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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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): 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.