Physics at the University of Virginia
Academics People Research Announcements Facilities Adminstration Home Updates

Return to Demo Lab Homepage

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.

Choose a Topic or Enter a keyword to search:
I cannot find what I want!

You have selected the following Demos:
  • None Selected

Choose a subtopic:
(Clicking a green button will add that demo to your list)
 Electric Fields And Potential
  video  - Van de Graaff Generator
  video  - Electrostatic Bell
 Electric Lines of Force
 Electrostatic Motor
  video  - Electric Fields
  video  - Gauss' Law
 Radio in Faraday Cage
  video  - Fluorescent Bulb in Faraday Cage
  video  - Lightning Rod
  video  - Electric Wind
 Ionic Drive
  video  - Smoke Precipitator
 Current and Resistance
 Electromotive Force And Current
 DC Circuits
 Magnetic Materials
 Complex Circuits
 Semiconductors And Tubes
 Transmission Lines and Antennas

 video  - Electrostatic Bell


To show the phenomenon of charge by induction and contact and the musical results thereof.


centered image

Connect each electrode of Wimshurst machine to each plate of capacitor. Make separation between plates about 4-5 cm. and hang aluminum ball in between plates. Crank Wimshurst machine slowly and ball will be attracted to a plate by induction. After touching the plate, the ball acquires the plate's charge and is attracted to the other plate. This continues as long as the Wimshurst machine is cranked and produces a bell-like tone.


  • Wimshurst Machine
  • Aluminum ball hanging from thread
  • Connecting Wires
  • Parallel Plate Capacitor