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): 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): 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): 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): 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.