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Al Tobias (wat4y) - Office: Gibson S123 & Physics 218, (434) 924-0538

Physics Demo Manual

Demonstrations are cataloged according to PIRA Bibliography


Due to Physics Building renovations, the lead time to set up demo requests has increased due to the need to transport equipment across campus. Please be kind and let me know well ahead of time what you need.

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 Measurements and Standards
  video  - Standards of Measurement
 Probability Board
 Coordinate Systems and Vectors
 Vector Addition
  video  - Grains of Rice
 Motion In One Dimension
 Motion In Two Dimensions
 Newton's First Law
 Newton's Second Law
 Newton's Third Law
 Statics Of Rigid Bodies
 Applications Of Newton's Laws
 Work and Energy
 Rotational Motion
 Properties of Matter

Measurements and Standards


A quick introduction to the concept of units of measure.


  1. To give concept of primary and secondary standards, use aluminum block to 'calibrate' meter stick and calipers.
  2. Measurement of fundamental units and their standards.
    • Length: Beyond common examples already shown, discuss use of monochromatic light as a standard reproducible anywhere.
    • Time: From ordinary to atomic clock, i.e., show clock, pendulum, electronic oscillator, stable atomic clock.
    • Mass: Explain gravitiational and inertial mass. Compare unknown to known masses on balance and obtain density of three red blocks and determine the material they are made of.
      • Pine - .51-.64 gm/cc; .640 kg total
      • Aluminum - 2.7 gm/cc; 2.700 kg total
      • Iron - 7-7.9 gm/cc; 7.9 kg total


  • 1 Laser
  • 1 Oscilloscope
  • 1 Meter Stick
  • 1 Vernier Calipers
  • 1 Dual Pan Balance
  • 1 Simple Pendulum
  • 1 Oscillator
  • 3 1000cc. red blocks
  • 1 2"x2"x2" aluminum block