PIRA Code(s): 1D15.45 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Place balls of equal mass and size at the top of the tracks, one at the cycloid, one at the parabola, and one at the straight track. Let the balls roll down, the cycloid ball will arrive first. Then, place two balls on the cycloid track, one at the top and one a little ways down. The two balls will reach the end at the same time. Physics and Science Concepts: Motion in Two Dimensions Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 1D60.10 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Press down on the inside of the cup. Turn the cart over, and stick the pin in the hole that protrudes from the bottom of the cart. Place the ball inside the cup. Then, push the car at a constant velocity as you gently pull the string. The ball should pop up and land in the cup again. Physics and Science Concepts: Mechanics, Motion in Two Dimensions, Projectile Motion Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 1D60.20 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Mount apparatus to ring stand using clamp, adjust until apparatus is horizontal, cock the apparatus spring, and place the masses (one at the end of the apparatus and one on the bar that extends from the apparatus), release, and one ball will fall from rest (hung on the rod) while the other ball is struck by the rod and has an initial horizontal velocity. The balls should hit the table at the same time, which can be heard clearly by students. Repeat by cocking spring to different compression. Repeat by clamping apparatus at a different height to show that height has no effect on the simultaneity of the fall. Physics and Science Concepts: Projectile Motion Safety: Once spring is compressed, do not put hands in front of the end of the rod.
PIRA Code(s): 1D60.30 Set up time:10 minutes Operation: Set up two ring stands about 8 feet apart. Put the blow gun in the clamp on one stand with the power cords to the inside of the set up. Attach the pole with the magnet to the other ring stand. Place the ball into the blow gun. Switch the power supply on which connects the circuit and then place the monkey (band aid box) on to the magnet, upside down. Make sure the blow gun is aimed directly at the broad side of the monkey. Now, blow into the blow gun to release the ball and break the circuit, thus causing the monkey to fall. The ball should hit the monkey as it falls. Physics and Science Concepts: Projectile Motion, Gravity, and Mechanics Safety: Do not turn power supply on before inserting the ball into the blow gun, due to possible electrocution.
Not all pieces (ring stand, 5 V ½ Amp DC power supply, and clamps) are in the kit, these items need to be acquired.
PIRA Code(s): 1G20.45 Set up time:2 minutes Operation: Hold a slinky in your hand high enough so that when it falls it will not touch the floor. Still holding the top of the slinky, let the rest drop down towards the ground. Physics and Science Concepts: Newton’s Second Law Safety: Ends of slinky may be sharp or become tangled
PIRA Code(s): 1L20.40 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Remove pieces from the cone to show different conic sections. Physics and Science Concepts: Gravity Safety: Nails that connect pieces may be sharp.
PIRA Code(s): 1M20.30 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Set the empty friction box on the incline with weights attached to the string on the other side of the pulley so that the box slides forward. Then, gradually increase the angle of the plane until the box and the weights reach equilibrium. Physics and Science Concepts: Equilibrium of forces, Mechanics, Work and Energy Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 1M40.20 Set up time:none Operation: Place ball at the top of track and let it fall. To show students the minimum height required to loop the loop, place the ball on the track at a height that is about double the height of the loop. Physics and Science Concepts: Mechanics, Work and Energy, Conservation of Energy, Centripetal Force Safety: Do not stand where the ball exits the track.
PIRA Code(s): 1Q40.30, 1Q50.24 Set up time:3 minutes Operation: Stand on the stool as it remains still. Have someone start the motor and place the bicycle wheel next to it to get it to start spinning. Take the spinning wheel in your hands and turn the wheel in a horizontal position and you should spin. When the wheel is placed vertical again, you will spin the opposite direction.
Use the motor to start the wheel spinning. Hold on to the cord attached to the axle and the wheel will remain vertical. Physics and Science Concepts: Mechanics, Rotational Dynamics Safety: Do not get items caught in the motor or the spokes of the tire. Hold wheel out from the body as far as possible
PIRA Code(s): 1Q40.40 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Place the train on the track. Plug the track into the variac and start the train by moving the dial. Physics and Science Concepts: Mechanics, Angular Momentum, Rotational Dynamics, Angular Momentum, Relative Motion Safety: Watch for sparks from the train. Maintain a cautious distance from the wheel.
PIRA Code(s): 1Q50.30 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Rotational Dynamics, Mechanics, Gyroscopic Motion Physics and Science Concepts: Rotational Dynamics, Mechanics, Gyroscopic Motion Safety: The central gyroscope is quite heavy and can pinch fingers.
PIRA Code(s): 1Q50.60 Set up time:2 minutes Operation: Use the string or turn the rotor with your thumb to start the gyroscope spinning. Take care to hold the gyroscope and metal hold in place relative to the top block of wood. Then, spin the wooden block, stop it, and reverse the direction of the spin. The gyroscope will do a spin flip. Physics and Science Concepts: Rotational dynamics, Mechanics Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 2B30.30 Set up time:3 minutes Operation: Place the two halves together. Put the vacuum pump on the valve and evacuate the air inside. Try to separate the pieces. Vacuum pump not included; it must be obtained from demo 3B30.30. Physics and Science Concepts: Fluid Mechanics, Statics of Fluids Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 3A10.20 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Move the weight along the hacksaw blade. Pull back on the blade and release. When the weight is at the top of the blade the frequency is smaller compared to when the weight is at the bottom. Physics and Science Concepts: Oscillations Safety: Edge of blade may be sharp.
PIRA Code(s): 3A10.40 Set up time:none Operation: Push the pendulum so that it swings back and forth at an angle of about 0 º. Then, slowly increase the angle, and watch the frequency decrease. For a more effective demonstration, start the pendulum at a relatively high angle, and then decrease the angle of the plane of oscillation so that the frequency of the pendulum will increase over time. Physics and Science Concepts: Oscillations Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 3B30.30 Set up time:10 minutes (5 minutes to pump the bell jar) Operation: Plug in the pump and attach the clear tube of the pump to the valve. Turn the switch on the power supply to ascertain that the alarm is working properly. Then, pump out the air inside the bell jar. It will take about 5 minutes to obtain a low enough air pressure so that the alarm will not sound. Turn the alarm on and slowly open the valve, allowing the air pressure in the bell jar to increase. The sound of the alarm will also gradually increase. Physics and Science Concepts: Sound waves Safety: A glass jar containing a vacuum can be extremely hazardous if broken.
PIRA Code(s): 4A30.20 Set up time:2 minutes Operation: Try putting the ring around the ball. At room temperature the ring is slightly larger than the ball. Heat the ball over a Bunsen burner and it will no longer fit through the ring. Physics and Science Concepts: Thermodynamics, Thermal Properties of Matter, Thermal Expansion Safety: Use caution when using a Bunsen burner. The Bunsen burner is not included in the experiment.
PIRA Code(s): 4C33.50 Set up time:No setup required Operation: Hold one bulb in your hand so that it forces the liquid to enter the other bulb. Physics and Science Concepts: Change of State, Vapor Pressure Safety: Do not grasp too tightly as the glass may break.
PIRA Code(s): 5A20.20 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Charge the rod by rubbing it the through the cloth provide or on your shirt. Hold the rod near a pith ball. The two balls will repel each other. The PVC gives a positive charge and the acrylic rod gives negative charge. Physics and Science Concepts: Electrostatics, Coulomb’s Law Safety: None
PIRA Code(s): 5A50.30 Set up time:10 minutes Operation: Plug in the generator. Turn on the rocker switch and adjust speed using potentiometer on the base of the Van de Graaff.
Other suggested uses include combining this with other electrostatic demonstrations found under a 5A50 heading. Also, throwing packing peanuts or taping strips of paper to the Van de Graaff are popular demonstrations. Physics and Science Concepts: Static Electricity, Friction Safety: The rod works best on dry days with the blue wig. Care should be taken when operating. Do not approach the generator while it is running. Use the grounding rod to discharge.
PIRA Code(s): 5B30.20 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Use the Van der Graaf or Wimshurst generator to charge the ovoid. Touch a proof plane to the pointed end of the ovoid and another to the spherical end. Place the proof planes on the electroscope plate. The deflection will be greater from the proof plane that touched the pointed end. Physics and Science Concepts: Electrostatics, Surface Charge Density Safety: Electroscope can be obtained from demonstration number 5A22.22.
PIRA Code(s): 5C10.20 Set up time:none Operation: Charge the plates using the Van de Graaff. Disconnect wire going from top of sphere to fixed plate at plate end. Change the spacing of a charged parallel plate capacitor while it is attached to an electroscope. Observe changes in electroscope pointer. Physics and Science Concepts: Capacitance Safety: Electroscope can be obtained from demo 5A22.22. The Van de Graaff can be obtained from demo 5A50.30.
PIRA Code(s): 5C30.40 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: Jars can be charged with either the Wimshurst generator (5A50.10) or Van de Graaf generator (5A50.30). Charge Leyden jars in parallel and discharge, charge in parallel again and connect in series before discharging. The intensity of the sparks as well as their duration is much greater for the series connection. Physics and Science Concepts: Electricity and Magnetism, Capacitance Safety: Do not touch the charged capacitor. Make sure the jar is discharged before storing or touching.
PIRA Code(s): 5E40.20 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Pour sulfuric acid into the glass container. Wait 5 minutes for the reaction to take place between the dissimilar metals. Place the voltmeter on the overhead and display the voltage generated in the cell. Physics and Science Concepts: Electromotive Force and Current Safety: Be careful around acid. Gloves and goggles should be worn when handling acid.
PIRA Code(s): 5F20.50 Set up time:5 minutes Operation: First, attach the metal rods to the battery by unscrewing the black caps and place the rods around the screws. Then replace the caps. Next, clip one light bulb on the metal rods to show a circuit with a single light bulb. To show series circuits, clip two bulbs together and place the end of each clip on opposite rods. To show parallel circuits, clip each bulb separately to the rods. The bulbs in series will glow less brightly than the bulbs in parallel. Physics and Science Concepts: Parallel and series circuits Safety: The ends of the rods pose an eye hazard.
PIRA Code(s): 5G50.50 Set up time:2 minutes Operation: A superconductor disc is placed in a styrofoam dish and liquid nitrogen is added to the dish. A small magnet is placed on top and within a few seconds it begins to levitate. Physics and Science Concepts: Superconductivity, Magnetic Materials Safety: Liquid Nitrogen can be obtained from the machine shop.
PIRA Code(s): 5H10.30 Set up time:3 minutes Operation: Place the magnet under the piece of paper and on the overhead. Sprinkle iron filings over the magnet and the filings should align with the magnetic field. Physics and Science Concepts: Magnetic Fields and Forces Safety: An overhead can be obtained from demonstration 9A36.10.
PIRA Code(s): 5K10.20 Set up time:1 minute Operation: Hook the leads from the galvanometer to the induction coil. Place a magnet in front of the coil. Turn the crank and the needle on the galvanometer should move. The connection between the galvanometer and the loop changes polarity every half turn. Physics and Science Concepts: Electromagnetic Induction, Electricity and Magnetism Safety: Magnet is extremely strong so do not place metal objects near it.
PIRA Code(s): 5K20.30 Set up time:2 minutes Operation: Set up the apparatus so that the silver pole sticks above the platform a few inches. Place a full ring around the tube and turn the apparatus on. This will make the ring jump into the air. Turn off the machine then, place the split ring around the pole, turn on the machine and this will not do anything. Resistive heating can be demonstrated by holding the full rings down and feeling them heat up. Next, turn off the machine, place the copper coil around the pole and press down on the copper rod sticking off the coil to create sparks. Also, place the light bulb circuit ring against the flat top part of the pole and watch it light up. Physics and Science Concepts: Lenz law, Electromagnetic Induction, Eddy Currents Safety: Do not place apparatus directly under a light. Do not stand above machine when the rings jump. Do not hold the full ring down too long, you may get burned.
PIRA Code(s): 6A20.45 Set up time:none Operation: Use the different types of mirrors to compare reflection. Physics and Science Concepts: Geometrical Optics, Reflection Safety: Do not shine bright light into mirror.
PIRA Code(s): 1Q30.60 Set up time:10 minutes Operation: Spin the frame and watch the two balls move outwards. For the plexiglass demo, squirt green liquid (or pour) into the frame so that the liquid is at least an inch deep. Then, plug in the cord. Physics and Science Concepts: Centrifugal force Safety: Make sure objects and people are well clear of the spinning frame. Wear safety goggles during operation.
PIRA Code(s): 3B10.30 Set up time:none Operation: Displace the rod at one end to create a torsion pulse or wave. The other end can be left free to move, fixed in place, or critically damped. To damp the model, clip the damping cup to the last rod on one end to get an inverse reflex wave. The damping clip on the rod ends the wave entirely. Physics and Science Concepts: Torsion Waves, Waves and Oscillations Safety: None