Physics Lecture Demonstrations

Demonstrations suggested for the text
Physics for Scientists and Engineers, 2nd ed., by
Randall D. Knight

Chapters 1-43

Revised Tue Jan 24 08:22:01 2012
Please note that first semester related listings may reflect the first edition of the book


Chapter1--Concepts of Motion

M-a4a Magnetic Blackboard Vectors A set of magnet-backed vectors of lengths 3, 4, and 5 used to show vector addition on the blackboard.
M-a4c PhET Vector Addition Simulation Colorado PhET 2-D vector simulation:
M-c1a Addition of Velocities--Tank and Sheet A battery powered tank runs at constant speed on a moving paper to show how velocities add and subtract.
M-c1b Linear Air Track: Position vs. Time A glider travels down the 5 m air track while evenly spaced photogates record the elapsed time. One can then plot the position versus time for the glider on an overhead. The track may be inclined for uniformly accelerated motion.
M-c1c Linear Air Track: Instantaneous Velocity An air track glider passes through two pairs of closely spaced photogates with each pair separated by 2 meters, enabling instantaneous velocities, accelerations, and predicted distances to be calculated.
M-c2b Inclined Air Track Prop up one end on an air track and use photogates to time the glider's voyage.
M-e1a Crossing the River A battery powered tank runs at constant speed on a sheet of paper that is pulled in a direction perpendicular to the tank's velocity.
M-a1a Meter Standard A replica of the platinum-iridium bar in Paris that was the international standard for length before 1960.
M-a1b One Nanosecond Bar A piece of plastic cut to a 1 ns length and imprinted "one nanosecond." Ruler shown for comparison.
M-a6a Movie--Powers of Ten "Powers of Ten" is a 9 minute film spanning scales from the edge of the universe to the sub-atomic

Chapter2--Kinematics in One Dimension

M-c1d Motion Detector and Board An ultrasonic motion detector generates a real-time graph of displacement (and/or veloctiy and/or acceleration) versus time as a boards is moved in front of the detector.
M-c2a Dime and Feather Tube A penny and a feather fall freely inside a glass cylinder that can be evacuated.
M-c2c Basketball and Tennis Ball drop Basket and Tennis balls are dropped simultaneously from the same height.
M-c3a Timed Free Fall -- Lecture Hall A metal ball is dropped from 1m and then from 4m into a catch bucket; a precise digital timer records the time of flight for each fall. [May conflict with Shoot-the-Monkey or Timed Free Fall.]

Chapter3--Vectors and Coordinate Systems

Chapter4--Kinematics in Two Dimensions

M-r2d Bend the Wall Push on a concrete wall and the wall's deflection is detected by the deflection of a laser beam
M-r2e Bend the Table Stand on the demo table and show the tabletop deflection by the dispalcement of a laser beam.
M-g1a Spring-Pulled Air Cart An air track glider is pulled by a spring held at constant extension.
M-g1f Heavy Cart pulled by Spring Scale A cart loaded with masses is pulled by a spring held at constant extension.
M-g1d Second Law--Fan Propelled Cart Launch a fan-propelled (constant acceleration) cart down the track and observe what happens when its mass is varied.
M-f3a Glider on Level Air Track A glider on a level air track persists in gliding.
M-f3b Block on a Cart A block is placed on a rolling cart; when the cart is stopped, the block continues.
M-g1g Dynamics Cart with Force and Motion Sensors Use a motion sensor with a force sensor mounted on a dynamics cart pulled by a constant tension string to illustrate Newton's second law. The mass of the cart and the string tension can be varied.

Chapter5--Force and Motion

M-j3a Suspended 3-4-5 Block A 1 kg mass rests on a 3-4-5 incline (e.g. incline angle = arctan(3/4)). Forces parallel and perpendicular to the incline will support the mass in mid-air when the incline is removed.
M-j3e Tension in a String The weight of a mass hung from a spring scale is compared to the weight shown on a spring scale between two masses over pulleys
M-j3d Four scales in a row A mass is hung at the end of a series of spring scales
M-j3f Scale-Mass-Scale-Mass A mass is hung at the end of a series of spring scales with an intervening mass.
M-j3c Rope and three students Two large strong students pull on the ends of a rope and a small student pushes down in the middle.
M-g1e Spring Scale vs Pan Balance Show and tell a mass on a spring scale and a pair of masses on a pan balance.
M-g2b Elevators -- Spring and Mass Quickly raise and lower a spring scale loaded with a mass NEW
M-k2a Friction Cars on Inclined Plane The static or dynamic forces required to move teflon-coated, rubber-coated, and wooden carts on an inclined plan are displayed on a spring scale
M-k2b Rolling Friction -- Happy and Unhappy Balls Race the happy and unhappy balls down an inclined plane
F-c3b terminal velocity--coffee filters Drop a coffee filter and it descends at a low terminal velocity. Crumble it and it free falls.
F-c3c Coffee Filter Drop One coffee filter dropped from one meter and four coffee filters dropped from 2 meters hit the ground at the same time, demonstrating that the drag force is proportional to the square of the velocity

Chapter6--Dynamics I -- Motion Along a Line

M-d6e Shoot the Monkey An air-gun shoots at a monkey, released when the air-gun is fired; the bullet hits the monkey in mid-air. [May conflict with Timed Free Fall or Balls Shot and Dropped.]
M-d6g Range of a Gun Shoot at 45, then calculate 30 or 60 and place the target
C-2 Comic: Projectile Problem with Pirate Foxtrot Comic of doodling a pirate scenario on a projectile problem assignment
C-3 Comic: Snowball Throw Calculation Foxtrot comic of getting smacked while mentally calculating snowball throw parameters
M-d6c Jumping Ball on Cart A ball projected vertically upward from a wheeled cart falls back into the muzzle.
M-d6d Balls Shot and Dropped -- Lecture Hall A ball is dropped and simultaneously another is projected horizontally; they hit the floor at the same time. [May conflict with Shoot-the-Monkey and Timed Free Fall.]
M-d6j Blocks Nudged and Hit A meter stick, fixed at one end, is bent and released to simultaneously knock blocks off the table.

Chapter7--Newton's Third Law

M-d1f Balls on Rotating Disk A disc with two balls mounted at different radii rotates at varying speeds. A third ball may be placed in the center if disk is horizontally mounted. Both orbital and spin rotations may be seen.
M-d5d Ball on a String Attach a lightweight ball to a string and twirl
M-d5a Orbit Ball This consists of a large and a small ball attached to opposite ends of a string which passes through a metal handle. The light ball is twirled and the centripetal force is provided by the weight of the heavy ball.
M-L2c Satellite Launch Applet Animation launching a satellite tangentially to earth surface, as function of velocity:
M-L2g Ball Orbiting inside Cone A large glass cone is used to show circular and elliptical orbits, conservation of angular momentum, and the speed-height paradox.
M-m4c Loop the Loop A rolling ball must be released from a height equal to 2.7 times the radius of the loop.
M-d5c Swing the Bucket Swing a bucket of water in a vertical circle and then in a horizontal circle over your head.
M-d5m Tangential Velocity This demo uses an apparatus that rotates a ball on a string and that provides a means to cut the string while the ball is in flight.
M-d5o Falling off the Merry-go-round Blocks lined up radially on a turntable fall off in succession as the turntable speeds up.

Chapter8--Dymanics II -- Motion in a Plane

M-h1b Tennis Ball Cannon A cannon mounted on an air track glider shoots out a tennis ball horizontallly.
M-n2f Spring apart Vernier carts with Magnets Hold the two carts gether, and then release them; the cart masses may be varied.
M-h1f Force Sensors on Colliding Cars Measure the forces on each of two colliding cars, one heavy and one light, using force sensors.
M-h1c 3rd Law with Scales Pull on two coupled spring scales with springs of equal or unequal strength.
M-h1e 3rd Law with Bathroom Scales Have two students push against bathroom scales laid back-to-back to verify that each scale reads the same.
M-h1d Fan Cart with Sail A cart with a sail propelled by a battery powered fan shows interesting third law behavior.
M-m2a Simple Pulley Show a simple pulley in equilibrium
M-m2e Double Pulley Setup A 500g mass balances a 1000g mass in a two pulley system; can show that the work done by each in moving is the same.
M-m2d Bosun's Chair -- Single Pulley Subject in harness with attached rope that flows through overhead pulley, pulls self up with a force equal to half subject's weight.
M-m2b Compound Pulley Weights of a proportion of 5-to-1 are the equilibrium conditions for this compound pulley.
M-g1c Atwood's Machine Two equal masses are hung from a pulley. A small amount of mass is transferred from one side to the other.

Chapter9--Impulse and Momentum

M-n1c Measuring Impulse with Force Sensor A force sensor mounted on a cart collides with a barrier, and different force vs. time curves are obtained when the cart bumper is changed.
M-n1b Egg in sheet Throw an egg into a sheet held by two people.
M-n2c Spring apart Pasco carts Tripping the spring between two Pasco carts launches them in opposite directions; the cart masses may be varied.
M-n3c Elastic Collisions on Air Track Elastic collisions between air track gliders of equal and/or unequal mass.
M-n2a Fire extinguisher wagon Mount a fire extinguisher on a cart and take a ride.
M-n2b Water Rocket A toy rocket is launched twice, once when pumped up with air and once when pumped up with water.
M-n2g Rocket Car -- Vinegar and Baking Soda Vinegar and Baking Soda combine to blow out the stopper and propel this rocket car. Vinegar & Soda not shown.
M-n3d Inelastic Collisions on Air Track Inelastic collisions between air track gliders of equal and/or unequal mass.
M-n3g Happy and Unhappy Ball Collisions A happy ball rolls down the incline and knocks the block over; the unhappy ball does not.
M-q4a Rotating Platform and Weights Spin on a rotating platform with a dumbbell in each hand.


M-m4a Bowling Ball Pendulum A bowling ball pendulum is pulled back until it touches the lecturer's nose and let go. The lecturer does not move.
M-m4b Galileo's Pendulum and Nail A pendulum started at the height of a reference line reaches the same height when its swing is intercepted by a post that effectively shortens the length of the pendulum.
M-m4d Ballistic Pendulum with Gun A ball is shot out of a fixed, spring-powered gun into a pendulum which traps the ball.
M-m4h Ping-Pong Slingshot Shoot Ping Pong Balls at unbelievers in energy conservation.
M-m4k Toys - Jumping A spring-loaded object (jumping disk; jumping frog) can often jump many times its own height.
M-d1e High road low road - large version Two balls race, one following a straight channel and the other along a channel with a valley.
M-m4f Spring-Launched Rolling Cart Predict the height to which a spring-compressed cart will rise on an inclined plane given the mass, spring constant, and amount of spring compression. Do the experiment.
M-n3a Newton's Cradle Five adjacent metal balls on a bifilar suspension illustrate momentum conservation properties.
M-r4b Atomic Trampoline Compare a steel ball bouncing on an amorphous metal to one bouncing on stainless steel.
M-r4a Happy and Unhappy Balls Two black rubber balls of about 1.5 cm diameter are dropped from a height simultaneously. One ball bounces high while the other barely rebounds. Great to pass around.
M-m4i Movie: Honda Cog Two-minute Honda movie ad of a series of mechanical cogs bumping into each other in sequence.
M-m4l Movie: OK Go - This Too Shall Pass (Rube Goldberg Machine) Sequence of collisions set to "This too Shall Pass" at


M-m1a Pile Driver Drive a nail into a block of wood with a pile driver.
M-m2c Spring Launched Cart on Level Track A spring (of measurable spring constant) launches a cart (with measurable final veloctiy) on a level air track. Mass of cart can be varied.

Chapter12--Rotation of a Rigid Body

Chapter13--Newton's Theory of Gravity

M-d4b Throwing Foam Slab A slab of foam has its center of mass marked with a black dot; this dot follows a parabolic path when the slab is thrown.
M-j4a Torque Bar A long thin rid mounted perpendicular to a bar handle holds a 2 kg mass on a sliding collar.
M-j4e Movie: Milwaukee Pitstop Ad A humorous, fake video showing a car being rotating by a torque wrench.
M-j4d Wrench, Nut, and Bolt Use a wrench, nut, and bolt to illustrate torque.
M-j4b Equal Arm Balance Combinations of weights and distances on either side of the fulcrum of the equal arm balance may be selected to produce equilibrium. An oblique arm is used to show that the effective length of the lever arm is set by the component of the force.
M-j4c Mass on Bar between Scales A horizontal beam with a sliding 1 kg mass is hung between two spring scales.
M-q1a Inertia Wands Students twirl equal mass wands, one with the mass concentrated in the middle, the other with the mass concentrated at the ends.
M-q2a Whirlybird Two equal masses with adjustable positions are mounted on a radial bar fixed to a horizontal axis with a pulley. A weight on a string rotates the assembly.
M-j1a Hanging Shapes Suspend a 2-dimensional shape from holes drilled near the edges, and use a plumb bob to find the center of gravity.
M-j1d Meter Stick on Fingers Slide fingers together under a meter stick to come together at center of mass. Repeat with mass attached to one end of stick.
M-k1b Ladder against a Wall Set a ladder against the wall and walk up the rungs until the ladder begins to slide.
M-k1c Walking the Spool The spool can roll forward or backwards when the string is pulled, depending on the angle of pull.
M-j1b Photo: Pisa's Leaning Tower Digital image of the photo from Bloomberg's sixth floor of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. May be projected in the auditorium.
M-j1c Center of Gravity Blocks Stack blocks stairstep fashion at the edge of the table until the topmost block sticks out beyond the table edge.
M-j2b Tight Rope Walker The Tight Rope Walker consists of a pulley with four heavy lead weights on long semi-stiff wires symmetrically mounted around it. When placed on the "rope" (Cord), the weights hang down well under the rope, leaving the center of the Walker's mass below the rope and thus making it easy for the Walker to keep its balance.
M-q1b Ring versus Disk Race The Matched Disk and Ring are identical in diameter and mass. When rolled down the inclined plane, the disk wins the race due to its lower moment of inertia.
M-q1c Racing Disks Two disks of identical mass, one weighted in the center and the othe weighted at the rum, are rolled down an incline.
M-q4f Collapsing Star Collapse a spinning suspended Hoberman Sphere into a small ball.
M-a3a 3-D XYZ axes A simple 3-D XYZ Coordinate System
M-q4c Bike wheel on rotating platform Invert a spinning bicycle wheel while standing on a rotating platform.
M-q5d MITAC Gyroscope This motorized gyroscope, used in the teaching labs, is good for showing a gyroscope's directional constancy; precession due to applied torques, and nutation.


W-a1d Torsion Pendulum A steel cylinder is suspended by a steel music wire along its right axis. When the cylinder is displaced by rotation and released it will oscillate in simple harmonic motion.
W-a2b Spring and Air Cart An air track glider is attached to a horizontal spring and displaced from equilibrium.
W-a2c Air track glider and Spring Two identical air track carts are attached to (opposite) ends of an air track by means of two different springs. A mass may be added to either cart, and the dependence of the oscillation frequency on mass and on spring constant may be explored.
W-a2e Glider and Spring with Motion Detector A motion detector enables the time dependence of a glider's position, velocity, and acceleration to be displayed.
W-a4a Projected SHM Shadow project a ball mounted on a rotating disk.
W-a2a Spring and Weight A mass hangs on the end of a spring. Using two springs of different k and a variety of masses, show the effect of varying k and m.
W-a2d Springs in Series and Parallel A spring with mass m, two identical springs in parallel with mass 2m, and two identical springs in series with mass m/2 oscillate with the same period.
W-a1a Simple Pendulum A bob on a string hanging from a stand exhibits simple harmonic motion for small angles.
W-a1b 4-to-1 Pendula One pendulum four times longer than a second oscillates with twice the period of the second.
W-a1c Different mass pendula Three pendula of different masses but the same length all oscillate with the same period.
W-a1e Pendula Amplitude Dependence Two identical simple pendula set in motion with different initial amplitudes, oscillate nonisochronically.
W-a6a Tacoma Narrows Film A 3 minute video of the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. Very impressive and memorable.
W-a6d Film: Puzzle of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse The expanded 8.21 minute, 1979 version of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge Collapse, with additional context and detail.
W-a6c Damped Driven Hanging Mass A mass, supported by a spring whose support is driven, vibrates against a solid screen; the drive amplitude, frequency and the screen angle can be varied.

Chapter15--Fluids and Elasticity

F-b2a Pascal's Vases Tubes of different geometries rise vertically out of a common reservoir of colored water.
F-b3a Crush the Can--with pump A vacuum pump evacuates a 1 gallon can; atmospheric pressure crushs the can.
F-b3f Magdeburg Disks -- Hanging from Ceiling The space between two plates is evacuated; one plate hangs from the ceiling and a person sits on a seat attached to the other.
F-b3e Vacuum Ping Pong Ball Cannon Atmospheric pressure shoots a ping pong ball through an aluminum can.
F-b4c water and oil "U" tube Water and oil rise to different heights in a "u" tube.
F-c1a Torricelli's Tank Water streams out from three holes at different heights in a tall cylinder.
F-b2f Hydraulic Press Break a piece of wood in a hydraulic press.
F-b4a Weigh Submerged Block A 2 kg Al cylinder, suspended from the 20 N spring scale, is lowered into water and the new weight is observed; Can have beaker on scale; Can lower into oil for comparison
F-b4g Finger in Water Ask what will happen when a finger is inserted into a beaker of water balanced on a pan balance.
F-b4h Sulfurhexafluoride Boat An aluminum boat floats on a sea of Sulfur Hexafluoride gas
F-b4d Coke and Diet Coke An unopened diet soda can floats in water, and a regular soda can sinks.
F-c2a Venturi Flowmeter Air flows through a restricted glass tube to the atmosphere; the pressure at different points of the tube is shown by manometers.
F-c2b Floating Ping Pong Ball A ping pong ball floats in an upward stream of air.
F-c2c Funnel and Ball A ping-pong ball is supported by air streaming out of an upside down funnel.
F-c2k Fan blowing on Board A fan blows on a board mounted so that it can rotate about an axis in the wind. What orientation will the board take?
F-c2L Falling Card Hold one of these cards horizontally in the air, and then drop one to observe the dominate behavior of the card orienting itself horizontally, as well as the slipping and rotating behavior believed due to turbulence.
F-c2g Bernoulli Paper Lift Raise a strip of paper by blowing just above its surface
F-c2j Lifting Plate - Spool and Card Stick a pin in a card, insert into a spool, and blow through the other end to lift the card.
F-c2d Windbag Blow up an 8-foot long bag with one breath.
F-c2e Ping Pong Ball and Racket Use a ping pong racket to hit a curve ball using a 2-3" diameter styrofoam ball or a ping pong ball.
F-c4d Swimming in Corn Syrup Movies Three movies showing a flap-drive in water, flap-drive in corn syrup, and corkscrew-drive in corn syrup, from Youtube.
F-c4b Laminar Flow in Microfluidics Card Observe water flow laminarly in a microfluidic circuit.
F-c4c Movies: Laminar Flow in Pipe Movies of laminar and turbulant flow in pipe from Youtube.
M-r2b Young's Modulus Hand weights from a wire, and use a laser and mirror-mounted-on-lever to display the elongation.
M-r2c Poisson's Ratio with rubber tube The striped tube can be stretched to show lateral contraction with increasing length.
M-r5b Ball and Spring crystal model Cubic crystal model made of platic balls connected by springs.
H-d5a Ink in Water A drop of ink diffuses slowly in water

Chapter16--A Macroscopic Description of Matter

Chapter17--Work, Heat, and the First Law of Thermodynamics

Chapter18--The Micro/Macro Connection

Chapter19--Heat Engines and Refrigerators

Chapter20--Traveling Waves

W-b1a Pulse on 1.9m spring Give the 1.9 m spring a quick pulse. The length and/or tension in the spring can be varied. Good for showing pulses, standing waves, harmonics, energy transfer.
W-b1b Pulses on Torsional Wave Apparatus Excite the short-bar and long-bar torsional wave machines by hand to show how the wave speed varies as the inertia of the medium (the rod length) varies.
W-b2a Hanging Slinky A long slinky is supported on a bifilar suspension, and the ends are taped to the lab stands, for showing longitutinal wave properties with minimal friction. [BROKEN]
W-b2e Driven Rope Waves A horizontal rope with a mechanical vibrator at one end and a weight over a pulley at the other end is used to show standing waves at different driving frequencies. [Needs Fixing]
W-b2f Standing Waves on a String Use a mechanical vibrator to generate standing waves on a string with one end under tension from a hanging mass. Best under UV light
W-b2g Standing Waves on torsional wave machine Excite standing waves on the torsional wave machine by hand
W-b2h Simulation: Standing Waves on torsional wave machine Simulation illustrating forbidden bands and standing waves specific to the torsional wave machine.
W-b3d Speed of Sound by Phase Difference A function generator drives a speaker, and an oscilloscope displays the signals from the function generator and a microphone that moves radially from the speaker.
W-b3c Speaker and Candle A large speaker operating at low frequncy and large amplitude makes a candle flame oscillate.
W-d4d Stroked Aluminum Rod An aluminum rod sings when stroked with rosin-covered fingers.
W-d4g Musical Goblet Rub the edge of a goblet with a wet finger to make it sing. An oscilloscope can be used to measure the frequencies.
W-d4f Shattering Wineglass with Sound Shatter a wine glass with sound waves at the glass resonant frequency
W-b4a Doppler Buzzer Swing a small battery powered buzzer on the end of a string in a circle over your head.
W-b4b Doppler in Ripple Tank Move the wave generator back and forth in the ripple tank.
W-b4c Doppler with Stroked Aluminum Rod Shake the stroked aluminum rod at the audience
W-b4e Photo of jet with vapor cone Photograph of Airplane creating vapor cone shock wave


W-b1c Simple Reflections--Torsional Wave Apparatus Send pulses down a torsional wave model machine with the other end free, fixed, or attached to a dash pot.
W-b2r Wave Superposition -- Torsional Wave Apparatus Send pulses simultaneously from both ends of one section of the torsional wave machine.
O-p6a HeNe Laser exposed Examine an exposed operating HeNe laser cavity with a diffraction grating.
W-d2a Guitar Hanging weights on the end of a "guitar" can be varied to "tune" the guitar to a desired pitch.
W-d3a Resonant Tube A long tube is rolled in front of a speaker driven by a sine wave generator to show resonance. A microphone probe shows pressure variations on the o-scope.
W-d3g Ruben's Tube Show nodes and antinodes with the flames coming from a row of holes in a hollow tube filled with propane.
W-d3b Organ Pipe A closed-end, square wood organ pipe of adjustable length.
W-d3c Trombone A student-class trombone illustrates the effect of pipe length on resonant frequencies.
W-d4c Chladni Plates A driven Chladni plate covered with sand shows standing wave patterns. Noisy!
W-b5e Two-Speaker Bar A 2 meter long bar with a speaker at each end produces auditory interference patterns.
W-b5g Two Speakers and Microphone Use a microphone attached to an oscilloscope to display the interference patterns produced by two identically-driven speakers
W-b5f Baffle and Speaker Listen to a single bare speaker, then surround it by a baffle.
W-b5c Two Points in Ripple Tank Two point source generators of ripples show interference patterns in the ripple tank on the overhead projector.
W-b5b Moire Pattern Transparancies Transparancies with identical concentric circular patterns are placed on top of each other with a slight offset.
W-b6a Beats with Tuning Forks Two tuning forks of identical frequency are mounted on resonant enclosures; when a small piece of wax is attached to one, beats can be heard.
W-b6c Beats with Tuning Forks and Oscilloscope Examine with an oscilloscope the beats from two identical tuning forks mounted on resonant enclosures.
W-b6b Beats on Scope Two audio signals are fed through a summing amplifier and the result is presented on the oscilloscope and a speaker.

Chapter22--Wave Optics

O-d1a Double Slit and Laser - Cornell Slitfilm Use a laser bean on the slits on the far column of the Cornell slitfilm to show the effect of increasing the spacing between a pair of slits, with the slit spacing held constant. The first entry is a single slit.
O-d2b Rowland Ruling Engine The Rowland Ruling Engine, on the second floor of the Bloomberg Center.
O-d2c Types of Diffraction Gratings Transmission and Reflection, Blazed and Not, Diffraction Gratings of different line densities probed by a laser.
W-b5a Single Slit in Ripple Tank Diffraction from a plane wave passing through a single slit on the ripple tank mounted on the overhead projector.
W-b5d Double Slits in Ripple Tank A plane wave impinges on a barrier with two slits in the ripple tank on the overhead projector.
O-c1a Single Slit Diffraction Pattern - Cornell Slits Shine a laser beam through single slits of various widths. The Cornell slitfilm is shown; we also have a slitfilm from Pasco
O-c2e Pin hole diffraction - projected View the diffraction pattern of a pinhole; a variety of pinhole dimensions are available. The photo shows 100 um and 50 um round pinhole patterns and 100 um and 50 um square patterns.
O-d4a Michaelson Interferometer Show the Michaelson Interferometer and how it works.

Chapter23--Ray Optics

O-a1c Blackboard Optics -- Plane Mirror Use multiple-beam generator to show image formation with a plane mirror.
O-a1g Diffuse vs Specular Reflection Reflect light first from a shiny surface, then from a rough surface.
O-a1d Corner Reflector Look into a corner reflector
O-a1f 3-D axes in Plane Mirror Right-handed and left-handed coordinate axes illustrate parity reversal in a mirror.
O-a1e Multiple Virtual Images By folding two mirrors hinged together, show multiple virtual images of a candle.
O-a4a Magic Mending Solution A broken pyrex beaker is "magically" mended with a beaker of Wesson Oil.
O-a4d Refraction with Blackboard Optics A single beam of light shines on a large acrylic surface.
O-a4j Stick in Water A stick appears bent when inserted into the water at an angle.
O-a4s Total Internal Reflection (Blackboard Optics) Show total internal reflection with the blackboard optics kit.
O-a4p Total Internal Reflection-Fiber Optics Shows the path of a laser beam inside an acrylic rod.
O-a4q Optical Fibers Show (with a laser pointer) and tell with optical fibers
EM-n3b Project the Spectrum Project white light through a high-dispersion prism
O-f4a Sunset A beam of light shines through a tank of slightly milky water onto the wall.
O-a6a Blackboard Optics -- Thin Lens Ray trace images using convex and concave lens and a parallel ray box.
O-a2c Blackboard optics -- curved mirrors Show image formation (size, location, orientation) from concave and convex mirrors on the blackboard.
O-a2d Optic Mirage Two concave mirrors face each other. The top mirror has a hole allowing light to enter and escape. An image of the objects resting on the bottom of one appears at the center hole of the top mirror.
O-a2f Large Concave/Convex Mirrors -- on Stand Alternative pair of concave/convex mirrors
O-a6b Image formation with Thin Lens Project or view the image of an illuminated arrow through a thin lens.

Chapter24--Optical Instruments

O-j1c Working Eye Model A model demonstrates the focal capabilities of the normal, nearsighted, and farsighted eye.
O-a7a Microscope Model (Blackboard Optics) Mimic a microscope objective with blackboard optics.
O-a7e Two-Lens Microscope Model Use two lens to make a simple compound microscope.
O-a7b Telescope Model Use two lens to make a simple telescope.

Chapter25--Modern Optics and Matter Waves

MO-b1a Diffraction Grating and Atomic Spectra Have students look through a diffraction grating at a spectrum tube.
MO-a6a Electron Diffraction Electrons passing through a carbon target produce a circular diffraction pattern.

Chapter26--Electric Charges and Forces

EM-a2c Party balloon on wall Rub a balloon against your hair or wool shirt and stick it on the wall.
EM-a2e Paper pickup with charged objects Use a comb, PVC rod, glass rod, or other charged object to pick up pieces of paper
EM-a2a Charged Rods on Pivots A charged rod on a pivot is used to show attraction and repulsion by another charged rod.
EM-a4c Deflection of stream of water A charged rod deflects a stream of water.
EM-a1a Frictional Electricity An electroscope is charged using charged rods.
EM-a3a Conductors and Insulators Shows that charge can be transferred to an electroscope through conductors but not insulators
EM-a4b Charged Rods and Aluminum Can A charged rod can be used to pull a soda can by electrostatic induction
EM-a2d Large Sphere and Ping Pong Ball A small charged ball is repelled from a large charged sphere. Attraction and induction can also be shown.
EM-b1d Electric Field Visualizer Tiny fibers in a clear oil align in the direction of strong applied electric fields.
EM-a4a Electroscope Charged by Induction Charge an electroscope by induction.

Chapter27--The Electric Field

EM-b1b Hair on End Charge yourself with a Van de Graaff generator
EM-b1m Van de Graaff stick Aluminum floaters are held aloft with the Fun Fly Stick
EM-b1e Tart Pan Blowoff Tart pans stacked on top of the Van de Graaff fly off.
EM-b1k Visualizing Field Lines in a Capacitor Use the Electric Field Visualizer with two parallel conductors to show the field lines for a capacitor including edge effects
EM-b1a Oscilloscope Show that an electron beam passing between charged, parallel plates is deflected using an oscilloscope (view along beam)
EM-b4a Electron Beam Deflection -- Parallel Plates An electron beam is deflected between parallel, oppositely charged plates (viewing beam from side)
EM-b1g Torque on Electric Dipole A small rod aligns between parallel plates

Chapter28--Gauss's Law

EM-b2a Faraday Bucket Show that charge resides on the outside of a hollow conductor.
EM-b2f Gauss with Electric Field Visualizer Tiny fibers in a clear oil that align in the direction of strong applied electric fields remain randomly oriented inside a charged ring.
EM-b2b Radio in a Cage Surround a radio by a Faraday cage and the signal goes away

Chapter29--The Electric Potential

EM-b1n Visualizing Electric Potential A voltmeter is used to probe the electric potential between conductors in a water solution.
EM-b3b Electric Potential -- Parallel Plates Show that the electric potential varies linearly with distance between Parallel Plates
EM-b3h Electric Potential -- Point Charge Show the electric potential variation with distance for a small disk of charge approximating a point charge.

Chapter30--Potential and Field

EM-a5b Van de Graaff Generator Describe the operation of the Van de Graaff and show sparks from the ball to a nearby grounded conductor.
EM-a5c Van de Graaff Generator--Sound The engine strains more and more as the charge on the dome increases.
EM-e4a Lemon Battery Stick copper and zinc electrodes into a lemon and measure the potential difference with a voltmeter
EM-b3a Surface charge density - conducting balls A pair of large balls with the same separation as a pair of small balls are charged simultaneously with the Wimhurst.
EM-b3c Charged Ovoid Use a proof plane and an electroscope to compare charge densities at different points on an egg-shaped conductor.
EM-b3g Lightning Rod Electrical arcing between two large metal spheres abruptly ceases when the lightning rod is touched to one.
EM-b3f Electric Wind with Van de Graaff A point attached to the Van de Graaff blows a hanging piece of cardboard.
EM-b3e Van de Graaff Pinwheel A pinwheel rotates on top of a van de Graaff generator.
EM-c1a Parallel Plate Capacitor Vary the spacing of a parallel plate capacitor attached to an electroscope.
EM-c1b Rotary Plate Capacitor The rotary plate capacitor is attached to the electroscope.
EM-c3b Bulb and 1 Farad Capacitor A large (1 Farad) capacitor is charged with a battery then discharged through a light bulb.
EM-c3c Bulb and 1 Farad Capacitor with DVM A large (1 Farad) capacitor is charged with a battery then discharged through a light bulb, with output monitored with DVM
EM-d2a Change of Resistance with Temperature A coil in series with a lamp is immersed in liquid nitrogen making the lamp glow brighter.
EM-c3a Explosive Capacitor Discharge Discharge a 10kV, 1uF capacitor through a thin wire or thick screwdriver
EM-f3f Battery Charging Capacitor with Bulb Indicator Examine the behavior of a light bulb in series with a battery charging up a capacitor.
EM-f3e Capacitors in Series and Parallel Discharge a 0.1F capacitor through a light bulb, and compare with that for three in series and three in parallel
EM-c2a Parallel Plate Capacitor with Dielectric Insert and remove a dielectric sheet from a charged parallel plate capacitor attached to an electroscope.
EM-c2c Force on a dielectric Mineral oil climbs in the gap between parallel plates

Chapter31--Current and Resistance

EM-d1a Wire Resistivity Place 6V across a set of wires of different diameters and measure the currents.
EM-d2c Conduction in Glass Heat a glass rod with a flame until its resistance is low enough to sustain conduction.
EM-d4a Jacob's Ladder An arc rises between rabbit ear electrodes attached to a high voltage source.
EM-f1a Resistor I-V characteristics Measure and graph the I-V characteristics for a resistor. The value of the resistance may be varied.
EM-f1b Resistance of a Wire Measure the potential drop along a wire
EM-f1e Hot Dog Cooker Spike a hot dog with two nails and cook it.

Chapter32--Fundamentals of Circuits

EM-f2a Series Circuit with Bulbs Show a series circuit of light bulbs
EM-e4b Internal Resistance of Battery Measure the voltage across a battery as its load decreases
EM-f2b Parallel Circuit with Bulbs Show a parallel circuit of light bulbs
EM-f2c Series Parallel Combination Two bulbs in series with a power supply, and a third bulb in parallel with one of others.
EM-f3d Bulb, 1 Farad Capacitor, and oscilloscope Oscilloscope display of a 1 Farad capacitor discharging through a light bulb.

Chapter33--The Magnetic Field

EM-g1a Lodestone Show that the lodestone attracts small nails and paperclips.
EM-h2a Magnets on Pivots One magnet is placed on a pivot. The other is used to attract or repel the first
EM-h2b Ring Magnets on a Pole Two or more ring magnets are placed on a vertical pole
EM-h1a Oersted Experiment on Overhead Show that current in a wire deflects a compass needle.
EM-h1d Magnet and Compass Array -- 2D A small magnet on top of the magnetic domain model apparatus
EM-h1k B-Field due to long straight wire Iron filings are sprinkled on a plexiglas plate through which a long vertical current-carrying wire passes.
EM-h1m B-Field due to single coil. Iron filings are sprinkled on a plexiglas plate through which a single loop of current-carrying wire is mounted
EM-h1n B-Field due to solenoid Iron filings are sprinkled on a plexiglas plate through which a current-carrying solenoid is mounted.
EM-h3a e/m tube Deflect the beam in an e/m tube with magnets
EM-h3b Oscilloscope and magnet Deflect the beam in an oscilloscope with magnets
EM-h4a Force Between Two Current Carrying Conductors Show on the overhead projector that long parallel wires with currents in the same (opposite) directions attract (repel).
EM-h4b Force on Current-carrying wire A loop of wire swings to the side of a U-magnet's gap when connected to a current-limited power supply.
EM-h5a Galvanometer A magnet exerts a torque on a current-carrying coil.
EM-k4c Direct Current Motor Show and explain a DC motor running on batteries.
EM-k4g World's Simplest Motor A simple DC motor that requires only a battery, a bare wire, a nail, and a magnet.
EM-g1b Steel Bar and Magnet Puzzle Given only a cylindrical magnet and a similarly shaped steel bar, figure out which is which!
EM-g2c The Barkhausen Effect Clicking noises are heard when a magnet is brought near iron wire within a pickup coil.
EM-g2d Magnetic Domains in Ferrimagnetic Garnet Watch a ferri-optical garnet between crossed Polaroids on a microscope as a magnet is brought near.
EM-g2a Magnetic Domain Model An array of small compasses shows domain structures

Chapter34--Electromagnetic Induction

EM-k1a Induction Coil and Magnet A magnet is moved in and out of a coil connected to a galvanometer
EM-k1b Induction with Coils and Battery Attach one coil to a galvanometer, another to a battery and tap switch. Use a core to increase coupling
EM-k1e Audible Pickup Coil Generates sounds in a pickup coil connected to a speaker with a steel tuning fork.
EM-k2a Eddy Current Pendulum A copper sheet, a comb, a ring, and a broken ring are swung through a large electromagnet.
EM-k2b Magnets and Eddy Tubes Drop magnet and a non-magnetic dummy down an aluminum tube.
EM-k2c Magnet and Copper Tube Drop magnet down a short length of straight copper tubing and watch it fall.
EM-k2d Jumping Rings A solid conducting ring sitting on a vertical solenoid jumps and a split ring doesn't
EM-k4b DC Generator Generate a DC current by rotating a loop with a split-ring connection in a magnetic field.
EM-k4d Hand-held DC Generator Use the handheld generator to illuminate a bulb.
EM-k4f Hand-powered flashlight The Dynamo--a hand powered flashlight
EM-k2g Induction Flashlight This flashlight runs on induction-induced currents, a capacitor, and an LED lightbulb.
EM-k1c Loop rotating in magnetic field A loop of wire is rotated in in the gap of a permanent magnet.
EM-k3a Transformer Demonstrate step-up and step-down transformers.
EM-k4a AC Generator Rotating a wire loop in a magnetic field generates an AC current in the loop.
EM-j1b Back EMF with light bulb A light bulb in parallel with an inductor flashes when its power is disconnected.
EM-j1a Inductance Spark A bright spark is produced when the switch of a large electromagnet is opened
EM-J3a non-driven LRC circuit oscillations Show the oscillations (ringing) when a charged capacitor is connected in series to an inductor and small resistor.
EM-j2a Series RL circuit: L/R charge/discharge "Charging" and "Discharging" of inductor shown with square wave and oscilloscope

Chapter35--Electromagnetic Fields and Waves

EM-n1b Microwave Generation and Detection Show the generation and detection of microwaves including polarization
O-h1a Polaroids on the Overhead Show polarization with two or three sheets of polaroid on the overhead
O-h1b Microwave Polarizing Filter Insert a grid of parallel wires (= cookie cooling rack) in a microwave beam and rotate the grid.
O-h2b Reflection off Water Reflected light is shown to be polarized.
O-h3a Karo Syrup Insert a beaker of liquid sugar between crossed polaroids.

Chapter36--AC Circuits

EM-h4c AC and DC Lamps A magnet is brought near two carbon filament bulbs, one DC powered and one AC powered.
EM-L2d RC Circuit -- Phase relations Show the potential difference across the power supply, the resistor, and the capacitor as a function of frequency, resistance, or capacitance.
EM-L2e RL Circuit -- Phase relations Show the potential difference across the power supply, the resistor, and the inductor as a function of frequency, resistance, or inductance.
EM-L2a 60 Hz LRC circuit Shows the potential difference across the Capacitor and Inductor at resonance.
EM-L2b LRC circuit with function generator Show the relative phases and amplitudes for the potential differences across the components of an driven LRC circuit.


Chapter38--The End of Classical Physics

O-b4b Blackbody Radiation - Infrared Camera Examine objects in a dark room with an infrared camera
O-b4a Blackbody Radiation Project the spectrum of an incandescent bulb as a function of temperature.


MO-a1a Photoelectric Effect in Zinc A charged electroscope attached to a zinc plate discharges when UV light illuminates the zinc.
MO-a5d Vibrating Circular Wire A circular wire driven by a function generator produces standing waves at resonant frequencies.

Chapter40--Wave Functions and Uncertainty

Chapter41--One-Dimensional Quantum Mechanics

MO-b1e Quantum Dots - InP solution Four vials of InP quantum dots of different diameter fluoresce with different colors under violet light

Chapter42--Atomic Physics

Chapter43--Nuclear Physics

MO-d3a Diffusion Cloud Chamber A diffusion cloud chamber shows the tracks from cosmic rays and from alpha, beta, gamma, and X-ray sources.

Physics Lecture Demonstrations at the Department of Physics and Astronomy
The Johns Hopkins University