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): 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): 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): 3D32.15 Set up time:No setup required. Operation: First, slide blow into the mouthpiece located at the top of the whistle. Next, move the piston to create different frequencies. If you have trouble moving the piston and blowing into the whistle simultaneously, have another person work the piston. Physics and Science Concepts: Waves, Oscillations, Frequency, Pitch Safety: Do not blow too hard or for extended periods of time as this may cause dizziness or headaches. Clean the mouthpiece in between use.
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): 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.