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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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  video  - Kinds of Charge and Charging
  video  - Attraction and Repulsion Between Charged Objects
  video  - Charging by Induction
  video  - Lord Kelvin's Water-Drop Electrostatic Generator
  video  - Wimshurst Machine
  video  - Fun Fly Stick
  video  - Xerox
  video  - Fluorescent Bulb in Faraday Cage
 Electric Fields And Potential
 Current and Resistance
 Electromotive Force And Current
 DC Circuits
 Magnetic Materials
 Complex Circuits
 Semiconductors And Tubes
 Transmission Lines and Antennas

 video  - Lord Kelvin's Water-Drop Electrostatic Generator


To demonstrate the build up of static electrical charge via repulsion of electrons in a conductor and ions in the water.


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  DEMO VIDEO DOWNLOAD w/ sound / 1920x1080 / 24.19Mb/s / 665MB size  

  DEMO VIDEO DOWNLOAD w/ sound / 854x480 / 5.69Mb/s / 157MB size  

Set up the Lord Kelvin's water-drop generator by filling the water tank at the bottom with water and running the pump (do not start it dry) and introducing some initial charge to one of the conducting "rings" using a teflon rod. Watch the sparks fly. For about 3mm spacing between the discharge rods and properly adjusted water flow rate one should see a spark ~ every 10 seconds.


Do not start the pump dry. Make sure the water flow valves are open before starting the pump. Use a cheater plug to connect pump to the power outlet (ie. do not ground water pump).