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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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 Motion In One Dimension
 Motion In Two Dimensions
 Angular Displacement
  video  - Spinning Tray
 Centripetal Force
 Spinning Chain
 Centripetal Acceleration
 Rotational Dynamics
  video  - Ballistics Cart
  video  - Shoot and Drop
 Projectile Motion II
  video  - The Monkey and the Hunter
  video  - Range Gun
 Newton's First Law
 Newton's Second Law
 Newton's Third Law
 Statics Of Rigid Bodies
 Applications Of Newton's Laws
 Work and Energy
 Rotational Motion
 Properties of Matter

Centripetal Acceleration


To demonstrate aspects of acceleration in a rotating system and to show the directions of these accelerations.


First, place accelerometer perpendicular to radius and slowly crank platform noting position of water in the accelerometer. Next, place the accelerometer along the radius and spin. Since the accelerometer is accelerated towards the center of the rotating platform, the water inside will feel a fictitious force pushing it towards the outer edge which can be seen by the change of water level as you look from the inner to the outer edges.


  • Liquid Accelerometer
  • Rotating Coriolis platform on hand crank frame