for historical record. Refer to A 15 for the updated version of this demonstration.

B67 - Mechanical Ballistic Pendulum [1M40.40]

Demonstrates the principles of conservation of momentum and energy.

B68 - Rocket on a Wire (Retired) [1N22.31] Video play video

Conservation of momentum is demonstrated as well as Newton’s 3rd law, as the rocket ejects gas the total momentum of the system remains zero while the momentum of the rocket and gas both increase equally and opposite.

B69 - Fire Extinguisher on a Tricycle [1N22.10] Video play video

A CO2

B70 - Rocket on an Air Cart (Retired) [1N10.70]

A rocket is mounted on an air cart. Digital timers measure the velocity of the cart and rocket. From the measurements of the weight of the rocket before and after burning, the thrust of the rocket can be determined.

B71 - Collision of Rocket-Mounted Air Carts (Retired) [1N22.33]

Two air carts are accelerated toward each other with equal impulse by small rockets. Small bits of clay are mounted in front of each cart. When the carts hit, the clay absorbs the energy and the two carts stand stationary. Alternatively, two unequal-mass carts can be used.

B75 - Center of Massachusetts [1J10.10] Video play video

A cut-out of the state of Massachusetts is hung from different holes on separate occasions. Each time, a ruler is used to mark a vertical line passing through the hole. The point at which these lines intersect is the center of mass[-achusetts].

B76 - Center of Mass of an Arbitrary Object [1J10.12]

A flat, irregularly-shaped piece of masonite is hung from different holes on separate occasions. Each time, a ruler is used to mark a vertical line passing through the hole. The point at which these lines intersect is the center of mass. There are three other shapes that can be used; an equilateral triangle, a sector of a circle, and a semicircle.

B77 - Sliding Ruler [1D40.10]

This demonstrates that no matter where the ruler is struck the center of mass of the ruler moves in a straight line.

B78 - Center of Mass Trajectory [1D40.10] Video play video

Odd-shaped objects with their centers of mass marked are thrown. The centers of mass travel in a smooth parabola. The objects consist of: a squash racket, a 16’ diameter disk weighted at one point on its outer rim, and two different size balls connected with a rod.

B79 - No-Win Tug of War [1H10.10] Video play video

Two people on rollerskates pull on a long rope to demonstrate the motion of the center of mass.

B80 - Push-Me/Pull-You Carts [1D40.55] Video play video

Two carts are connected together on the air track with a spring. The center of the spring is marked and its motion is shown while the carts oscillate back and forth.

B81 - Motion of a Falling Rod [TBD]

Demonstrates the motion of the center of mass of a system. When there are no external forces on the system, the center of mass does not accelerate. In the case of the frictionless surface the only external force on the center of mass is gravity and the center of mass falls straight down. In the case with friction, friction acts as an external force and affects the center of mass.            

B82 - Rim-Weighted Cylinder on Incline [1Q10.40]

Demonstrates the rolling motion of an object with a non uniform mass distribution.

B83 - Teeter Toy [1J20.45]

Demonstrates the stability on an object balanced at its center of mass when the mass is distributed far from the center on either side.

B84 - Double Cone and Plane [1J20.70] Video play video

A double cone and plane are placed on the bars of an inclined plane. Instead of rolling down the plane, the cone rolls up. Although the plane does slant upwards, the bars diverge, so that the axis of the cone is actually moving down.

B89 - Elastic Collisions (See B57) [1N30.30]

Duplicate - See B57

B90 - Gravitational Potential to Kinetic Energy [1G10.11]

A weight is attached to a cart on the air track via a string and pulley. The velocity of the cart is measured with a digital timer as the weight falls. This shows the conversion of gravitational potential to kinetic energy.

B91 - Gravitational Potential to Kinetic Energy (Strobe Light) [1G10.24]

Demonstrates the conservation of energy by showing gravitational potential energy being converted into kinetic energy. The initial total potential energy can be calculated and compared to the final kinetic energy.

B92 - Spring Potential to Kinetic Energy [TBD]

Demonstrates the conservation of energy by showing spring potential energy being converted into kinetic energy. The initial total potential energy can be calculated and compared to the final kinetic energy

B93 - Giant Pendulum (Retried) [1M40.10]

The professor stands with his back against the wall and pulls a large pendulum up to his nose and releases it. It swings out and back almost touching his nose. This demonstrates a solid belief in the conservation of energy on the part of the professor.

B94 - Giant Pendulum with Breaking Glass (Retired) [1M40.10]

The large pendulum in 26-100 is used in conjunction with a piece of glass mounted on the sidewall. The lecturer stands in front of the glass with the pendulum touching his nose. He gives it a strong push and steps out of the way. The return swing of the pendulum breaks the glass.

B95 - Loop-The-Loop [1M40.20] Video play video

Demonstrate the conservation of energy. A ball is given only potential energy initially and released from a set height, it rolls up and around a loop. The minimum height for which the ball can make the height is calculated by setting the normal force to zero and conserving energy. The ball needs both  potential and kinetic energy at the top of the loop so that it can maintain circular motion.

B96 - Interrupted Swing [1M40.15] Video play video

A pendulum swings from a support rod. A 2-meter stick is mounted horizontally to indicate the maximum height of the pendulum swing. Another rod is added to interrupt the swing of the pendulum. The pendulum is shown to reach the same height as before. The above setup can also be used as a variation on the “loop-the-loop” demonstration. The pendulum can be set swinging so that, when interrupted, its energy is just enough to make it 180° around the rod, and then fall.

B97 - Potential Energy to Kinetic Energy (Pendulum & Ball) [TBD] Video play video

This demonstration consists of a dropping ball and a pendulum released from the same height. Both balls are identical. The vertical velocity of the ball is shown to be equal to the horizontal velocity of the pendulum when they both pass through the same height.

B102 - Centrifugal vs. Centripetal Motion [1D55.15] Video play video

A wooden ball is attached to the rim of a spinning wheel. The ball is held in place by a string. When the string is cut, the ball slides in a straight line upwards tangent to the wheel.

B103 - Grinding Wheel Sparks [1D55.20]

A simple demonstration that shows the linear momentum imparted to sparks generated by contact of a steel bar with the circular motion of an abrasive wheel

B104 - Orbiting Bucket [1D50.40] Video play video

A bucket of water (or filled with ping-pong balls) is spun in a circle. No water or ping-pong balls leave the bucket.

B105 - Object Spinning on a Variable-Length String [1Q40.25]

Demonstrates the relation between orbit radius and orbit velocity in circular motion.

B106 - Air Puck Spinning on a Variable-Length String {TBD] Video play video

Demonstrates the relation between orbit radius and orbit velocity in circular motion. Also see A5 (air table).

B107 - Flywheel Yo-Yo [1M40.50]

Demonstrates the conservation of energy as well as Newton's second law for rotation.

B108 - Motorized Arm With a Hanging Pendulum [TBD]

Demonstrates the acceleration of uniformly rotating objects.

B109 - Apple on a String [1D50.10]

Demonstrates the basic principles of circular motion.

B110 - Stable and Unstable Axes of Rotation [1Q60.40]

A brass block is supported by a rubber band and a pin bearing. The block can be placed in various orientations and spun by winding the rubber band. When in a symmetric orientation the block wobbles very little, but when in an asymmetric orientation the block feels a torque and wobbles greatly.

B111 - Measuring the Speed of a Rotating Object with a Strobe [1D10.60]

A repeating strobe lamp is adjusted to measure the frequency of a rotating disk. A black disk with white numbers can be seen to stand still.

B112 - Gravity Well

Tensioned fabric with a large mass in the center and marbles provides an analogy for trajectories in a central potential.

B113 - Rolling Cylinders [1Q10.40]

Demonstrates the effect moment of inertia has on rolling motion. Also demonstrates that uniformly dense objects of the same shape roll at the same rate down hill.

B114 - Ice Skater’s Twirl [1Q40.10] Video play video

Demonstrates the conservation of angular momentum.

B115 - Moment of Inertia Wheel (large) [1Q20.12]

A weight is attached to a string wrapped around the rim of a wheel. The weight falls and spins the wheel. The wheel's moment of inertia is calculated by modeling it as a disk. The calculated and measured time for the mass to fall can then be compared.

B116 - Chrome Inertia Wheel [1Q20.10]

This demonstrates the effect moment of inertia has on acceleration. The moment of inertia of the system can be increased or decreased and angular acceleration can be seen to decrease or increase respectively.

B117 - Stationary Cylinder on an Incline [TBD]

A cylinder weighted off-center seems to defy gravity by remaining stationary on an inclined plane.

B122 - Plate Sliding Under a Can of Soda [1F20.35] Video play video

Demonstrates the effect short duration forces have on systems. In order to accelerate a mass (i.e. make it move) a force has to act for an appropriate amount of time.

B123 - Pulling a Cloth From Under a Beaker [1F20.30] Video play video

Demonstrates the effect short duration forces have on systems. In order to accelerate a mass (i.e. make it move) a force has to act for an appropriate amount of time.

B128 - Hero's Engine [1Q40.80] Video play video

This demonstration illustrates the earliest form of steam engine, as described by Hero of Alexandria, about 150 B.C. It consists of a spherical container with two reaction jets and a bearing on which the bulb can rotate.

B133 - Bicycle Wheel & Rotating Stool [1Q40.30] Video play video

Demonstrates the principle of conservation of angular momentum.

B134 - Train on a Horizontal Wheel [1Q40.40]

A model train track is mounted on a horizontal bicycle wheel which is free to rotate. The train is put on the track and started. Many different initial conditions are possible to demonstrate conservation of angular momentum.

B135 - Spherical Air-Bearing Gyroscope [1Q50.45]

A metal sphere has a small mass on a radial rod and rests on an air bearing. The gyroscope can be used to show uniform procession, torque-free precession, and nutation. This is described rather completely in pages 328-333 of Kleppner/Koldenkow

B136 - Air-Bearing Gyroscope [1Q50.10]

An air-supported ball has a long rod through its diameter. This acts as a gyroscope without toque. The plan of rotation of the rod can be tilted by lightly hitting the rod. The system can be made to precess by attaching weight to an end of the rod.

B137 - Bicyclewheel Gyroscope [1Q50.20] Video play video

Demonstrates gyroscopic precession due to gravitational torque.

B138 - Bicycle Wheel on a Universal Bearing [1Q50.21]

A similar demonstration as B137 is performed by a spinning bicycle wheel having a universal bearing at one end of its axle and resting on a vertical support.

B139 - MITAC Gyroscope [1Q50.30]

This gyroscope, powered by line voltage, maintains a constant angular velocity for extended periods of time.

B140 - Gimbled Gyroscope [1Q50.35]

This gyroscope has three degrees of freedom and is large in size. It maintains a relatively constant velocity by means of an induction motor. It is very convenient for a general discussion  of gyroscopes.

B141 - Gyroscope in a Suitcase [1Q50.40]

A gyroscope inside a suitcase is spun up via a connection to the outside of the suitcase. The suitcase is carried across the lecture hall. When the lecturer turns while walking , the gyroscope causes the suitcase to rise about the handle.

B142 - Airplane Turn Bank Indicator [1Q50.60]

Shows an application of a gyroscope with two degrees of freedom. It is shown via the video projection system.

B143 - Gyroscope with a Movable Torque Weight [1Q50.50]

Demonstrates gyroscopic precession due to gravitational torque.

B144 - Gyroscopically Stabilized Wire Walker [1Q50.71]

A gyroscope and a balancing cross bar are mounted on two wheels. This device is placed on a wire stretched across the length of all three lecture tables. It then keeps its balance and rolls along the wire without falling.

B145 - Miscellaneous Gyroscopes [1Q50.42]

Numerous other small gyroscopes are available. These can be shown to the class by use of the video projection system.

B150 - Moving Sand Cart Over a Rotating Surface [1E30.11] Video play video

A sand-carrying cart on a track leaves a trail of sand when it travels over a rotating table. This shows the effect of the coriolis force.

B151 - Rotating Plank [1E30.28] Video play video

A long plank is mounted on a rotating platform.  Two people sit on either end of the plank and toss a ball back and forth, demonstrating the Coriolis Effect.

B155 - Molecular Layers and the Size of Molecules [4D40.10]

In this demonstration, it is possible to find the approximate length and diameter of an oleic acid molecule, an unsaturated, naturally occurring fatty acid.

[C] Oscillations

To Top /\

C1 - Air Cart Between Springs [3A20.35]

A cart connected by springs to both ends of an air track demonstrates simple harmonic motion.  

C2 - Mass on a Spring [3A20.10]

An adjustable mass hanging from a spring demonstrates simple harmonic motion.

C3 - Circular and Simple Harmonic Motion [3A40.10] Video play video

The motion of a motor-driven ball rotating in a circle is shadow-projected sideways. It is shown to coincide with the motion of a mass on a spring executing simple harmonic motion at the same frequency.

C4 - Spray Paint Oscillator [3A40.72] Video play video

A can of spray paint is attached to a spring oscillator. A sheet of paper toweling is run past the oscillating can. The result is a sine wave on the paper. Demonstrates the sinusoidal nature of simple harmonic motion.

C5 - Simple Pendulum [3A10.10]

Various size balls and lengths on a string can be shown or timed.

C6 - Giant Pendulum (Retired) [1M40.10]

Demonstrates the prince of conservation of energy. NOTE: This demonstration has been retired as we no longer use the 26-100 space. Something similar could be set up on a smaller scale in 6-120 upon request.

C7 - Physical Pendulum [3A15.10]

An irregularly-shaped object exhibits harmonic motion.

C8 - Rigid Pendulum [3A15.20]

An iron ball swings at the end of a rigid rod.

C9 - Different Shaped Pendulums with the Same Frequency [3A15.25]

A mass on a spring, a simple pendulum, a rod, a hoop, and a solid disk are suspended from the same support. They all oscillate with the same frequency.

C10 - Two Pendulum with Different Amplitudes [3A95.33]

Two identical pendulums are released at the same time from different heights. For small amplitudes, the pendulums remain in phase for about ten periods of oscillation

C11 - Damped & Undamped Masses on a Spring [3A50.15]

Demonstrates the difference in motion between a damped and undamped system. The daped system will have the same frequency but with decreasing amplitude over time.

C12 - Oscillating Steel Ball on a Track [3A40.25]

Demonstrates harmonic motion of an object as well as conservation of energy.

C13 - Multiple Potential Well [1M40.25]

This visually demonstrates the interplay of potential energy to kinetic energy by observing the speed of the ball at different points on the track.

C14 - Air Spring With Oscillating Steel Ball [TBD] Video play video

Demonstrates an example of harmonic motion. However, this is really a demonstration of the difference between adiabatic and isothermal measurements of specific heat.

C15 - U-Tube Oscillations [3A20.55]

A u-shaped clear plastic tube filled with fluorescent-dyed water is used to demonstrate harmonic motion

C16 - Torsional Balance Oscillator [1F10.10]

A torsional Balance has a constant-torque spring and adjustable weights on its cross bar. This can be shown on the video projection system.

C17 - Simple Harmonic Motion with Damping [3A50.15]

Row I

C18 - Two Pendulums Coupled with a Rod [3A70.20]

Two identical pendulums are coupled by means of a light rod loosely connected to the pendulums’ strings

C19 - Two Rigid Pendulums Coupled with a Spring [3A70.25]

Two identical rigid pendulums are coupled by means of a light spring. Three springs with different spring constants are available.

C20a - 3 Driven Air Carts Coupled w/ Springs [3A75.10]

Error - empty line in description

C20 - 5 Driven Air Carts Coupled with Springs [3A75.10] Video play video

Five carts coupled together with six matched springs are mounted between a fixed end and a variable motor-driven end on a 2.5 m air track. By adjusting the speed of the motor, five different modes of vibration can be attained. This demonstration can also be done with three carts on a 1.5 m air track.

C21 - Weighted Hacksaw Blade [TBD] Video play video

A hacksaw blade has a weight attached to each end. The center of the blade is tightly held in vise. The two halves of the blade then behave like coupled oscillators

C22 - Wilberforce’s Pendulum [3A70.10]

The pendulum consists of a 30 mm wide helical spring, made of 1 mm thick steel wire and having 140 to 150 turns. One one end of the spring, a heavy iron cylinder is attached coaxially with the helix and provided with four mutually perpendicular radial pins. Each of them carries a flat, metal disc, which can be brought closer to the cylinder axis or farther away from it by means of threads cut into the  disc and the pin. In this way, the moment of inertia of the iron cylinder is variable within wide limits.

C23 - Damped Ballistic Galvanometer [TBD]

An approximately erratically damped ballistic galvanometer is used to show the effect of magnetic damping on the harmonic motion of a reflected helium-neon laser beam.

C24 - Horizontal Baseball Bat [3A15.50]

The effect of striking a baseball at its center of percussion is demonstrated. A pencil located at the axis of rotation of the bat breaks when the bat falls on a block at a point other than its center of percussion.

C24a - Hanging Baseball Bat [3A15.50]

A baseball bat is hung vertically from a rod. The effect of striking a baseball bat at its center of percussion is demonstrated.

C25 - Rod and Ping-Pong Balls (Retired) [3A15.50]

A wooden rod is placed between two ping-pong balls. When the rod is struck above or below the center of percussion, the balls move. When struck at the center of percussion, neither ball moves.

C26 - Projection Model of Wave Motion [TBD]

A frame carries five wire forms bent in helices and capable of being turned about their axes. When projected on the screen, they appear as waves of sinusoidal form that progress as the wire shapes are turned. A mask can be used to expose the display of the sine waves one after the other.

C27 - Bell Lab Wave Machine [3B10.30] Video play video

Rods ranging in size from 10 cm to 40 cm are attached to a steel rod that flexes to produce wave motion down its length. The machine can show standing waves, reflection, damping, resonance, impedance matching, reflection at the boundary between two media, and superposition. The end of the rods are painted to make the wave motion visible when illuminated with UV light. This machine can also be motor driven.

C27a - Longitudinal Wave Demonstrator [3B10.30]

Wave motion phenomena including propagation, reflection, interference and a number of resonant modes can be shown.

C27b - Longitudinal Wave Spring [3B10.30]

A small spring is connected vertically to a mechanical oscillator driven by a sine wave generator. Different longitudinal resonant frequencies can be observed. Projection TV is used.

C28 - Torsion Pendulum (Traveling Wave) (Retired) [3B10.45]

A 20-ft-long torsion pendulum is suspended from the ceiling of room 26-100. It can be used to display travelling and standing waves as well as critically damped waves.

C29 - Phase and Group Velocity [TBD]

Error - empty line in description

C30 - Wave on a Chain [3B10.25] Video play video

A long beaded chain is looped over a motor pulley. the motor is gradually brought up to full speed. A pulse is seen to travel slowly down to the bottom of the chain. A quick blow to make the chain come off the motor pulley results in the chain maintaining its shape for some time.

C31 - Ripple Tank [3B50.20] Video play video

Various wave patterns can be demonstrated.

C32 - Fourier Synthesizer [3C50.10]

A synthesizer is available to demonstrate:

C33 - Stretched Spring and Slinky [3B10.10]

A stretched spring shows transverse wave motion and the motion of pulses. A slinky shows longitudinal waves.

C34 - Magnesium Bars and Hammer [3B30.61]

Longitudinal waves are set up in Magnesium and Aluminum rods by striking the ends with a hammer. Wiping the rods gently with one's finger, outward from the center, removes any transverse wave. Touching the ends removes the longitudinal wave.

C35 - Vibrating Spring (Hand-Driven) [3B22.50]

A long spring, clamped or held by a student at one end, is hand-driven by the demonstrator at its other end. The higher the driving frequency achieved, the more nodes are observed along the spring.

C36 - Vibrating String (Motor-Driven) [3B22.10]

A transverse motion generating machine creates vibrations in a stretched length of surgical tubing. A strobe light allows nodal patterns to be more easily seen.

C37 - Vibrating Membrane with Strobe [3D40.40]

An Oscillator signal is used to excite vibrational modes in a thin circular rubber membrane. The modes can be viewed with a strobe light.

C38 - Chladni Figures (Speaker-Driven Plate) [3D40.31]

A thin metal sheet, fixed in the center, is excited in vibrational modes with a large loudspeaker. Fine sand sprinkled on the plate shows various modes of vibration in a plane.

C39 - Chladni Figures (Cello Bow- Driven Plates) [3D40.30]

Three thin metal sheets of different shapes are stroked with a cello bow. A thin layer of sand on the surface rearranges itself to delineate nodes and antinodes.

C40 - Oscillating Soap Film [3D40.45] Video play video

A soap film on a ring is driven by a loudspeaker. The film is viewed by reflecting light off the surface of the film and projecting it on screen.

C41 - Wave Beats [3B60.20]

The signals from two separate oscillators of different frequencies are mixed and their resultant is displayed on an oscilloscope.

C42 - Organ Pipes [3D32.25]

Open and closed organ pipes, ranging in size from 10 cm to 1 m, are available

C43 - Various Whistles [3D32.15]

A large British warning horn, a duck coil, and a small siren whistle provide amusing sound effects.

C44 - Tuning Forks and Sounding Boxes [3D46.15] Video play video

A large number of tuning forks with or without resonator boxes are available to choose from.

C45 - Tuning Fork and Microphone [3D46.16]

The sound of a tuning fork is picked up, amplified and displayed on an oscilloscope

C46 - Coupled Tuning Forks [3B70.10] Video play video

Two identical tuning forks are placed on the table with their resonator boxes facing each other. If one of the forks is struck, the other will start to resonate at the same frequency.

C47 - Xylophone [3D40.10]

The demonstrator can exhibit their musical talent.

C48 - Change in Frequency of Voice w/ Helium [3B30.50]

Helium introduced into a resonant cavity, including the lungs of the demonstrator, will increase the frequency of all pitches originating in the cavity

C49 - Audio Mixing [3C55.30]

Signals from two audio generators are mixed and the result is heard with a loudspeaker.

C50 - Tone Bursts [3C55.45]

Tone bursts are produced , displayed on an oscilloscope and heard with a loudspeaker. By varying the pulse width, one can measure the point where the burst starts to have a tonal quality.

C51 - Interference of Sound Waves [3B55.10] Video play video

Two loudspeakers, driven by an audio generator, are placed on the lecture table facing the audience. When members of the audience move their heads from side to side and listen with one ear, they can experience the nodes resulting from the interference of the two sources.

C52 - Standing Sound Waves in a Glass Tube [3D30.15]

A speaker connected to an audio oscillator is placed at one end of a 2.5 meter glass tube. The oscillator is tuned to the resonant frequency of the glass tube. A microphone connected to an oscilloscope is drawn down the length of the tube. Standing waves in the tube and the distance between them are recorded on the scope.

C53 - Two Speakers Facing Each Other with Microphone [3B55.10]

Two speakers, mounted on the lecture table and facing each other, are driven by an audio generator. A microphone is introduced between the speakers and the sound waves are displayed on an oscilloscope.

C54 - Microphone on a Lens Bench [3B30.10]

A speaker and microphone are mounted on a lens bench facing one another. A phase measurement between the speaker and microphone signals is made on an oscilloscope. The distance required to traverse through a 360 degree phase shift is noted. Knowing the frequency and distance, the speed of sound is computed.

C55 - Microphone in a Long Tube [3B30.20]

A speaker is placed at one end of a 5 meter long tube which can be filled with Helium. A microphone is placed inside the tube. The delay between the input signal and the microphone signal is measured once with the microphone halfway in the tube, and once with the microphone at the end of the tube opposite the speaker. From these measurements, the speed of sound can be calculated.

C56 - Doppler Shift using a Tuning Fork [3B40.10]

A 4000 Hz tuning fork is stricken and moved quickly by hand in a back-and-forth motion perpendicular to the rows of seats in the audience. The students sitting in front of the path of the tuning fork will best notice the Doppler shift effect. The tuning fork is then oscillated parallel to the rows of seats. This time the audience will not hear the Doppler shift.

C57 - Doppler Shift suing a Corrugated Plastic Tube [3D30.35] Video play video

The length of corrugated rubber tubing is swung by hand, and a frequency modulation can be heard in the plane of rotation.

C58 - Driven Cart on an Air Track [3A60.20]

A cart is connected by a spring to one fixed end of the air track and by another matched spring to a variable-speed driving motor. The resonant frequency of the cart-springs system is then found.

C59 - Driven Mechanical Oscillator [3A60.40] Video play video

A mass on a spring is driven by a large geared motor apparatus and exhibits resonance at the appropriate frequency. By attaching a horizontal disk above the mass, one can also damp the system.

C60 - Driven Torsional Balance Oscillator [3A60.55]

A torsional balance is driven by a motor. Arrows that can be shadow-projected display the driving and the oscillating frequency. Resonance can be readily demonstrated.

C61 - Wood Block on a Rubber Hose [3A60.45]

A wood block is attached to the center of a long rubber hose. The demonstrator and a volunteer hold the ends of the hose, and one of them swings the hose up and down until the resonant frequency is reached and the block oscillates with maximum amplitude.

C62 - Resonant Air Column in a Glass Tube [3D30.10]

A thin, long glass tube is mounted vertically with an opening at the bottom from which an ink-water mixture can be added. A small speaker excites resonant modes in the air column above the ink water column. Resonant points can be heard, and the corresponding level of the liquid marked on the glass

C63 - Large Flask Audio Resonator with a Cork [3D30.40]

A microphone is placed inside a large flask tightly sealed with a cork. The air resonance of the flask is observed on an oscilloscope when the cork pops out of the mouth. This demonstration can also be done with an air gun blowing across the mouth of the flask

C64 - Resonant Cavity with Swept Frequency [3D30.17]

A large flask can be used to demonstrate resonant cavities. A microphone is placed into the cavity while a speaker is directed at the mouth. A function generator is used to sweep the frequency from below the fundamental to about 10X that. The flask resonates at the fundamental frequency. This is displayed on an oscilloscope.

C65 - Rikji Tube [3D30.70] Video play video

A very large pipe can be made to resonate by heating a copper screen installed approximately one quarter way up the length of the tube.

C66 - Breaking a Glass w/ Sound [3D40.55] Video play video

Sound is used to shatter a wine glass.

C67 - Longitudinal Wave Spring [3B20.30]

A small spring is connected vertically to a mechanical oscillator driven by a sine wave generator. Different longitudinal resonant frequencies can be observed. Projection TV is used.

C68 - Doppler’s Principle Apparatus (Retired) [3B40.25]

This set-up consists of a 60 cm rod fitted with a stem for mounting the apparatus on a standard rotator. One end of the rod holds a reed; the other has an attached counterweight. The reed is rotated until it emits an easily recognizable musical rone. The students can observe that the pitch seems to rise as the reed approaches, and seems to lower as the reed goes away, even though the speed of rotation is constant.

C69 - Double Pendulum [3A95.50] Video play video

A simple chaotic system.

C70 - Adjustable Physical Pendulum [3A15.20]

The pivot position of a physical pendulum is varied and its period is recorded. The period of the pendulum will be minimized at a certain position. This position is equal to a constant that includes the pendulum's moment of inertia. Thus, one can find the pendulum's moment of inertia.

C71 - Rubens Tube [3D30.50]

Standing pressure waves in propane lead to a visible wave of flame heights.

[D] Electrostatics

To Top /\

D1 - Rod With Tinsel [5A10.10] Video play video

Show creation of charge by rubbing amber with fur and glass with silk. Show repulsion of like charges and existence of two types of charge.

D2 - Amber and Glass Rods with HE Filled Balloon [5A10.10] Video play video

Demonstrate induced charge on a conductor as well as show the “1/r^2” property of Coulomb’s Force Law.

D3 - Amber Rod and Comb With HE-Filled Balloon [5A10.10]

Demonstrates induced charge on a conductor as well as shows the “1 over r squared” property of Coulomb’s Force Law.

D4 - Demonstration of an Electroscope [5A22.30]

Show operation of an electroscope with charged rods.

D5 - Charged Conducting Ping-Pong Balls on a Stand [5A20.10]

Show charge repulsion between two

D6 - Static Charge from Rug [5A10.11]

Show that charge can be removed from a rug by rubbing your feet on it.

D7 - Confetti and Van De Graaff Generator [5B10.25] Video play video

Show that particles of like charge repel each other.

D8 - Charged Person Using Van De Graaff Generator [5B10.10]

Show that an isolated object receives a buildup of charge and that like charges repel.

D9 - Coulomb's Law Using Charged Pith Balls [5A20.20]

Show the separation of two pith balls, both with a like charge.

D10 - NOT FINISHED Coulomb's Law Using a Current Balance (also G11) [5A20.35]

Shows the repulsion between two plates that have the same charge.

D11 - Electrically Charged Student [5A10.12]

Demonstrate buildup of static charge when a person is rubbed by fur.

D12 - Demonstration of Induction using Electroscope (subset of D4) [5A40.15]

Show operation of an electroscope by induction only.

D13 - Demonstration of the Electrophorus [5A10.20]

Explain operation of the electrophorus.

D14 - Demonstration of the Wimshurst Machine [5A50.10] Video play video

Demonstrate the generation of high voltages with the Wimshurst Machine (see E1).

D15 - Two Identical Spheres Charged by Induction [5A40.10]

Demonstrate the charging of objects by using induction.

D16 - Electric Field Lines [5B10.40]

Show the varying electric field lines of different conductor arrangements.

D17 - Bouncing a Conducting Balloon with a Van De Graaff Generator [5A20.30] Video play video

Show the electric field lines of a Van De Graaff Generator.

D18 - Conducting Ping-Pong Ball between Capacitor Plates [5B10.35]

Demonstrate the electric field lines between parallel-plates, as well as show electrostatic induction. See E3 for fridge fields.

D19 - Electric Chimes [5B10.30] Video play video

Show the electric field lines between metal conductors as well as electrostatic induction.

D20 - Conducting Ping-Pong Ball Between Two Spheres [5B10.35]

Demonstrate electric field lines between two charged spheres.

D21 - Field of a Sphere and an Infinite Plane [5B10.51] Video play video

Show the electric field lines of a sphere and an infinite plane.

D22 - Dipole in a Van de Graff Generator Field [5B10.50]

Show that a dipole will line itself up with the electric field line.

D23 - Dipole Between Capacitor Plates [5C20.20]

[DEMONSTRATION UNAVAILABLE] A small dipole on a rotating stand is placed between the plates of a capacitor. This demonstrates that the moment of an electric dipole will seek to align itself with the electric field.

D24 - Fluorescent and Neon Tubes in Van De Graaff Field [5B10.58] Video play video

A fluorescent tube swings at the end of a long plexiglass rod. It is made to rotate and then brought near the VdG generator. The tube lights up when pointing radially away from the VdG. The same can be done with a small neon tube. Also, the tubes can be hand-held and made to flash by grounding.

D25 - Bucket in a Van de Graaff Generator Field [TBD]

A bucket on an insulated stand is placed in the field of a VdG generator. Electric charge is scooped up from the side of the bucket closest to the VdG and transferred to an electroscope. Next, charge is taken from the opposite side of the bucket and transferred to the same electroscope. The electroscope discharges, showing the opposite signs of the induced charges on each side of the bucket.

D26 - Electric Field Inside a Hollow Conductor Induction method [5B20.10]

A conducting gallon paint can with an orifice in the top is charged with the Wimshurst Machine. The lecturer attempts to charge two small conducting spheres by induction inside the container. Because of the absence of an electric field inside the container, the spheres get no charge. If the same process is repeated outside the container, the spheres become charged oppositely. This is shown with an electroscope. This demonstration can also be done with a hollow sphere.

D27 - Electric Field Inside a Hollow Conductor Contact method [5B20.10] Video play video

A conducting gallon paint can with an orifice in the top is charged with the Wimshurst Machine. Using a charge scoop, show that touching the inside of the conductor produces no charge but touching the outside will. This is shown with an electroscope. This demonstration can also be done with a hollow sphere.

D28 - Surface Distribution of Charge [5B30.20] Video play video

A tear drop shaped conductor on an insulating stand is charged. Charge is scooped up from various points on the surface of the conductor with a proof plane and transferred to an electroscope. It is demonstrated that the charge density is greater at the areas of greater curvature. This demonstration can also be done with a bucket.

D29 - Breakdown of Air (Lightning and Corona Discharge) [5A50.30] Video play video

Different sized spheres at the end of a grounded rod are brought separately in the vicinity of a VdG generator. Breakdown of the air occurs and "lightning" sparks are created between the VdG and the spheres. Smaller spheres result in smaller sparks. A sharp point at the end of the discharge rod produces a Corona discharge (St. Elmo's fire). A shadow-projected electroscope placed nearby shows that discharge is actually taking place.

D30 - Discharge of Conductor by Surrounding Ions [5B30.40]

Demonstrates the conducting properties of ionized air.

D31 - Electrostatic Pinwheel [5B30.50]

A conducting pinwheel is made of a horizontal pivoting rod with sharp bent ends. When placed on top of a VdG generator, the corona discharge creates ions in the air surrounding the points. Due to the same polarity of these ions and the points, the latter are repelled and the pinwheel rotates.

D32 - Faraday's Cage [5B20.30]

Demonstrates that there is no electric field inside a conductor placed in an external electric field.

D33 - Cylindrical Wire Mesh Cage [5B20.30] Video play video

Tinsel or an uncharged electroscope placed inside an insulated cylindrical wire mesh cage is shielded from the field of a VdG generator. This demonstration is especially suitable for smaller classrooms.

D34 - Principle of a Van de Graaff Generator [TBD]

Demonstrates how a Van De Graaf Generator is able to achieve a high potential.

D35 - Kelvin Water Drop Generator [5A40.70]

The electrostatic generator consists of water falling from two spigots through two metal cylinders and into two cans that are cross-connected to the cylinders. It is capable of generating about 10kV before discharging across a spark gap. The electrodes and sparks are very visibly TV-projected on the video screen.

D36 - Napoleon Methane Gun (Retired) [5B30.91]

Gas explosion by spark.

D37 - Smoke Precipitator [5B30.60]

A rectangular transparent container is filled with smoke and illuminated so as to make the smoke visible. A high voltage terminal in the container is connected to the Wimshurst machine. When the Wimshurst is cranked, the smoke swirls and quickly dissipates.

[E] Capacitance + Dielectrics

To Top /\

E1 - Capacitors Used in Wimshurst Machine [5C30.10] Video play video

Demonstrate that a capacitor can store large amounts of charge (see D14).

E2 - Dissectible Capacitor [5C20.30] Video play video

This three-piece capacitor consists of two metal cups separated by a glass cup. When assembled it can be charged with the Wimshurst machine. When disassembled the metal cups can be brought into contact with each other and no spark will be generated. When the jar is reassembled, it can then be discharged. A visible and audible spark is produced showing that the charge resides on the glass dielectric.

E3 - Electric Field Lines of a Parallel Plate Capacitor [5C10.20]

A Parallel plate capacitor is connected to the Wimshurst machine. A conducting ping-pong ball hangs on a 1m string on the outside of one of the plates. As the Wimshurst is charged the ball will follow the fringing electric field lines. The ball can also be placed in between the plates and will bounce back and forth between the plates as the Wimshurst is charged (see D18).

E4 - Potential Difference between Capacitor Plates [5C10.20] Video play video

A parallel plate capacitor is charged to 1KV. The Braun electroscope is across the plates to detect the potential difference. The relation between charge, potential and capacitance can be demonstrated.

E5 - Dielectrics Between Capacitor Plates [5C20.10] Video play video

Various dielectrics are placed between the charged plates of the parallel-plate capacitor. Changes in the deflection of an electroscope can be observed when inserting or removing a dielectric or varying the distance between the plates.

E6 - Exploding Wire [5C30.20] Video play video

A 100 μF oil-filled capacitor is charged to 4 KV. This takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes. The capacitor is discharged through a 12 inch length of iron wire. The wire explodes with a loud bang and a showering of sparks. A plexiglass shield is used to prevent the sparks from reaching the audience. This demonstrates the large amounts of power capacitors can produce. The energy stored is about 800J which gets discharged in microseconds.

E7 - Discharging a Capacitor Bank Through a Light Bulb [5C30.30]

A DC power supply is used to charge a bank of twelve 80 μF capacitors totaling 960 μF. The capacitor bank is charged to three different values. 80 VDC, 120 VDCm and 200 VDC and discharged each time through a 75 W bulb. Caution - the bulb will burn out at 300 VDC.

E8 - RC Time Constant Displayed on a Oscilloscope [5F30.20]

Demonstrates the effect resistance and capacitance have on the RC time constant of an RC circuit.

E9 - 10 Second RC Time Constant [5F30.15]

A 12V battery is used to charge a 10,000 μF electrolytic capacitor through a 1K ohm resistor. Voltage and current are displayed using an overhead projector.

E10 - RC Time Constant Displayed with a Light Bulb [5F30.10]

A 100 VDC Power supply is used to charge a bank of twelve 80 μF capacitors totaling 960 μF. The capacitor bank is charged and discharged through a 6W lamp indicating both the charge and discharge time.

E11 - RC Radio Filter [5L30.36]

This is a variable resistor and capacitor across a speaker in series with an audio source. It demonstrates the principle of a low or high pass RC filter.

E12 - Relaxation Oscillator (Neon Lamp) [5F30.60]

Demonstrates an oscillator using RC time constants. See explanation in E13.

E13 - Relaxation Oscillator (Fluorescent Lamp) [5F30.60]

Demonstrates an oscillator using RC time constants.

E14 - Relaxation Oscillator (Strobe Lamp) [5F30.60]

This demonstrates the use of capacitors in commercial products. A repeating electronic strobe or camera flash is used.

E15 - Measuring the Speed of a Rotating Object with a Strobe Light (Retired) [1D10.60]

Demonstrates the frequency of oscillation of a strobe light’s RC circuit with a rotating disk.

E16 - Electrorheological Fluid [5B10.45]

A mixture of cornstarch and vegetable oil drips in a constant stream from a funnel. A charged rod is brought close to the stream and the dripping stops.

E17 - Passive Filters [5L30.36]

A wide selection of 1st and 2nd order passive filters can be constructed and switched between.

[F] Electric Currents + Resistance

To Top /\

F1 - Conducting Glass [5D20.60] Video play video

Demonstrates that free ions are needed to conduct current. When glass is at room temperature, it acts as an insulator. However, when glass is sufficiently heated by a torch, it becomes an ionic conductor. Ionic bonds in the glass are broken, allowing the charge carrying ions to move freely. Thus, when the glass is melted the current can flow, which closes the circuit and lights the bulb.

F2 - Electric Hot Dog Cooker [5F15.20]

A hot dog is placed between two metal terminals which are connected to a 110V AC switch. When the switch is thrown the hot dog “cooks.” This demonstrates the conversion of electrical energy to heat.

F3 - Shorting a Car Battery [5E40.61]

A car battery is shorted very quickly with a large wrench. This demonstrates how high the short circuit current can be on an auto battery.

F4 - Temperature Effect on Resistance [5D20.10] Video play video

Demonstrates the effect that temperature has on the resistance of a conductor. A 6 V lamp is connected in series with a coil of very fine copper wire and a DC power supply. The voltage is adjusted so that the lamp glows dimly. When the coil is immersed in liquid nitrogen the resistance of the wire decreases causing the current to increase and the lamp to glow brightly.

F5 - Conductivity of Ionized Water [5D30.10] Video play video

Demonstrates that pure water on its own does not conduct current. It must have charge carrying ions in order to do so. Salt is added to deionised water and lights a light bulb.

F6 - Two CU-Zn Cells in Series (Measure Voltage) [5E40.70]

The basic principle of a battery is demonstrated. The internal resistance of a battery is also measured and demonstrated.

F7 - Two Cu-Zn Cells in Series (Light a Lamp) [5E40.20]

Demonstrates the basic principles of an acid battery.

F8 - Electroplating [5E30.24]

Demonstrates the process of using electrodeposition to coat an object in a layer of metal.

F9 - Twelve 9V Batteries in Series [TBD]

Demonstrates the relation between voltage and current as well as how voltages add in series.

F10 - Stretched Resistance Wire [5D10.20]

Demonstrates the relationship between length of wire and resistance. As the length of a wire is increased, the resistance of the system increases.

F11 - Two Resistors [5F20.55]

Demonstrates relationship between voltage and current in both series and parallel circuits.

F12 - Three Resistors [5F20.60]

Demonstrates that resistors in series add linearly.

F13 - 5 Different Types of Resistances in Series [5F20.10]

Demonstrates Kirchhoff's loop rule by showing that the total voltage drop across an entire circuit is zero. The voltage drop of each item in the circuit is shown to add to the same voltage as the input voltage.

F14 - Wheatstone Bridge [5F20.40]

Demonstrates the use of a wheatstone bridge to determine an unknown resistance.

F15 - Current-Time Relationship w/ DC Voltage and a Light Bulb [5D20.31]

Demonstrates the non-linearity and initial high current flow of a light bulb.

F16 - V-I Relationship of Linear and Non-Linear Components [5L10.51]

The voltage and current relationship of a resistor, a Zener diode, a capacitor or a light bulb is displayed on an oscilloscope.

F17 - V-I Relationship with a Resistor and Light Bulb [5D20.31]

A sawtooth waveform is the input for the Y axis of an oscilloscope. It is also the input for a lamp or a 51 ohm resistor which is connected to the X axis. The light bulb shows a non-linear change as the temperature of the bulb varies. This is compared to the resistor which shows a linear change.

F18 - Electrocardiogram [TBD]

[CURRENTLY UNAVAILABLE] Electrodes are placed on a human subject and the heartbeat is monitored with an oscilloscope. It is shown that muscle contractions produce electric signals which are shown on the video screen.

[G] Magnetic Fields

To Top /\

G1 - Deflection of a Compass Needle with a Magnet [5H10.11]

A large bar magnet compass is deflected by hand with a magnet.

G2 - Magnetic Field Lines of a Bar Magnet [5H10.30]

A bar magnet is placed between two transparent sheets of plastic and put on a document camera or projector. Iron filings are sprinkled on the top. A broken magnet can also be used to show that there are no monopoles.

G3 - Magnet and a Nail on a String [5H10.65]

Show magnetic attraction of seeming ‘non-magnets’ to a permanent magnet.

G4 - Levitating Magnets [5H20.20]

Two or more 1 inch disk-shaped magnets will levitate over each other.

G5 - Magnetic Deflection of a Electron Beam [5H30.15]

A small cathode ray tube is used to show an electron beam. The beam can be deflected using a bar magnet. This can be displayed using the video projection system if needed.

G6 - Magnetic Deflection of a TV Image [5H30.10] Video play video

A large magnet is brought close to a CRT TV. The image will become distorted in the magnetic field.

G7 - Superconductor [5G50.50] Video play video

Demonstrates the principle of super conduction using a super conductor and liquid nitrogen.

G8 - Wire in a Magnetic Field (Jumping Wire) [5H40.30] Video play video

Demonstrates the Lorentz force on a current carrying wire.

G9 - Series or Parallel Current-Carrying Wires [5H40.10] Video play video

Demonstrates the Lorentz force as well as Biot–Savart law for current carrying wires. Also, shows the difference in the direction of the force based on the direction of the current.

G10 - Galvanometer Principle [5H50.30] Video play video

Demonstrates torque on a magnetic dipole in an external, constant magnetic field. This is the principle upon which galvanometers work.

G11 - Current Balance [5H40.40]

This is a sensitive balance used to measure an electric current that passes through two horizontal bars connected in series. The lower bar is fixed and the upper is balanced a few millimeters above it. Because the current passes in opposite directions through the two bars, there will be a repulsive force between the two, dependent upon the amount of current run through the wires. Analytical weights are placed in a small pan on the upper bar to displace it downward. The current is then increased until the bar returns to its equilibrium position. The deflection of the balance is shown by means of a laser beam reflected off a mirror to a distant screen.

G12 - Single Wire [5H15.10]

Demonstrates how currents generate magnetic fields using the right hand rule. Various types of current carrying configurations can be shown. The G12 plate is equivalent to the inside of a single turn coil.

G13 - Single Loop of Current [5H15.20]

Magnetic Fields - FIeld Lines of a Wire

G14 - Single Vertical Wire and Compass Needle [5H10.20]

Demonstrates the field lines around a vertical current carrying wire using multiple sensitive compasses.

G15 - Single Horizontal Wire and Compass Needle [5H10.20]

Demonstrates the field lines around a horizontal current carrying wire using multiple sensitive compasses.

G16 - Magnetic Field of an 8 Turn Solenoid [5H15.40]

Demonstrates how currents generate magnetic fields using the right hand rule. Various types of current carrying configurations can be shown.

G17 - Biot-Savart Law for a Circular Coil [5H15.40]

A 28" diameter coil is connected to 125 VDC at 5 amps. The "B" field is measured using a Gaussmeter. One-half of a Helmholtz coil is used. The Gaussmeter scale is connected to an analog projection meter.

G18 - "B" Field of a Long Solenoid [5H10.55]

Demonstrates that the magnetic field of a solenoid is constant within the solenoid and then starts to change near the edges.

G19 - "B" Field between Helmholtz Coil [5H15.46]

Demonstrates the magnetic field of a helmholtz configuration. Shows that the two fields of the coils add and produce a uniform field in the middle.

G20 - “E” and “B” Fields of a Solenoid [TBD]

Demonstrates the magnetic and electric fields of a long solenoid. Shows that the field is constant within the solenoid, and starts to change near the edges.

G21 - Collapsing Solenoid [5H40.25]

A slinky is stretched out on a glass rod and connected to 110 VAC. When power is applied, the slinky immediately collapses.

G22 - Hall Effect [5M10.10]

This demonstration measures the potential difference across a conductor carrying a current when that conductor is placed in a magnetic field. Three meters are used to show the values.

[H] Magnetic + Electromagnetic Induction

To Top /\

H1 - Wire Loop with a Magnetron Magnet (Ammeter) [5K10.15]

A sensitive center zero projection meter is connected in series with a long cable. When the wire is introduced to the field of a magnetron magnet, the meter will deflect showing an induced current. When the cable is removed from the field the meter will deflect in the opposite direction.

H2 - Copper Coil with a Magnetron Magnet (Electrometer) (INCOMPLETE) [5K10.20]

A single-turn copper coil is connected to the Keithley Electrometer. When the coil is moved through the magnetic field of a magnetron magnet the electrometer will deflect, giving a reading of approximately 3mV.

H3 - Fixed Coil with a Moving Permanent Magnet (INCOMPLETE) [5K10.20]

A 9" coil with 120 turns is connected to a sensitive center-zero projection meter. A bar magnet is passed through the center of the coil, inducing a current which is shown on the meter. Reversing the poles or direction of the magnet will reverse the current. Passing the magnet through at different speeds will show different currents.

H4 - Coil with a Light Bulb Between a Magnet [5K10.25]

A coil with many turns (number of turns unknown) is connected in series to a small light bulb. When the coil is passed between the poles of a magnet the light bulb glows. It is possible to burn out the light bulb.

H5 - Ring Falling in a Magnetic Field (INCOMPLETE) [TBD] Video play video

A 30 H magnet with poles of about 10 cm. square, is connected to a 12V storage battery. After power is applied an aluminum ring is dropped into the field of the magnet. The ring falls slowly when entering or leaving the field and fast when totally inside the poles. This demonstration illustrates Faraday's and Lenz's Law and is shadow projected. This demo is also shown with a smaller electromagnet, connected to 125VDC, and the TV projection system.

H6 - Earth’s Field Coil (INCOMPLETE) [5K10.64]

A 42-turn coil with a diameter of 57 cm. is free to rotate about ats axis. When rotated by hand, a current is produced in the coil due to the earth's field. This is not a very clean signal and the orientation of the coil does not seem to matter.

H7 - Hand Crank Generator (INCOMPLETE) [5K40.80]

An old generator with a permanent magnetic field will light a small light bulb (or several) when turned with a hand crank. Lighting several bulbs at once take more effort. It can also be run as a DC motor when connected to a 12 V storage battery.

H8 - Wire Loop Around a Solenoid (INCOMPLETE) [5K10.30]

A four-turn flexible coil is placed around a long solenoid. The solenoid is connected to 125 VDC at 5A. When the switch is closed a current is induced in the coil. The current is displayed on a center-zero projection meter. The switch is opened and the current shown is equal and opposite. The coil can be deformed around the solenoid and the readings will remain the same. The wire loops are then doubled around the solenoid and the demonstration is repeated. The eight-turn coil now yields twice the current.

H9 - Variable Turns Around a Primary Coil (INCOMPLETE) [5K30.30]

A long length of wire, connected to an AC voltmeter, is looped around a solenoid acting as the primary of a transformer. As the number of turns are increased the projected voltage increases linearly.

H10 - Single Turn Around a Primary Coil (Melting Nail) [5K30.40] Video play video

A single-turn coil of 3/4" copper has a nail secured to it to complete the winding. When placed over a high turn solenoid, and power applied the nail glows brightly. This demonstration shows the principle of a welding transformer or an induction oven.

H11 - High Turn Secondary/Jacob's Ladder (TODO) [5D40.10] Video play video

A 10,000 turn coil with a spark gap is used as the secondary of a transformer. The spark gap resembles a rabbit ears antenna, with the gap larger at the top than the bottom. When 110 VAC is applied to the primary an arc will move from the bottom of the gap to the top. This is due to convection and will not work upside-down.

H12 - Marconi Coil (TODO) [TBD] Video play video

A high-voltage induction coil is connected to a 12 volt storage battery. When power is applied VERY HIGH VOLTAGES are developed across a variable spark gap.

H13 - Copper Pendulum between Poles of Magnet (TODO) [5K20.10] Video play video

Two pendula made of copper plates can be mounted between the poles of an electromagnet. One pendulum is solid white the other has slots. First the solid pendulum is set in motion and the magnet is switched on. The motion will damp out very quickly. The solid pendulum is then replaced with the slotted one. The demonstration is repeated and the slotted pendulum continues to oscillate.

H14 - Aluminum Plate between Pole Faces of a Magnet (TODO) [5K20.20]

A large aluminum plate is moved between the poles of an electromagnet. Due to eddy currents the force needed to move the plate is sizable. This is a good demonstration to have a student perform.

H15 - Levitating Coil on an Aluminum Plate (TODO) [TBD]

A coil of copper wire with flexible leads is placed on a large 1" thick aluminum plate. The coil is connected to a 110 VAC variac. When power is applied eddy currents are generated in the plate and the coil levitates.

H16 - Lenz's Law (TODO) [5K20.25] Video play video

One aluminum tube and one plexiglas tube are mounted on a vertical stand. Two apparently identical bobs are dropped through the tubes at the same time. One bob takes several seconds longer to fall through. One bob is a strong magnet. As it falls through the aluminum tube it induces an electric field which in turn generates a magnetic field of its own, slowing the fall of the magnetic bob. The bobs can be reversed and they fall at the same rate.

H17 - Back "emf" in a Large Inductor (TODO) [5J10.30] Video play video

A large 12 H solenoid is connected to 125 VDC through a knife switch with a long insulated handle. An ammeter and a high current resistor are also connected to the solenoid. When the switch is closed the current will build up to 30 amps. The switch is quickly thrown open and a very bright arc 10" long is seen.

H18 - Two Small Coils and a Battery (TODO) [5K10.30]

Two 120-turn coils are placed facing each other on the lecture table. One coil is in series with a switch and a dry cell battery. The other coil is connected to a sensitive center-zero projection meter. When the switch is closed or opened, a current is induced in the second coil and a meter deflection is noted. Moving one coil when there is a steady current flow will also deflect the meter.

H19 - Two Small Coils and Sine Wave Generator (TODO) [5K10.50]

Two 120-turn coils are placed facing each other on the lecture table. One coil is connected to the generator and the other is connected to an oscilloscope. The oscilloscope will display the sine wave induced from the coil connected to the generator.

H20 - Growth of Current in an Inductor (TODO) [5J20.20]

A 30 H coil with an internal resistance of 4.5Ω is connected to a 12 V storage battery. Two light bulbs are connected to the coil; one in series to monitor the current and one in parallel to monitor the voltage. A 4.5 ohm; resistor is connected and the switch is thrown, both bulbs light simultaneously when the coil is connected to the battery. The voltage bulb lights immediately while the current bulb lights slowly over a 7 second time period.

H21 - LR Time Constant (TODO) [5J20.10]

A large solenoid and a decade resistor are connected in series to a square wave generator. The voltage across the inductor and the voltage across the resistor are shown on an oscilloscope. The display shows the RL time constant.

H22 - Jumping Ring (TODO) [5K20.30] Video play video

An iron core solenoid is connected to a 110 VAC variac. An aluminum ring is placed over the iron core of the solenoid. The voltage can be adjusted on the variac to make the ring levitate. The voltage can also be preset at a high level, so that when power is applied, the ring will shoot up toward the ceiling of the lecture hall. The ring can be immersed in liquid nitrogen and the demonstration repeated. The ring will be propelled a much greater distance. A second ring with a cut in its radius will not levitate. DC power can also be used. The ring will jump about 5 cm and return.

H23 - LR Phase Shift (TODO) [5L10.10]

A sine wave is input to a series circut consisting of a decade inductor and a decade resistor. The voltage across the resistor and the inductor is observed on an oscilloscope. The phase shift can be changed by adjusting the componets. This demonstration can also be shown using the large 1 H solenoid.

H24 - LR Radio Filter (TODO) [5L30.36]

A decade inductor and a resistor are connected in series to the output of a radio. The LR circuit acts as a low pass filter.

H25 - Principle of a DC Motor (TODO) [5K40.10]

A 42-turn coil with a diameter of 57 cm. is free to rotate and is connected through a DPDT reversing knife switch to 125 VDC. A very strong magnet is mounted outside the rim of the coil. The switch is quickly thrown from one pole to the other. As the coil passes through the magnetic field it is repelled and rotates. Switching at the correct speed will cause the coil to act as a DC Motor.

H26 - Coffee Can Rotation in a "B" Field (TODO) [5K40.50]

A coffee can mounted on needle bearings is placed under a coil. A second coil is placed perpendicular to the first coil. Both coils are connected to the same variac. The phase difference between the fields of the two coils causes the can to rotate, thus creating a simple induction motor.

H27 - Rotating "B" Field Motor (TODO) [5K40.60] Video play video

A toroid with three different windings is connected to 220 VAC 3 phase. A simple induction motor is first demonstrated by placing an aluminum egg in the rotating magnetic field created by the 3 phase currents. The same procedure is used for a metal ring. By using a strobe, the speed of rotation of the ring can be determined. A ring with a cut through its radius is unable to rotate. A board can be placed over the rotating magnetic field and small magnets placed on the board. It can then be seen that the field is changing since the magnets jump up and down on the board.  

H28 - Levitating Magnet (TODO) [5K20.40] Video play video

A magnet with a very strong magnetic field is held in place on an aluminun disk. The disk is attaced to a variable speed motor. When the disk rotates the magnet will levitate above it due to eddy currents generated in the disk. This is shown by means of a video camera & projection TV or a 25" monitor.  

H29 - Induced Current in Three Fixed Coils (TODO) [5K10.21]

Three solenoids with 20, 40 and 80 turns are connected to a milliammeter mounted on a transparent base. A magnet is inserted in each coil producing an electric current measured with the meter.

H30 - Non-Conservative Fields (TODO) [5K10.70]

Two resistors with a ratio of 7:1 are connected in series in the shape of a circle. The resistors are 180o apart. The resistors are placed over a coil which, when energized, induces a current in the circuit. The voltage drop across each resistor is shown on a storage scope and has a ratio of 7:1 with opposite polarity. This shows that the electric potential between two points depends on the "routing" of the current.

H31 - Two Small Coils and Radio (TODO) [5K10.51] Video play video

Two 120-turn coils are placed facing each other on the lecture table. One coil is connected to radio or other audio source and the other is connected to a speaker. The speaker will play audio from the radio when the coils are aligned.

H32 - Electric Guitar (TODO) [3D22.30]

The Professor gets to rock out with a semi in tune Neely original electric guitar.

[HT] Heat

To Top /\

HT1 - Sterling’s Engine [4F30.10]

The Sterling engine, patented by Robert Sterling, is a complex system that utilizes the regeneration process to transfer thermal energy to mechanical work. The engine consists of cylinders and pistons, and a flywheel assembly. The four cycle engine can be made to operate by applying heat to the bottom cylinder with a blow torch. Heating causes the air in the cylinder to expand, thus moving the piston upward. Heating takes about 5 to 7 minutes before the engine starts to turn.

HT2 - Heat Gun [4B60.75]

A mounted copper tube (24” long and 1” diameter) dilled with 5 ml of water is tightly sealed with a cork. The system is pressurized by heating the tube with a blow torch. After a few minutes of heating, the cork “pops” out at an impressive distance of 4 to 5 meters.

HT3 - Ball and Ring [4A30.20]

A brass ball and ring are individually connected to a rod and wooden handle. Thwne the brass ball and ring are at room temperature, the ball will easily pass through the ring. When the ball is heated using a blow torch, the ball expands and it will not pass through the ring. This shows the concept of thermal expansion.

HT4 - Brass Rod [4A30.55]

A brass rod (14” long and ¼” diameter) is mounted horizontally on a board. The rod is fixed at one end while the other is free to move against a pointer indicator. The flame of a blow torch is moved at a steady rate along the rod from one end to the other, and the change of the pointer indicator is noted.

HT5 - Bimetallic Strip [4A30.10]

A bimetallic strip (12”) of iron and aluminum is vertically fixed at one end to a board. The top end has a point that is free to move. The bimetallic strip is straight at room temperature. WHen heated with a blow torch, the strip curves due to differential expansion

HT6 - Coffee Maker [4A30.11]

This demonstrates the application of a bimetallic strip. THe coffee maker is disassembled to expose the bimetallic strip inside.

HT7 - Specific Heat [4B10.30]

Three materials, at 50 g each, are used to dynamically show the specific heat. Aluminum, iron, and lead are heated in a beaker of boiling water. After a few minutes, the materials are transferred to a plastic tray with indicator tracks and a bee’s wax sheet. The materials will slide down the bee’s wax respective tracks as far as their own specific heat content will carry them.

[J] Magnetic Properties of Matter

To Top /\

J1 - Simulation of Magnetic Domains [5G20.30] Video play video

A large number of compass needles (90) are mounted on a Plexiglass sheet. A bar magnet is used to set the needles in motion. When the needles come to a stop, interaction between the needles simulates magnetic domains.

J2 - Electromagnet and Weights [5G20.75]

An electromagnet with a removable iron cap is suspended by a rod above the lecture table. The electromagnet is powered by two 1.5 volt "D" cell batteries. With the power off, the cap is brought in contact with the magnet. The magnet cannot hold the cap. The cap is again brought in contact with the magnet, and the power is turned on and off. Weights are then added to the cap. The magnet and cap can now hold Å 10 Kg. Weights are continued to be added until the cap breaks from the magnet. The magnetic domains are disturbed, and the magnet returns to its original conditions.

J3 - Barkhausen Effect [5G20.10] Video play video

A soft iron core is placed inside a solenoid having several hundred turns of fine wire. The coil winding is connected to a loudspeaker. Audible results of the Barkhausen Effect are produced by slowly moving a permanent magnet toward the solenoid core. A loud rasping sound will be heard caused by the domains aligning themselves. Successive passes produce no sound until the polarity of the magnet is changed.

J4 - Paramagnetism of Liquid Oxygen [5G30.20] Video play video

Liquid oxygen is poured between the poles of an electromagnet with a very strong magnetic field. Because liquid oxygen is paramagnetic it will remain suspended between the poles of the magnet. If the demonstration is repeated with liquid nitrogen, the nitrogen will just fall through the poles of the magnet. This is shown on the projection TV.

J5 - Paramagnetic Materials [5G30.10]

A small piece of aluminum is suspended from a thread between the poles of a 1.2 H coil. when power is applied to the magnet, the aluminum will align itself parallel to the magnetic field. This is shown with the TV projection system.

J6 - Diamagnetic Materials [5G30.10]

A small piece of bismuth is suspended from a thread between the poles of a 1.2 H coil. When power is applied to the magnet the bismuth will align itself perpendicular to the magnetic field. This is shown with the TV projection system.

J7 - Magnetizing and Demagnetizing an Iron Rod [5G20.60]

An iron bar is used to try to pick up some paper clips or thumbtacks. It is not able to do this because it is not magnetized. The rod is placed in a long solenoid and DC power applied. The rod becomes magnetized and is able to pick up some of the paperclips or tacks. The rod is again placed inside the solenoid and 110 VAC applied. This demagnetizes the rod and it will not pick up any tacks.

J8 - Electromagnet With and Without an Iron Rod [5G20.70]

A solenoid is suspended vertically on two wooden blocks. When 125 VDC is applied, the solenoid is barely able to support 5 kg. This can also be done to show that an induced current is great in a solenoid with an iron core.

J9 - Induced Current in an Iron Core Solenoid [5K10.40]

A small air core solenoid is connected through a switch in series to a 6 VDC battery and a resistor. A length of wire is wrapped around the solenoid and connected to a projection ammeter. The switch is thrown and the meter reading is noted. An iron core is inserted in the solenoid and the demonstration is repeated. The meter reading is much greater with the iron core. Reversing the battery reverses the direction of the induced current.

J10 - Curie Point of Iron [5G50.10] Video play video

A piece of iron is suspended with a copper wire at the height of one pole of an electromagnet. When power is applied to the magnet, the iron is attracted to the pole. The iron is then heated with a torch and eventually falls from the magnet. As the iron cools it will again be attracted to the magnet.

J11 - Hysteresis Curve of an Iron Core Transformer [5G40.10]

A 25 VAC, 60 Hz signal is applied to a transformer primary. The voltage drop across a resistor in line with the primary is connected to the horizontal input of an oscilloscope. The voltage drop across a capacitor in the secondary is connected to the oscilloscope vertical input. The Hysteresis Curve of iron in a transformer core is then displayed on the scope.

[K] Electromagnetic Oscillations

To Top /\

K1 - “E” and “B” Fields of Microwaves [TBD]

A microwave transmitter emits a 10 GHz signal modulated by a 1000 Hz square wave. Two different probes are used to search the "E" and "B" fields. The "B" field probe is a signle-turn loop used as a pickup coil. The "E" field probe is a shielded cable with about 5 cm of the center conductor exposed at its end. An oscilloscope with a sensitive preamp is used to see the effect of each probe.

K2 - Interference of Microwaves [6D10.25] Video play video

A microwave transmitter emits a 10 GHz signal modulated by a 1000 Hz square wave from two adjacent horns. A microwave receiver is placed facing the two sources and can be moved parallel to their separation axis. The receiver is connected to an audio speaker to make the received signal audible. With one of the transmitter horns covered, the receiver picks up maximum amplitude when directly in front of the open horn. When both transmitter horns are uncovered, however, the receiver picks up maximum amplitude when facing the center of the two horns, thus demonstrating constructive interference. The received signal can also be displayed on an oscilloscope.

K3 - Polarization of Microwaves [6H10.20] Video play video

A microwave transmitter emits a 10 GHz polarized signal modulated by a 1000 Hz square wave. A receiver, connected to an audio speaker to make the received signal audible, faces the transmitter. A metallic grid, consisting of thin and closely spaced parallel bars, is held between them at various orientations. When the bars are held parallel to the E-field, the signal is blocked. When the bars are rotated 900, however, the signal is uninterrupted. A solid metallic sheet attenuates the waves. The output can also be displayed on an oscilloscope.

K4 - Polarization of Radio Waves (Dipole Antenna) [5N10.60] Video play video

A 4-meter RF oscillator (Å80 MHz) is used with a dipole antenna to show polarization and standing waves. A small lamp at the center of the dipole glows brightly with the antenna held at antinode points parallel to the transmitter. If the antenna is rotated so that it lies perpendicular to the transmitting antenna, the bulb goes out.

K5 - Radio Transmission and Reception [TBD]

An ordinary AM radio is tuned to an unused frequency. A function generator, used as a transmitter, is adjusted to the same frequency as the radio. A cable connected to the output of the generator serves as the transmitting antenna, and a microphone-amplifier combination connected to the input of the gene-rator serves as the amplitude modulator. The voice of the lecturer can then be broadcasted on the radio.

K6 - Lecher Lines [5N10.50]

Two bare copper wires, 5 m long and 20 cm apart, are stretched above the lecture tables. The wires are connected at one end to a 4-meter RF oscillator (Å80 MHz) and are shorted at the other end. Small incandescent bulbs with rigid wires protruding from their terminals can be placed over the parallel wires and slid along them. Standing electromagnetic waves on the wires can be demonstrated by sliding the bulbs along the wires and finding the nodes and antinodes.

K7 - Microwave Cutoff Frequency [TBD]

Two long aluminum plates are placed parallel to each other on the lecture table so that they form a narrow "corridor". A Klystron microwave transmitter and a receiver, both with horns removed, are placed at either end of the plates. The signal from the transmitter travels between the plates and reaches the receiver where it is made audible through an audio speaker and displayed on an oscilloscope. The plates are slowly brought closer to each other until at a separation of a half-wavelength (Å1.5 cm), an abrupt cutoff is noticed. If the apertures of the transmitter and receiver are oriented vertically, no cutoff is noticed.

K8 - Reflection and Termination in a Transmission Line [5N10.30]

A short pulse is sent through a 418 ft long coaxial cable. The cable can be open-ended, terminated in a short, or terminated in its characteristic impedance (50_). In the first two cases, the pulse is reflected at the other end of the line. Both the pulse and its reflection are seen on an oscilloscope. From the time lag between the two, the speed of the signal through the cable can be calculated.

K9 - RC Time Constant in a Transmission Line [5N10.30]

This demonstration uses the same cable and pulse generator as K8. A resistor is added in series with the cable. The capacitance of the cable is used as the capacitor in the circuit. The reflected pulse is shown on an oscilloscope using the TV projecton system. The reflected pulse is first shown as a normal RC time constant trace. The scope sweep rate is then increased to a point where the TC curve is now seen as a series of "steps" each being a pulse traveling back and forth in the transmission line.

K10 - Microwave Oven [TBD]

A small microwave oven can be disassembled to show the inner parts. Displayed with a projection TV.

K11 - Microwave Standing Waves (Retired) [TBD]

A lost demo from the Demo Book circa 1980-2003

[L] LC + RLC Circuits

To Top /\

L1 - Damped Series-Parallel LC Circuit [5J30.10]

A circuit consists of a .01 µF capacitor in series with a parallel combination of a decade capacitor and a .1 H solenoid. The circuit is driven by a square wave generator and the voltage across the parallel component of the circuit is displayed on an oscilloscope. The internal resistance of the components is sufficient to cause damping in the circuit. The inductance of the coil can be changed by inserting an iron core and the capacitance of the decade capacitor can be varied as well.

L2 - Damped RLC Circuit [5J30.10]

A series circuit consisting of a decade resistor, a decade capacitor, and a variable inductor are driven by a square wave generator. The damped signal across any of the circuit's components can be displayed on an oscilloscope.

L3 - Cable Wrapped Around a Coil [5L20.26]

A long cable in series with a sine wave generator is wrapped several times around a 1

L4 - Mutual Inductance with One Coil Resonant [5L20.26]

Two 120-turn coils are placed facing each other on the lecture table. One of the coils is connected to a sine wave generator and the other is in series with 2500 pF capacitor. The driving signal in the first circuit as well as the voltage across the capacitor in the second circuit are monitored simultaneously on an oscilloscope. By changing the frequency of the generator, it is possible to pass through resonance and observe the increase in amplitude of the signal at that point.

L5 - Mutual Inductance with Two Coil Resonant [TBD]

Two 120-turn coils are placed facing each other on the lectrue table. Each of the coils are in series with a capacitor, the values of which have been chosen such that the two LC circuits have slightly different resonant frequencies. One of the coils is driven by a sine wave generator, whose output is swept over a frequency range encompassing the resonant frequency of both LC circuits. When the voltage across the capacitor of the secondary coil is displayed on an oscilloscope, a double resonance curve caused by the resonance in each coil is observed.

L6 - Resonant LC Circuit with a Light Bulb [5L20.20]

A series circuit consisting of a large solenoid, a variable capacitor, and a 200W lignt bulb is connected through a knife switch to 120 VDC. The inductance of the solenoid can be varied from about .1 H to 1 H by inserting an iron core, and the capacitance can also be changed from 1 µF to 15 µF. If the switch is thrown and the iron core slowly inserted in the solenoid, the cirucit will resonate at some point and the bulb will light up. This process is repeated for different values of the capacitor.

L7 - Resonant RLC Phase Shift [5L20.13]

A series RLC circuit is driven by a sine wave generator. The applied voltage and the current through the circuit are displayed simultaneously on an oscilloscope. At resonance, both voltage and current are in phase. When the driving frequency is changed, however, a phase shift results. At frequencies above resonance, the current lags behind the voltage; below resonance, the current leads.

L8 - Swept Display of RLC Resonance [5L20.20]

A series RLC circuit is driven by a sine wave generator whose output is swept over a frequency range below, through, and above the resonant frequency of the circuit. The swept resonance curve can be displayed on an oscilloscope and the effect of changing the values of one or more of the circuit elements can be shown.

L9 - Gated Oscillator Resonance Display [TBD]

A resistor is in series with a parallel LC circuit. The resulting RLC circuit is driven by a sine wave modulated with a square wave, the former being tuned to the resonance frequency of the circuit. The signal across the parallel LC portion of the circuit is shown on an oscilloscope. The driving frequency can be changed and the resulting change in the waveform above and below resonance observed.

[M] Reflection

To Top /\

M1 - Virtual Image (TODO) [6A20.30]

A concave, silvered mirror with a radius of curvature of 52 cm and a diameter of 44 cm faces a box with an open face. The box contains a lamp hidden from the audience. The image of the lamp is formed on top of the box and can be seen by the people directly in front of the box. The whole set up can be rotated on a stool so as to cover all the audience.  We can use the new convex mirror we bought for 8.03.

M2 - Total Internal Reflection [6A44.20]

This one is nice. Trust me. The total internal reflection of a helium-neon laser beam within a water tank is demonstrated. The angle of incidence can be varied and the phenomenon observed as one passes through the critical angle.

M3 - Optical Fiber/Light Pipes [6A44.40]

Plexiglas rods bent into various shapes are illuminated at the end with a flashlight. Total internal reflection of the light within the rods makes it travel through the rods and emerge at the other end.

M4 - Fiber Optic Bundle (TODO) [6A44.40] Video play video

The image of printed words is transmitted through a bundle of approximately 25,000 coherent optical fibers. A lense is used to bring the image into the focusing range of a TV camera.

M5 - Light Guide and Laser (TODO) [6A44.40]

Light from a helium-neon laser can be guided through two flexible light guides. One consists of 4000 coherent optical fibers and the other is made up of about 42,350 randomly-arranged fibers.

M6 - Reflection Holograms (TODO) [6Q10.10]

A number of reflection holograms can be set-up on the lecture tables. Students have to come up to the lecture tables to see them

[N] Refraction

To Top /\

N1 - Continuous Spectrum with Prism (TODO) [6F10.30]

A continuous spectrum is formed on the wall by shining white light into a prism. A second prism held next to the first makes the white light go straight through.

N2 - Hollow Prisms (TODO) [6A42.65]

A single hollow prism as well as double and triple compound hollow prisms can be filled with oil or other liquids to demonstrate various indices of refraction.

N3 - Refraction in Water (TODO) [6A42.20]

A beam of light from a helium-neon laser is directed at a tank of water and is refracted as it enters the water.

N4 - Scattering of Light / Sunset (TODO) [6F40.10]

A beam of white light is directed through a transparent vessel and projected on a screen. The vessel contains a mixture of water and sodium thiosulfate. Dilute sulfuric acid is added to the mixture. Colloidal sulfur begins to form and the beam passing through the liquid starts to look blue. As the number and size of the scattering particles increases, the transmitted light changes color from a bright white to yellow to orange, and then to red. Eventually even red light is no longer transmitted. It can also be shown that the light through the container becomes increasingly polarized in the process.

N5 - Rainbow (TODO) [6A46.10]

White light is directed at a circular flask of water representing a single drop of water. A rainbow is formed and seen on a wall. The rainbow can be shown to be polarized.

N6 - Double-Refracting Calcite Crystals (TODO) [6H35.15]

A small hole in a sheet of cardboard is illuminated strongly and its image projected on a screen. When a calcite crystal is placed over the hole, two spots of light appear on the screen. As the crystal is rotated, one spot stays fixed while the other moves around it. If a polarizing sheet is added to the path of the light and rotated, the two images may be made to disappear alternately

N7 - Hottel Disk (TODO) [6A60.11]

Light from a carbon arc lamp shines through 5 1/16" slits onto a circular surface which can be rotated. A variety of lenses can be placed in the path of light to show refraction effects through different lens types. Shown with TV projection system. (The light from the Rive Ray Box can also be used - See N8)

N8 -Rive Ray Box (TODO) [6A60.10]

A Rive Ray Box, is a much simpler and better set-up than the optical(Hottel) disk. A compact plastic box (25 x 6 x 4cm) contains a high intensity low-voltage lamp. A special screen produces one, three, or five pencil rays of light. A variety of lenses can be placed in the path of the light rays. This is a very visible demonstration. Shown with TV projection system.

[P] Interference

To Top /\

P1 - Ripple Tank [3B50.20] Video play video

A ripple tank is placed on an overhead projector. Two synchronous point sources, whose frequency can be varied, tap the surface of the water and produce circular waves. The interference pattern of the waves including the lines of nodes can be observed on a screen.

P2 - Moire Pattern [3B50.40]

A wide variety of striped patterns (straight parallel stripes, concentric circles, or radial lines) printed on transparencies can be overlapped on an overhead projector and the resulting Moiré interference patterns observed.

P3 - Interference of Sound Waves (TODO) [3B55.10]

Two loudspeakers, driven by an audio generator, are placed on the lecture table facing the audience. When members of the audience move thier heads from side to side and listen with one ear, they can experience the nodes resulting from the interference of the two sources.

P4 - Interference of Microwaves [6D10.25] Video play video

A microwave transmitter emits a 10 GHz signal modulated by a 1000 Hz square wave from two adjacent horns. A microwave receiver is placed facing the two sources and can be moved parallel to their separation axis. The receiver is connected to an audio speaker to make the received signal audible. With one of the transmitter horns covered, the receiver picks up maximum amplitude when directly in front of the open horn. When both transmitter horns are uncovered, however, the receiver picks up maximum amplitude when facing the center of the two horns, thus demonstrating constructive interference. The received signal can also be displayed on an oscilloscope.

P5 - Newton's Rings (TODO) [6D30.10]

A plano-convex lens of very small curvature is held with its convex side against a plane piece of glass, creating a thin film of air between the two. When white light from a carbon arc projector is shone at the apparatus and reflected on a screen, colored rings are observed. The pieces thickness of the film can be changed by adjusting the pressure between the pieces of glass, thus changing the ring pattern.

P6 - Optical Flats (TODO) [6D30.30]

Two glass disks with approximately flat surfaces are placed on top of one another and illuminated with a source of monochromatic light. Straight parallel interference fringes are observed and displayed with the TV projection system.

P7 - Reflection off a Soap Bubble [6D30.20]

Large bubbles, 2 to 3 feet in diameter, can be made in front of the class. When illuminated with white light, interference colors are seen on them.

P8 - Reflection off a Soap Film [6D30.20]

A beam of white light is directed at a thin film of soap and the reflection off this film is projected on a screen. The film is thinner at the top and interference bands of color are seen on the screen. The projected image is inverted due to the optics involved. As the film becomes thinner, no reflection is seen.

P9 - Reflection off a Turpentine Film on Water (Retired) [6D30.45]

Like P8 but with turpentine.

P10 - Double Slit Interference w/Laser [6D10.11]

A laser is directed at a Cornell "Slitfilm demonstrator" slide containing double slits of different widths and spacings, and the resulting diffraction patterns are observed on a screen.

P11 - Double Slit Interference w/Ripple Tank (TODO) [3B50.25] Video play video

A ripple tank is placed on an overhead projector. A horizontal ruler taps the surface of the water at a variable frequency and produces plane waves. The waves are incident on a barrier containing two adjustable openings. A double slit interference pattern is observed on the other side of the barrier.

P12 - Michelson Interferometer [6D40.10]

A small Michelson interferometer like those used in the Michelson-Morley Experiment and LIGO.

[PR] Pressure

To Top /\

PR1 - Archimedes' Principle [2B40.20]

A beaker filled with water is placed on an electronic scale. A ball mounted on a stick is slowly brought into the beaker of water. The displaced water is trapped in a catch beaker. The displaced water is then weighed on the electronic scale to determined the buoyancy force. This shows that a body wholly immersed in a fluid is buoyed up with a force equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by the body.

PR2 - Cartesian Diver [2B40.30]

This demonstrates Archimedes' principle of buoyancy, and the transmission of pressure through liquid.

PR3 - Increasing the Density of Water [2B40.72] Video play video

A tank is filled with water. A plastic jar is weighed with sand so that it's just sinks to the bottom of the tank. When salt is slowly added, the plastic jar is buoyed upward. This shows Archimedes' principle of buoyancy.

PR4 - Two Density Liquids [2B40.53]

A clear plastic U-tube is filled with colored water. A small amount of turpentine is added to one side of the U-tube. The difference in height between the two liquids can be easily measured. The less dense liquid (turpentine) will be at a higher elevation.

PR5 - Pascal's Law [2B20.40]

Four differently shaped glass vases with different volumes are securely sealed to a manifold. The glass vases are then filled with colored water. The liquid rises to the same level in all vases, no matter the shape of the vase.

PR6 - Venturi Tube [2C20.10]

A blower is attached to one side of a Venturi tube, which is filled with colored liquid. As air is blown through the tube, the liquid rises to different heights indicating that the pressure induced in the tube is not the same.

PR7 - Bernoulli's Principle [2C20.30]

A ping pong ball can be balanced on an air stream from a blower.

PR8 - Torricelli's Law [2C10.10]

Formerly called Mariotte's Bottle.

PR9 - Siphon [2B60.20]

Two beakers are set at different elevations. The top beaker is filled with colored liquid. Clear plastic tubing connecting the two beakers is used to draw the liquid from the top beaker to the bottom beaker. The colored liquid can be seen flowing from the top beaker to the bottom beaker.

PR10 - Crushing a Can with a Vacuum [2B30.25]

A vacuum pump is used to evacuate air from a 2 liter metal can. As air is evacuating, the can crushes into itself due to atmospheric pressure.

PR11 - Crushing a Can with Cooling Steam [2B30.10]

A small amount of water is poured into a 2 liter metal can. The can is heated using a blow torch or bunsen burner causing the water to boil. The can is then tightly sealed. As the steam cools down, a vacuum forms inside the metal can, thus the can collapses.

PR12 - Temperature and Pressure of Gasses [4E30.10]

This apparatus has a ball float to hold gas and a gauge to indicate pressure. The gauge and ball float are connected by a tube. There is a valve near the gauge for letting gas in or out. The ball float is heated in a beaker of boiling water to show an increase in pressure. The ball float is then placed in a beaker of ice water. This demonstrates the relationship between temperature and pressure with a fixed volume of gas.

PR13 - Adiabatic Gas Law [4B70.30]

The apparatus consists of an enclosed cylinder and a piston assembly. The base of the cylinder has two transducers mounted on it. Sealed against the lower surface of the base is a pressure transducer. Mounted in the cylinder on the top of the base is the temperature sensor. As confined air in the cylinder is compressed, the resulting pressure, temperature, and volume can be seen graphically. The more rapidly the volume is changed the closer the process approaches being adiabatic, no heat transfer.

PR14 - Balloons in Liquid Nitrogen [4E10.20] Video play video

Various types of balloons when placed in a dewar of liquid nitrogen shrink in size (PV=NRT). The balloons will return to their original size when removed from the liquid nitrogen.

PR15 - Cup and Cardboard [2A10.60]

A clear plastic cup is filled with water. A piece of cardboard is placed on top of the cup. When the cup is overturned, the cardboard sticks to the cup and the water does not spill due to surface tension.

PR16 - Buoy Oscillation [TBD]

A buoy exhibits simple harmonic motion caused by a buoyant force.

[Q] Diffraction

To Top /\

Q1 - Single Slit Diffraction with Ripple Tank [3B50.10] Video play video

A ripple tank is placed on an overhead projector. A horizontal ruler taps the surface of the water at a variable frequency and produces plane waves. The waves are incident on a barrier containing an adjustable opening and the resulting diffraction pattern is observed on the other side of the barrier.

Q2 - Single-Slit Diffraction with Laser [6C10.12] Video play video

A laser is directed at an adjustable single slit and the resulting diffraction pattern observed on a screen. A Cornell "Slitfilm Demonstrator" slide, containing single slits of various widths, as well as commercial single slits made with razor blades (0.12, 0.25, and 0.50 mm wide), are also available.

Q3 - Double-Slit Diffraction with a Ripple Tank [3B50.25] Video play video

The ripple tank is placed on a view graph. A strobe is used to measure the frequency of a motor with speed 1600RPM or ripples. Vernier calipers are used to measure separation between maxima.

Q4 - Double-Slit Diffraction with a Laser [6D10.11] Video play video

A laser is shone through a plate with double slits of varying separations.

Q5 - Pinhole Diffraction with a Laser [6C20.30]

A number of pinholes of various sizes on metal plates can be used with a laser to demonstrate the corresponding diffraction patterns.

Q6 - Resolution of Two Point Sources [6J10.80]

A large board containing three rows of double pinholes faces the audience. A source of bright light directly behind the board illuminates the pinholes. The pinholes in each row have a separation of 5, 10 and 15 mm, respectively. Members of the audience sitting close to the board will distinguish the pinholes in each row as separate point sources. As the distance increases, the separation of adjacent pinholes becomes less distinct. At about 45 m, only the set with a 15 mm separation can be resolved.

Q7 - Transmission Grating with a Laser [6D20.15]

Transmission gratings with 7500, 13400, or 15000 lines per inch, as well as others with no available data can be used with a laser to show diffraction patterns.

Q8 - Two-Dimensional Grating with a Laser [6D20.55]

Wire meshes with 6, 8, 23, 39, or 100 lines per cm can be used to show two-dimensional diffraction by crossing gratings.

Q9 - Zone Plate [6C20.40]

A 1" square zone plate, consisting of alternately trans-parent and opaque zones equal in dimensions to the Fresnel zones, is placed in the path of a divergent laser beam. The zone plate concentrates a large fraction of the light coming from one of its conjugate points upon the second, much as a lens does. As a result, the image of the beam is focused on a screen placed at an appropriate distance from the plate. This demonstration is not very visible in a large class.

Q10 - Reflection Grating with White Light and Laser [TBD]

A beam of white light and a red laser beam are shone on a large reflection grating. The resulting zero-order reflection on the screen consists of a white spot and the red laser dot right above it. Higher orders of reflection, however, are made up of full color spectra with the red laser dot lying above the red part of the spectra.

Q11 - Measuring the Wavelength of Light with a Ruler [6D20.31]

A steel machinist's ruler is placed on a lab jack. The laser is adjusted so that it grazes the last two inches on the scale. The steel ruler acts as a reflection grating producing a series of bright spots on the wall. The distance to the wall and the distances between the spots can be measured with a meter stick.

Q12 - Band Emission Spectra [7B10.10]

Gas discharge lamps filled with different gasses such as hydrogen, helium, mercury,neon, and argon can be looked at through a piece of replica transmission grating or a thin slit on an index card. Their corresponding line spectra can be observed. A regular incandescent lamp with or without a red filter placed in front of it can also be looked at through a thin slit.

[R] Spectra

To Top /\

R1 - Continuous Spectrum [5N30.10]

A continuous spectrum is formed on the wall by shining white light from a white light source into a prism.

R2 - Band Emission Spectra [7B10.10]

Gas discharge lamps filled with different gasses such as hydrogen, helium, mercury,neon, and argon can be looked at through a piece of replica transmission grating or a thin slit on an index card. Their corresponding line spectra can be observed. A regular incandescent lamp with or without a red filter placed in front of it can also be looked at through a thin slit.

R3 - Absorption Line of Sodium Crystals [7B11.10]

Sodium vapor is created by heating large rock salt crystals in the flames of multiple Meeker burners. Light from an arc lamp passes through the flames, then through a lens system and a prism to a screen. The absorption line of sodium is observed in the yellow region of the spectrum.

R4 - Spectrum Chart [7B10.25]

A large chart shows the continuous visible spectrum of light as well as bright line spectra and absorption spectra of various atoms and molecules.

[S] Color

To Top /\

S1 - Newton's Color Disk [6F10.25]

A disk is divided into colored sectors of various proportions. It is mounted on a motor shaft and illuminated with white light. When rotated at a high speed, the eye perceives white instead of the individual colors.

S2 - Color Mixer [6F10.10]

A box contains three incandescent lamps (red,  green,  and blue).   The lamps can be turned on and off and their intensities varied individually.   They are shown onto a  translucent glass to demonstrate the addition of primary colors.

S3 - Benham Top Demonstration [6J11.11]

A large disk, 3' in diameter, is mounted on a motor shaft. The disk is made up of a black portion, a white portion and several sets of black arcs of different radii. When rotated, each set of arcs traces out a circle which appears to be of certain color. Changing the speed of rotation varies the intensity of the colors. When rotated in the opposite direction, the order of the colors are reversed.

[T] Polarization

To Top /\

T1 - Polarizing Filters and Light [6H10.10]

Two sheets of polarizing filters are held parallel to each other in front of an incandescent lamp. When the second filter is rotated relative to the first one, the amount of light passing through the filters gradually decreases until, at 90 degrees, no light is transmitted. A third filter held at an angle other than 0 or 90 relative to the other two lets light pass through.

T2 - Polarization of Light Reflected from Various Objects [TBD]

Light from an incandescent lamp is shown onto an assortment of metallic and glass objects placed on the lecture table. Using a polarizing filter, it is shown that the light reflected off the glass objects is polarized, while the light reflected off the metallic objects is not. The light reflected off the varnished table top is also polarized.

T3 - Brewster’s Angle [6H20.10]

A beam of white light from a carbon arc projector is directed at a stack of glass plates which can be rotated about a vertical axis. The light is reflected off the glass and onto a screen. A Polaroid filter is held in the reflected beam while the glass is slowly rotated. At Brewster's angle, the reflected light is shown to be polarized. This demonstration can also be done with a single sheet of glass.

T4 - Light Through a Tank of Water [6H50.10]

A beam of white light is directed through a tank of water in which a few drops of milk have been added. The beam is polarized due to scattering. This can be shown with a large polarizer rotated in front of the beam.

T5 - Light Through Cigarette Smoke [6F40.30]

A number of lit cigarettes are held in front of a black screen and illuminated from below with white light. The light scattered from the smoke appears to be blue and is polarized. If the smoke is inhaled and then introduced into the light, the scattered white light will look white due to the absorption of moisture by the smoke and will no longer be polarized.

T6 - Double-Refracting Calcite Crystals [6H35.15]

A small hole in a sheet of cardboard is illuminated and its image projected on a screen. When a calcite crystal is placed over the hole, two spots of light appear on the screen. As the crystal is rotated, one spot stays fixed while the other revolves around it. If a polarizing sheet is added to the path of light and rotated, the two images may be made to disappear alternately. A Nicol's prism consisting of a double refracting crystal cut along a diagonal and glued back together is also available. The ordinary ray suffers total internal reflection at the boundary, whereas the extraordinary ray is transmitted.

T7 - Rotation of a Quarter Wave Plate [6H35.40]

A linear polarizing sheet is placed on an overhead projector and a quarter-wave plate is placed on top of the polarizer at a 45 degree angle. A second linear polarizer is then added such that it makes a 90 degree angle with respect to the first linear polarizer. The areas where only the two perpendicular linear polarizers overlap are dark, whereas the area of overlap with the quarter wave plate lets some light through. Rotating the second polarizing sheet, it is observed that the light changes color from bluish to reddish, but is transmitted at all times.

T8 - Polarization in a Sugar Solution [6H30.30]

A bright beam of light is polarized and directed through a 4' glass cylinder filled with a super-saturated sugar solution. The plane of polarization of the light entering the solution is rotated by it through an angle that depends upon both the concentration and the thickness of the liquid traversed. Since the rotation is different for different wavelengths, there is rotational dispersion and different colors are seen along the tube, producing a spiral appearance. As the polarizer is turned, the whole spiral rotates like a barber pole.

T9 - Various Birefringent Materials [6H35.55]

A sheet of cellophane is sandwiched between two linear polarizers at an angle to one another and placed on an overhead projector. Interesting and beautiful patterns and colors are seen. By rotating the polarizers, the colors can be made to change. The cellophane can also be folded so as to create different thicknesses in different areas and, therefore, obtain various colors. The same demonstration can be done with mica as well as with birefringent slides of a rose and a butterfly.

T10 - Strain Lines [6H35.50]

A Lucite model of the teeth of a gear is sandwiched between two linear polarizers and placed on an overhead projector. Strain lines are seen when force is exerted on the gear.

T11 - Liquid Crystal Light Shutter [6H35.65]

A 6" square electronic window, operation on 110 VAC, consists of a liquid crystal emulsion spread between sheets of conductive plastic film. When the voltage is off, the window is translucent. When the voltage is applied, it instantly becomes transparent. A variac can be used to change the amount of transmission.

T12 - Polarization of Radio Waves [5N10.60]

A 4-meter RF oscillator (Å 80 MHz) is used with a dipole antenna to show polarization and standing waves. A small lamp at the center of the dipole glows brightly when the antenna is held at anti node points parallel to the transmitter. If the antenna is rotated so that it lies perpendicular to the transmitting antenna, the bulb goes out.

T13 - Polarization of Microwaves [6H10.20] Video play video

A microwave transmitter emits a 10 GHz polarized signal modulated by a 1000 Hz square wave. A receiver, connected to an audio speaker to make the received signal audible, faces the transmitter. A metallic grid, consisting of thin and closely spaced parallel bars, is held between them at various orientations. When the bars are held parallel to the E-field, the signal is blocked. When the bars are rotated 90 degrees, however, the signal is uninterrupted. A solid metallic sheet attenuates the waves. The output can also be displayed on an oscilloscope

[V] Atomic Physics

To Top /\

V1 - Fluorescence and Phosphorescence [7B13.50]

A black light is used to illuminate various fluids...they glow.

V2 - Photoelectric Effect with Zinc Plate [7A10.10] Video play video

When a glass rod and silk are used to charge a zinc plate, ultraviolet light does not discharge the plate. A glass plate is used to stop the UV light to show the difference with the plate and without.

V3 - Determination of Planck's Constant [7A10.30]

Light from a mercury arc lamp is passed through monochromatic filters onto a photocell generating a current. A potential is applied between the anode and the cathode until there is zero current-flow. The stopping potential is plotted against the light frequencies.

V4 - Franck-Hertz Experiment [7B30.20]

A tube filled with a mixture of mercury and neon allows to demonstrate at room temperature the quantum transitions which results when electrons of different speeds collide inelastically with mercury and neon atoms. By increasing the acceleration voltage, the transitions can be observed visually in form of a characteristic color change. It is also possible to plot a current versus voltage curve with a few maxima and minima. This is done by means of an X-Y recorder.

V5 - Chain Reaction [7D20.10]

Approximately 70 mouse traps are set, each having a cork resting on a trigger. The traps are in a plastic mesh enclosure. One cork is dropped through the top of the mesh causing a "chain reaction" of all the traps.  

V6 - Cloud Chamber [7D30.60] Video play video

A small cloud chamber for viewing charged particle tracks.

V7 - Circular Orbit E/M [5H30.20]

The circular path taken by an electron beam in a magnetic field is used to determine the charge-to-mass ratio of an electron. Magnetic deflection of the circular beam can be altered by use of Helmholtz coils. One video camera displays the circular beam. The tube can also be rotated causing the beam to take a spiral path. This is displayed to the class by use of another video camera.

V8 - Glow Discharge [7B35.10]

A historical spark gap in a vacuum chamber forms a plasma tube. AKA Bell Jar with Sparks

V9 - Crookes Tube [5H30.15]

A vacuum tube with a phosphor screen and a magnet demonstrates the Lorentz force and the discovery of the electron. Also see G5.

[X] Miscellaneous

To Top /\

X0 - Miscellaneous [TBD]

The following pages have yet to be made but are here for easy searching: Ruben's Tube, Gravity Well, Water through hoops, Rattleback, Gravitational well, Rotating candles in a dome, Michelson Interferometer, Radiometer, Resonant RLC circuit
Other details may be available on our old page.

X1 - Vector Arrows [1A40.10]

A set of meter sticks with tips and fins to show coordinate systems, notation for in and out of the board, and vector operations.

X10 - Apple on a String [1D50.10]

A string is attached to a wooden apple. See B109.

X20 - Wrapping Friction [1K20.71] Video play video

This is a "mini-experiment", or "toy for students to learn with".

X22 - Two Block Pull [1K20.10]

Mini-Experiment analyzing the static friction between two blocks of wood.

X60 - Basketball and Tennis Ball [1N30.60]

Drop a basketball with a tennis ball on top of it.  The tennis ball goes flying.

X62 - Astro Blaster [1N30.60]

A stack of four bouncy balls are dropped.  The top ball is unconstrained so rebounds with high speed, hitting the ceiling.

X67 - Search for Monopoles [5G10.20]

Half of a magnet colored as if it is a North or South pole. A prop for a thought experiment.

X70 - Force Platform [1N10.11]

A digital force platform (glorified scale) can be used to find the impulse of someone jumping on it or something falling on it (a chain). In B61 Box.

X82 - Spool Yo-Yo [1K10.30] Video play video

Mini-experiment involving yo-yos to demonstrate rolling with or without slipping.

X90 - Euler Disk [1Q60.25]

A disk which rotates for a long time with an increasing frequency of sound.

X92 - Rattleback [1M40.90]

A shape that rattles back when spun one way but not the other.

X94 - Two Peg Wrap [1M40.15]

This is a "mini-experiment", or "toy for students to learn with".

X210 - Steel Ball in Concave Dish [3A20.60]

A ball bearing rolls around a concave glass dish, exhibiting harmonic motion.

X270 - Radiometer [6B30.10]

An vane rotating from the pressure of incident light.

X280 - Virtual Image [6A20.35]

A virtual image of a ball bearing or screw is seen above two facing, concave mirrors.

X281 - Large Concave Mirror [6A20.31]

It's a large concave mirror.

[Y] Labs

To Top /\

Y20 - Centripetal Force Lab [1D50.50]

The direct goal of this experiment is to study a "conical pendulum", and apply Newton's 2nd law to an object moving in a circular orbit. A round weight of mass m (the "mass") is attached to a rotating shaft by a spring; you will adjust the angular velocity of the shaft rotation, measure the radius of the circular motion of the mass, calculate the centripetal force from F = ma and use the results to find the force constant of the spring. To simplify the analysis of your results, assume that the mass of the spring can be neglected. AKA Circular Motion and Hooke's Law

Y30 - Work and Energy Lab [1M40.63/1C20.46]

Measure the height of recoil of an air track glider on an incline after compressing a spring to different lengths. This can also be used as an in-class demo of energy dissipation.

[Z] Films

To Top /\