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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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 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

Radio in Faraday Cage


To demonstrate Gauss's law and the shielding effect of a conductor.


Tune a radio to a station with a clear signal. Place the radio on top of an aluminum plate and cover with a metal mesh. The radio stops receiving signals.

We have a small cage (dia=17cm, height=10cm) with an average mesh opening size of about 8x8mm. We have a large cage (dia=35cm, height=32cm) with an average mesh opening size of 6x6mm.

Our new ultra portable is a Crane CC Pocket radio, here is its instruction manual.

Note: Some carrier frequencies ...
  • AM Band: 540-1600kHz has λ = 556m to 188m
  • FM Band: 88-108MHz has λ = 3.5m to 2.8m
  • Cellular: 700-900MHz has λ = 0.43m to 0.33m
  • Cellular: 1700MHz-2500MHz has λ = 0.18m to 0.12m
  • WiFi: 2.4-2.5GHz has λ = 0.125m to 0.120m


When using the Radio Shack Realistic radio with the small cage, it might be better to lay the radio on its side (with antenna side up) rather than lay it on its back.