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Physics and Astronomy Demonstrations

Mechanics




Measurement


Standards of Mass (mass set)

PIRA: 1A10.20

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to familiarize the students with the metric measurement of mass, the kilogram. Show the students the 1kg weight. Then pass it around the room. I would let the students know that 1kg is approximately equal to 2.2 lbs.

Standards of Mass (slotted mass set)

PIRA: 1A10.21

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to familiarize the students with the metric measurement of mass, the kilogram. Show the students the 1kg weight. Then pass it around the room. I would let the students know that 1kg is approximately equal to 2.2 lbs.

Meter stick

PIRA: 1A10.35

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to familiarize the students with the metric measurement of the length, the meter. Most, if not all, of the students have seen a meter stick so there would be no reason to pass it around. This would be an excellent time to discuss the standardization of units.

Time — The Pendulum

PIRA: 1A10.43

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to familiarize the students with the metric unit of time, the second. Use the pendulum to demonstrate how a unit of time was established. The string would be1m in length so that the period would be 2 seconds, that way it would be one second over and one second back.

Tuning Fork

PIRA: 1A10.45

Description: Tuning forks can be used to hear differing time intervals.

Liter Cube

PIRA: 1A10.50

Description: Wooden block– 10 cm. x 10 cm. x 10 cm. — ruled at 1 cm. intervals.

Coordinate System

PIRA: 1A30.10

Description: This demonstration is to show the students what is meant my vector components(ie. the x, y, and z components of a vector). The arrow representing the vector is placed in the x, y plane. The projector is turned on and the shadow of the figure is seen on the wall behind it. The shadow reveals the y component of the vector.

Rotating Vector (vector addition)

PIRA: 1A40.31

Description: Three vectors are cut from different color plexiglass and set in a rotatable frame so that two vectors add head-to-tail, and the third vector represents the sum. The apparatus can be placed on the overhead projector so that the class can see that two vectors of equal magnitude do not always have the same sum.

Electric Vector

Description: Motorized rotating vector to show components. It has been designed to be displayed on the overhead projector.

The "Right Hand"

PIRA: 1A40.36

Radian Measure with the Bike Wheel

PIRA: 1A50.11

Description: The bike wheel can be used to demonstrate uniform circular motion. The tape on the wheel designates one radian. A cord can be used to relate the radian measure to the radius.

Parabolic Path {water stream}

PIRA: 1A50.12

Powers of Ten {video}

PIRA: 1A60.10

Description: "Powers of Ten" is a film covering scales from the universe to sub-atomic.

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Motion in One Dimension


Constant Velocity Vehicle (on moving sheet of paper)

PIRA: 1C10.10

Description: Constant Velocity Vehicle travels at a constant speed to show how velocities add and subtract.

Motion Sensor with Cart on a Dynamics Track

PIRA: 1C10.26

Description: The sensor and software plots position vs time, velocity vs time, and acceleration vs time in real time. If used with a level track, constant velocity can be shown on the screen. If used with an inclined track, constantly accelerated motion can be shown.

Photo Gates and Air Track

PIRA: 1A10.43

Description: Measure the time it takes the glider to travel from one gate to the next.

Penny & Feather

PIRA: 1C20.10

Description: A feather and a penny are placed in the tube which is "capped" on both ends. When the tube is held vertically the penny will fall faster than the feather. The tube is fitted with a valve and can be evacuated using the vacuum pump. When the tube is evacuated, the penny and feather will fall at the same rate.

Inclined Air Track

PIRA: 1C20.30

Description: The track can be used to demonstrate various things. In conjunction with the sonic ranger x(t), v(t), and a(t) can be shown.

Fan Cart

PIRA: 1C20.31

Description: This cart has a permanently attached fan. When it is turned on, the cart demonstrates constant acceleration.

Various Balls

PIRA: 1C20.40

Description: A number of different ball can be dropped to show constant acceleration.

Law of Falling Bodies {moon, Mech. Univ. video}

PIRA: 1C20.46

Description: Mechanical Universe video clip showing the simultaneous dropping of a hammer and feather on the moon.

Free Fall Timer

PIRA: 1C30.10

Description: A steel ball is suspended from an electromagnet. When the magnet is shut off, the ball falls, triggers a photogate and some later time the ball falls through another photogate. The time of fall is recorded on the photogate display and the distance fallen can be measured with a meterstick. The acceleration of gravity at the site can be calculated.

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Motion in Two Dimensions


Plexiglas ring (cut and uncut) with a marble

PIRA: 1D10.45

Ball on a String

PIRA: 1D50.10

Description: Tie a lightweight ball to a sting and twirl around in a vertical circle.

Tension Pendulum

PIRA: 1D50.11

Description: This is a simple pendulum hung fron a force sensor. As it swings the sensor indicates the tension while the pendulum swings.

Bucket of Water

PIRA: 1D50.40

Description: A bucket partially filled with water can be swung in a vertical circle with a radius of arm’s length. If swung with the appropriate speed, the water will not spill. The bucket can also be attached to a rope and swung in a vertical circle. Practice before you try this one.

Bucket and Wine Glass

PIRA: 1D50.41

Ball on a String

PIRA: 1D55.151

Description: Swing a ball overhead.

Rotating Table

PIRA: 1D55.16

Robin Hood Falls from Vine { video }

PIRA: 1C20.40

Rotating Table with a Ball on a Track <

PIRA: 1D55.18

Clay Flying off Bike Wheel

PIRA: 1D55.31

Description: Place clay of the wheel and spin the wheel. At varying speeds the clay will fly off.

Simultaneous Fall

PIRA: 1D60.20

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to show that when an object has horizontal velocity, gravity is acting upon it in the same way that it acts upon a dropped object.
The top portion of the figure has a mechanical devise that sends two balls in motion at the same time, one with no horizontal motion and one with horizontal motion.

The mechanical devise is triggered and both balls begin their desent. These two balls will hit the aluminium sheet at the same time because they will still have the same vertical force acting upon them.

Monkey Hunter

PIRA: 1D60.30

Description: A stuffed monkey is hung from an electromagnet powered by the Lab volt supply (15 VDC). The magnet is turned off when the dart exits the barrel of the airgun. The dart and the monkey are in free fall simultaneously. If the dart is aimed directly at the monkey, the dart should strike the monkey as it falls. If the gun is pumped only a few times, the velocity of the dart will be small and the collision will occur near the floor. If the gun is pumped several times, the velocity of the dart is large and the collision will occur near the top of the descent. The monkey can be suspended from a 2 meter pole set on top of the demonstration bench (~3 meters off floor). The monkey must be hung from the plunger which extends from the electromagnet. When the magnet is energized, the plunger extends. When the magnet is turned off, the plunger is drawn in and the monkey slips off.

Floor Cart and Basketball

PIRA: 1D60.31

Pop-up Cart

PIRA: 1D60.32

Description: A cart pushed along on a dynamics track launches a ball verically as it passes through a switch. The ball makes a parabolic path through the air and lands in the cart.

Roll Ball off Table

PIRA: 1D60.41

Juggling Balls

PIRA: 1D60.61

Fire hose video (Roxanne)

PIRA: 1D60.66

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Relative Motion


Crossing the River (Digital)

PIRA: 1E10.10

Description: Boat and River, Relative motion. The motion of the boat is added to the motion of the river current. The sum of the vectors is viewed from an overhead camera supported by a bridge.
Upriver, viewed from shore
Upriver, viewed from bridge
Down river, viewed from bridge
Across river, drifting, viewed from shore
Across river, drifting, viewed from bridge
Across river, compensated, from shore
Across river, compensated, from bridge

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Newton’s First Law


Inertia Ball

PIRA: 1F20.10

Description: A massive ball is rigged with 2 eye screws at opposite points. The ball is supported by a string from a ring stand. A string is also left dangling from the bottom of the ball. If the bottom string is jerked quickly, the bottom string should break. If the bottom string is pulled constantly, the top string should break.

Tablecloth Pull

PIRA: 1F20.30

Description: A full table setting (table cloth, plate, flatware, candle, champagne bottle, saucer, cup) can be set on the table cloth. With a little practice, the table cloth can be pulled from under the setting. There are no hems on the table cloth. It is best to pull slightly downward over the edge of the table as you pull out.

Pencil Drop

PIRA: 1F20.30

Description: A short pencil is placed on top of a narrow vertical hoop which is resting on the opening to a pop bottle. When the hoop is removed sufficiently fast, the pencil falls into the bottle.

Egg Drop

PIRA: 1F20.35

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to give an example of Newton’s 1st law. The eggs have a larger inertia that the toilet paper rolls or the plastic plate.

Three large beakers full of water are place on a table fairly close to the edge. A plastic plate is place on top of the three beakers. On top of the plate are three toilet paper rolls which have eggs at the tops. The three rolls are placed above the three beakers.
A broom handle is used to swat the plate off of the beakers. This demonstration is set up so that the broom handle will hit the plate and then be stopped by the edge of the table. The plate and the toilet paper rolls go flying and the eggs drop into the respective beakers.

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Newton’s Second Law


Smart Pulley, Cart, Masses and Dynamics Track

PIRA: 1G10.10

Description: Masses can be used to pull the cart via a string over the smart pulley. The velocity and acceleration can be displayed.

Floor Cart

PIRA: 1G10.21

Description: These carts can be ridden on like skateboards. They are better balanced, but cannot be steered.

Rocketeer video {pushing the truck}

PIRA: 1G10.23

Block on Incline Plane

PIRA: 1G10.25

Description: Accelerate a block of wood across a table by a mass on a string over a pulley.

Inertia Cart

PIRA: 1G10.26

Description: The inertia cart is a small low friction cart with a large mass. It is intended for table top use and can be used for a variety of purposes.

Bathroom Scale

PIRA: 1G10.30

Balance Scale

PIRA: 1G10.31

Spring Scale {linear}

PIRA: 1G10.32

Brick & Scale

PIRA: 1G10.33

Force Sensor – mass (vertical)

PIRA: 1G10.36

Kitchen Scale & 5 kg. Mass

PIRA: 1G10.37

Atwood’s Machine

PIRA: 1G10.40

Description: This atwood machine is constructed with a large pulley supported form a 2-meter rod. With 1 kg mass hangers suspended form each side, the system stays in equilibrium. At least 50 g is necessary to accelerate the system. The moment of inertia of the pulley has not been measured.
The pulley weighs 2.835 kg.

Buoyant Force Rotator

PIRA: 1G40.1

Description: Two large Erlenmeyer flasks on the ends of a rotating platform. In each is a float, and on one is tied a float on the outside. When it is rotated, the ball on the outside goes out from the flask and the floats on the inside go toward the center.

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Statics of Rigid Bodies


Map of State

PIRA: 1J10.10

Description: The laminar object (map) and a plumb bob can be suspended from several different points. If the line of the plumb bob is traced for several cases, the intersection of the lines should indicate the center of mass of the laminar object.

Hanging Center of Mass

PIRA: 1J10.11

Description: An irregular shape is cut from a piece of particle board and can be hung from a number of supports along its outer edge. If a plumb bob is also hung from the support, a line can be drawn which passes through the center of gravity. Three such lines allow the center of mass to be located. Sheets of paper should be pinned to the front of the object to draw the lines on.

Foam Throw

PIRA: 1J10.12

Description: A piece of foam, cut in the shape of an L, has three holes which support pen lights. One hole is at the center of mass. When the foam is thrown, so that it rotates about an axis perpendicular to the plane of the L, the light at the center of mass travels in a smooth curve. The lights not at the center of mass, rotate about the center of mass. It helps to dim the room lights to improve visibility.

Center of Mass { block }

PIRA: 1J10.13

Bongo Board

PIRA: 1J10.14

Center of Mass Glider

PIRA: 1J10.15

Center of Gravity of a Broom

PIRA: 1J10.25

Description: Bring your fingers together under a broom and find the center of mass.

Leaning Tower of Pisa

PIRA: 1J11.10

Description: A model of a tower is made in two pieces. The bottom piece is stable. When the top piece is added, the center of mass is shifted outside the base of the tower and the tower tips.

Double Cone

PIRA: 1J11.50

Description: As a double cone moves up a set of inclined rails, its center of gravity lowers.

Duck on a Rope

PIRA: 1J30.11

Description: A mass hangs below the rope and the duck balances above the rope. No matter how hard you pull on the ends of the rope, you can not bring the duck up to the level of the rope ends.

Cart on an Incline

PIRA: 1J30.21

Description: This demonstration is designed to show that if the components of the weight vector are compensated the object will not move.A dynamics cart rests on an incline. The cart is held in place by a string attached to a force sensor from the "normal" direction and another force sensor along the horizontal.

Force Table

PIRA: 1J30.51

Description: A framework for doing the force table in the vertical plane.

Two Scales and a Mass

PIRA: 1J30.56

100 cm. Balance Beam

PIRA: 1J40.22

Description: A beam, pivoted through its center of mass, has support hooks distributed evenly along its length. If a mass of, say, 200 g is hung at the 5 mark on one side, it can be shown to balance with a mass of 500 g hung at the 2 mark on the opposite side. The beam is supported by a clamp and support rod.

Torque Beam

PIRA: 1J40.40

Lift the Motor

PIRA: 1J40.46

Torque Board

PIRA: 1J40.6

Meter Stick Boom

PIRA: 1J40.70

Description: A force sensor measures the tension in the guy wire supporting the boom, via a pulley, while the boom supports a load.

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Applications of Newton’s Laws


Tipping Block

PIRA: 1K10.10

Description: Pull with a force sensor at various angles on the edge of a block to see the least amount of force required to tip the block.

Slipping Ladder

PIRA: 1K10.20

Description: A model ladder is placed against a box and a weight is moved up one rung at a time. Eventually the center of mass is reached and the ladder begins to slip.

Break the Bolt

PIRA: 1K10.22

Returning Coffee Can

PIRA: 1K10.43

Description: The coffee can is loaded with a rubber band and a lead weight. When the can rolls forward, energy is stored in the twisted rubber band. This stored energy is then returned as the can rolls back.

Styrofoam Model

PIRA: 1K20.06

Description: Thin sheets of Styrofoam can be carved to a wedge using a razor blade. The shaved edge reveals a jagged uneven edge. If two such wedges are place on the overhead projector, there shadows display a model of magnified surfaces to help explain the phenomenon of friction.

Block on an Incline

PIRA: 1K20.12

Description: Used for various demonstrations. Usually it is used with a protractor to measure the incline at which the block begins to slide. {the point where it breaks static friction}

Rotating Table

PIRA: 1K20.13

Description: A block rests on a turntable and the string goes to a dynamometer.

Sandpaper Block on an Incline

PIRA: 1K20.14

Description: The massive block with different grit sand papers on the surfaces can be used to explain frictional forces. If used in combination with an inclined plane, the coefficient of static friction can be obtained. Bricks can be used in the same fashion.

Weight Dependence of Friction (bricks)

PIRA: 1K20.15

Description: Bricks can be pulled along a surface using a force sensor to measure the force. Some force exists before the bricks begin to move. The bricks are tied together in such a way that the surface area can be doubled or the mass can be doubled.

Weight Dependence of Friction (floor carts)

PIRA: 1K20.16

Description: This demonstration has three purposes: 1) Show that friction is a passive force, 2) Show that there are two kinds of friction, static and moving, 3) Show that friction is proportional to the normal force.

Upside down cart empty and then with a brick in it
The first part of this demonstration is executed without the brick in the cart. The cart is connected to a demonstration scale which reads the force applied. The cart is then pulled as constantly as possible. The point at which the cart begins to move is noted according to the reading of the scale. Then the cart is pulled along the floor at a constant velocity and again the force required is noted. At this point the first and second objectives of this demonstration are discussed. The brick is then placed inside the cart and the process is repeated. At this point the last objective is discussed.

Area Dependence of Friction

PIRA: 1K20.20

Description: Bricks can be pulled along a surface using a force sensor to measure the force. Some force exists before the bricks begin to move. The bricks are tied together in such a way that the surface area can be doubled or the mass can be doubled.

Pull Block with Fish Line {earthquake demo}

PIRA: 1K20.31

Pull Stacked Blocks

PIRA: 1K20.32

Truck with Locked Wheels

PIRA: 1K20.40

Description: Truck on which the wheels lock, demonstrates the idea that if a set of wheels on a vehicle are locked, the front wheels are preferred.

Bed of Nails

PIRA: 1K30.10

Description: Dr. Fred Gittes lies on the "Bed of Nails" YouTube video.

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Gravity


Cavendish Balance

PIRA: 1L10.30

Description: Standard Cavendish experiment with lead balls and optical lever detection. (Not operational)

Cavendish experiment on laser disk {B47}

PIRA: 1L10.31

Energy Ball

PIRA: 1L20.05

Orbit Model (Orrery)

PIRA: 1L20.06

Description: Model displays the rotation of the moon about the earth and the earth about the sun. The model can also be used for discussions of eclipses.

Ball on a String(Orrery)

PIRA: 1L20.08

Gravity Well

PIRA: 1L20.11

Description: The motion of an object
"falling" into a gravity well can be displayed.

Model of G Field with Strings

PIRA: 1L20.13

Rotating Table

PIRA: 1L20.14

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Work & Energy


Equipment cart & rope

PIRA: 1M10.17

Pulleys

PIRA: 1M20.10

Description: As a simple machine the pulley can create many varying systems.

Pulley System

PIRA: 1M20.11

Description: Place a mass on a string over a pulley and hold a spring scale at the other side. Repeat with a mass hanging from a single pulley in a loop of string.

Bowling Ball Pendulum

PIRA: 1M40.10

Description: When work is done in pushing the bowling ball to the side, gravitational potential energy is stored. When released, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy via the work done by gravity. To show conservation of energy, the instructor can position the ball in front of his face and then release it from rest. On the return swing, the instructor will not be hit since extra energy cannot be added to the system.

Simple Pendulum

PIRA: 1M40.11

Description: When work is done in pushing the pendulum to the side, gravitational potential energy is stored. When released, the potential energy is converted to kinetic energy via the work done by gravity. To show conservation of energy, the instructor can position the ball in front of his face and then release it from rest. On the return swing, the instructor will not be hit since extra energy cannot be added to the system.

Impact Pendulum (large)

PIRA: 1M40.12

Description: Five large steel balls with bifilar suspension are arranged so that they hang just touching each other while at rest. When one ball is raised and allowed to swing toward the others then, after the collision, one ball will rise on the opposite side. If two balls are raised, then two balls exit.

Conservation of energy and momentum can be discussed.

Impact Pendulum (small)

PIRA: 1M40.13

Description: Five large steel balls with bifilar suspension are arranged so that they hang just touching each other while at rest. When one ball is raised and allowed to swing toward the others then, after the collision, one ball will rise on the opposite side. If two balls are raised, then two balls exit.

Conservation of energy and momentum can be discussed.

Loop the Loop

PIRA: 1M40.20

Description: The objective of this demonstration is to show approximately the minimum height at which the ball can be dropped so that it will make it all of the way around the loop.

Demonstrate that if the ball is dropped from the position parallel to the top of the loop then when the ball gets to the top of the loop it does not have enough velocity to carry it around the loop and will just fall. Describe to the students that there must be enough velocity.

Roller Coaster

PIRA: 1M40.35

Description: This roller coaster can be used to talk about conservation of energy and loss of energy. On a short time scale, potential energy is converted to kinetic energy and vice versa. For a longer time, energy is obvious lost from the system to sound and friction, etc. The ball will eventually come to rest.

Ballistic Pendulum

PIRA: 1M40.40

Spring & Mass

PIRA: 1M40.62

Spring & Force Sensor

PIRA: 1M40.63

Lever Arms

PIRA: 1M50.20

Bathroom scale & timer {run up steps, h=2.6 m}

PIRA: 1M50.30

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Linear Momentum & Collisions


Karate Chop

PIRA: 1N10.05

Egg in a Sheet

PIRA: 1N10.20

Description: By either support stands or volunteers, a bed sheet is held and someone can throw an egg as hard as they desire and it will not break.

Impact Pendulums (unequal Mass)

PIRA: 1N20.11

Spring Apart Air Track Gliders

PIRA: 1N20.20

Description: Burn a string holding a compressed spring between two air gliders.

Floor Cart and Medicine Ball

PIRA: 1N21.10

Description: Two people on roller carts throw a medicine ball to each other.

Hovercraft & Bowling Ball

PIRA: 1N21.12

Carbon Dioxide Rocket

PIRA: 1N22.10

Description: The objective of this demonstration is show the law of conservation of momentum.A person sits on a cart that has a fire extinguisher attached to it.A person sits on the cart and points the hose behind. He/she then opens the valve and begins moving across the floor.

Water Rocket

PIRA: 1N22.20

Description: A toy rocket with a pump can be filled with either air or water. The air in the rocket can be compressed with the pump. With only air, the change in momentum of the rocket is small since the mass of the air is small. With both air and water, the change in momentum of the rocket is large since the mass of the escaping water is large.

Gasoline Cannon

PIRA: 1N22.30

Basketball & Handball Rocket

PIRA: 1N30.10

Description: Two balls or many balls on bifilar suspension.

Air Track Collisions

PIRA: 1N30.30

Description: Equal mass, unequal mass, elastic and inelastic

Air Table Collisions

PIRA: 1N40.20

Description: Equal mass, unequal mass, elastic and inelastic.

Spring and Nut {welded together and loose}

PIRA: 1N40.40

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Rotational Dynamics


Inertia Wands

PIRA: 1Q10.10

Description: Wands can be used to observe the motion of the object relative to its center of mass. One wand is weighted in the center, the other wand is weighted at each end.

Ring, Disc, and Sphere

PIRA: 1Q10.30

Description: Roll them down an inclined plane to see which one reaches bottom first.

Racing Discs

PIRA: 1Q10.40

Description: A disk, a hoop, and a sphere will have different accelerations dependent on their moment of inertias as they roll without slipping down an incline. The students can be asked to predict which object will reach the bottom of the incline first. The disk and hoop are designed to have the same mass and radius to show that the acceleration is independent of these two quantities.

Angular Acceleration Apparatus

PIRA: 1Q20.20

Description: The apparatus consists of a pulley, a rod centered on the pulley, and two masses which slide along the rod. The masses can be clamped at any position on opposite sides of the center of the rod. If the masses are clamped at the end of the rod, the moment of inertia of the system is large and, when a constant torque is applied, the angular acceleration will be small. If the masses are clamped near the center of the rod, the moment of inertia of the system is small and, when a constant torque is applied, the angular acceleration will be large. The constant torque is provided by a rope wrapped around the pulley and attached to an unsupported 100 g mass. The system is supported by a support rod and clamp.

Mounted Bike Wheel

PIRA: 1Q20.22

People Hanging from Helicopter on a Turn {video}

PIRA: 1Q20.27

Falling Wine Glass on a String

PIRA: 1Q20.28

Roller Coaster with Discs

PIRA: 1Q20.31

Weighted Disks

PIRA: 1Q20.32

Falling Meter Stick

PIRA: 1Q20.56

Weighted meter stick

PIRA: 1Q20.61

Rotating Stool & Medicine bBall

PIRA: 1Q30.31

Weights Dropped on Rotating Stool

PIRA: 1Q30.31

Rotating Stool with Weights

PIRA: 1Q40.10

Description: Conservation of angular momentum can be demonstrated with a low friction bar stool. The instructor or a student when spinning on the bar stool has a vertically oriented angular momentum vector. The person on the stool can change their moment of inertia by extending or pulling in their arms and legs (extra weights can be used). By changing their moment of inertia in the absence of external torques, their angular velocity will change oppositely. The bike wheel can also be used to show angular momentum conservation. The change is angular velocity of the person on the stool will be greatest when the wheel axis is vertical and the axis is then rotated 180 degrees.

Rotating Stool with Long Bar

PIRA: 1Q40.15

Description: Rotational inertia demonstration.

Governor

PIRA: 1Q40.23

Description: This shows the increase in angular speed when the weights are moved toward the axis of rotation. The device will rotate at about the same speed when allowed to spin freely due to the weights

Rotating Stool with Bike Wheel

PIRA: 1Q40.30

Bike Wheel Gyro

PIRA: 1Q50.20

Description: A bike wheel can be hung from its axle by a cable. When the wheel is spinning, the axle will stay horizontal and the wheel will precess.

MITAC Gyro

PIRA: 1Q50.30

Description: If the gyroscope is placed on a cart which can be moved about, it can be shown that the gyro will always point in one direction. A pennant can represent the compass reference used onboard ships. Precession can be shown by placing a weight on one end of the axis arrow.

Rotating Stool & Suitcase Gyro

PIRA: 1Q50.41

Description: Hold a heavy suitcase gyro and sit on a stool. The stool will rotate.

Suitcase Gyro

PIRA: 1Q50.41

Description: When the gyro is brought up to full speed it can be placed on one edge to show precession. It can also be used to try to turn corners while carrying the suitcase.

Air Gyro

PIRA: 1Q50.45

Tippe Top

PIRA: 1Q60.30

Description: A toy top when spun inverts itself so that it is top heavy.

Spinning Football

PIRA: 1Q60.35

Description: Spin a football and it rises on one end to it’s point.

Tossing the Book

PIRA: 1Q60.40

Description: Demonstrate the intermediate-axis theorem by throwing a book in the air with reference to each of the three axis.

Energy Ball

PIRA: 1Q60.52

Description: A tube has a cord passing through that is attached to a ball on one end and a mass on the other. While holding the tube vertically, the ball is swung in a circle fast enough so that the tension in the string supports the mass.

O-Ring Rotator

PIRA: 1Q60.53

Description: A O-ring can be accelerated using a pulley drive. The drive is powered with a variac. As the ring accelerates, the tension in the rubber increases and causes the ring to become rigid. The ring can be deformed and will maintain the deformation while rotating. The ring can also be knocked off the pulley drive and will roll and bounce across the room, maintaining its rigidity and shape while rolling.

Yomega {yo-yo with a brain}

PIRA: 1Q60.60

Rotation {Skylab video}

PIRA: 1Q60.61

Break the Bolt

PIRA: 1Q70.10

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Properties of Matter


Stretch Springs

PIRA: 1R10.10

Description: This demonstration is designed to introduce hookes law and show how to calculate the spring constant. A mass is hung from a string. The spring’s length is measured. It is then stretched out and remeasured. The formula for the force of the spring is introduced, FSpring = -kx. The force being exerted on the string is the weight of the object = mg. So, mg = -kx. k can be found by dividing mg by the amount that the spring was stretched.

A mass is hung from a string.

Spring Constants

PIRA: 1R10.12

Compression Springs

PIRA: 1R10.13

Bungee Zone {video}

PIRA: 1R10.14

Balloon Aneurysm

PIRA: 1R20.12

Young’s Modulus

PIRA: 1R20.15

Description: A laser directed at an optical lever demonstrates that the length of the wire increases when a stress is applied. The elastic constant of the material can be measured and discussed.

Foam Stress

PIRA: 1R30.20

Description: Push on the top of a large foam block to show shear.

Bouncing Balls

PIRA: 1R40.10

Description: Different composition balls are dropped down a glass tube to measure their rebound. The balls impact a steel anvil and the height to which they rebound is marked with rubber bands on the glass tube. The coefficient of restitution is determined.

Live and Dead Balls

PIRA: 1R40.30

Description: Similar looking balls are dropped onto an anvil. One will bounce and the other will not bounce at all.

Diamond Crystal Model

PIRA: 1R50.21

Sodium Chloride Crystal Model

PIRA: 1R50.22

FCC Crystal Model

PIRA: 1R50.23

Description: Show lattice models of NaCl, sodium carbonate, graphite and diamond. It reveals how to make ball and stick models of certain crystals.

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