Category Archives: Physics demos

Physics demonstrations: Lichtenberg figures

I am a big fan of nature and science-themed artwork, whether inspired by natural phenomenon or created by physical processes.  In my office — which includes several pieces of work by Artologica, by the way — I have the following eye-catching piece. … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Physics demos | 2 Comments

The mystery of the magnetic train

This past week, thanks to Laughing Squid and other sources, a lot of people watched and were amazed by this simple demonstration of electromagnetism in action. It is billed as the “world’s simplest electric train,” and it is almost certainly … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 16 Comments

Physics demonstrations: Faraday disk

I’m prepping a new course to teach this semester: undergraduate Electromagnetism II!  I’m trying to put together some nice simple demos to illustrate principles in the class, and I’ll blog some of those that work and are interesting. When Michael … Continue reading

Posted in Physics, Physics demos | 9 Comments

Physics demonstrations: Geiger counter

Update: Fixed a couple of incorrect statements regarding cosmic rays and the radiation of uranium.  Thanks to encephalartos for the corrections! In recent months, I’ve been diving wholeheartedly into learning how to build and design electronics.  My ultimate goal is … Continue reading

Posted in Physics demos | 5 Comments

Physics demonstrations: The Phantom Lightbulb

Some of the most spectacular physics demonstrations rely on surprisingly simple science.  Throughout history, for instance, very simple optics has been used to great effect to terrify and amaze audiences (see, for instance, Robertson’s Phantasmagoria).  I recently came across such … Continue reading

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My appearance on WCNC television!

Today I appeared on NBC Charlotte on “Larry’s Look” to promote our upcoming UNC Charlotte Science and Tech Expo and show off some science demos!  You can check out the video at this link.  Don’t ask me what I thought of … Continue reading

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1842: Jean-Daniel Colladon guides light with water

Big technological advances often start with very humble beginnings.  If you’re reading this post on the internet right now, it is almost certain that the information has come to you at some point in the journey in the form of … Continue reading

Posted in History of science, Optics, Physics demos | 4 Comments