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Al Tobias (wat4y) - Office: Rm. 201, (434) 924-0538 - Lab: Rm. 202, (434) 924-6800

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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 Geometrical Optics
 Speed of Light
 1/r2 Demonstrator
  video  - Ray Optics Kit
 Confocal Mirrors
 Concave Mirror
  video  - Light The Match
 Disappearing Beaker
 String Model of Refraction
 Total Internal Reflection
 Steal the Light
 Light Pipe and Fiber Optics
 Water Light Pipe
 Thin Lenses with Objects
 The Eye

String Model of Refraction


A simple demonstration of refraction at flat surfaces as a consequence of the wave length change in a different media.


A bicycle wheel with the strings strung across the wheel to represent the wave front and the metal plate with holes to represent a media boundary. Fix one end of the strings array on the wheel rim. If the spacing between the strings represents the wavelength, demonstrate that refraction is the consequence of the wavelength change in a different media, namely in order to have smaller spacing between the strings the light has to bend after crossing the media boundary.