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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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 Surface Tension
 Fluid Statics
 Fluid Dynamics
  video  - Torricelli's Law
 Air Driven Devices
  video  - Venturi Tube
 Toilet paper gun
  video  - Airplane Wing in Wind Tunnel
  video  - Air Flow Dynamics
 Magnus Effect - Cart on Track
  video  - Magnus Effect Appartus
 Terminal Velocity in Glycerin and Water
 Terminal Velocity of Coffee Filters
  video  - Laminar and Turbulent Flow
 Tornado Vortex
 Vortex Cannon

 video  - Air Flow Dynamics


To demonstrate the action of air flow on different objects.


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 video DEMO VIDEO DOWNLOAD w/ sound  

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  1. Curve ball may be demonstrated by using the thrower and Styrofoam ball. The ball curves in the direction of the leading edge spin.
  2. Ping-pong ball may be supported on a jet of compressed air (held vertical or at an angle) and may also be held in a funnel expelling air. There is a leaf blower & beach ball version as well.
  3. The Plexiglas plates can be held together with quite an impressive force by blowing air through the nozzle and bringing the plates together.
  4. The capillary (atomizer) can be made to raise the water all the way to the top by blowing the air across the capillary top opening and thus lowering the pressure. A spray of water will result.
  5. By carefully blowing into the recyclable tube the ball can be made to go round and round.


Leaf blower & beach ball for large lecture spaces: Red Toro 51586 Leaf Blower Manual (140 mph)

When extending the plastic flexible tubing for the compressed air line, please use thicker wall tubing to avoid "blow outs".


  • Ping-Pong Ball
  • Styrofoam ball and thrower
  • Rubber Air Hose
  • Plexiglass Plates (one has a nozzle for air)
  • Funnel w/ Attached Rubber Tube