Category Archives: Physics demos

Chladni patterns, now in color!

One of my favorite physics demonstrations to perform at local schools, conventions, and expos is the production of Chladni patterns, such as the one shown below. I’ve blogged about these patterns before. They are formed by vibrating a metal plate … Continue reading

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Physics demonstrations: the Mirascope

I recently participated again in the annual UNCC Science and Technology Expo, showing off neat science demos to the public.  This year, I decided to add a table of “Optics and Illusions,” to show how science and our own brains can … Continue reading

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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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