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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

 video  - Range Gun


To show how the range of a projectile depends on its initial velocity and angle of inclination.


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Use pieces of tape to mark where the ball lands on the table or use a box or bucket to catch the ball. The level on the gun shows the angle at which the projectile is launched. This information can be used to find the initial velocity of the ball. Change the angle on the gun and predict where the ball will land using the previously calculated initial velocity. The ball velocity can be set to three different levels by how far one presses the ball into the gun spring assembly, 1-click, 2-clicks or 3 clicks.

Phet Simulation - Projectile Motion


At the "short range" setting (first click) the maximum range of the ball is just under 2 meters so the 2-meter stick set on the table is a convenient measuring device. Have a student stand in front or behind the bench to mark the position where the ball lands.

One can show for a ball shot out of the gun at same initial velocity but two different angles (which add up to 90 degrees), the range is the same. For example, when fired at 30 and 60 degrees, the ball makes it into a bucket both times.


  • Range gun apparatus