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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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 Quantum Effects
 Atomic Physics
 Nuclear Physics
 Geiger counter
  video  - Mouse Trap Atomic Bomb
 Daedalon Geiger Counter
 Spark Detector for Alpha Particles
 Diffusion Cloud Chamber
 Larmor Precession/NMR

 video  - Mouse Trap Atomic Bomb


To simulate a fission chain reaction.


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Set each mouse trap as you place them inside the housing. If the demo is on a cart and not yet at its final destination (ie. in Demo Lab but must go to one of the classrooms later) do not yet load the traps with balls. With all traps set, one can gently move demo on cart to final classroom destination. Place two neutron bouncy balls on each trap so they will be thrown when the trap is triggered. When all is ready, drop a neutron bouncy ball through the opening on the top of the Plexiglas housing. An exciting chain reaction will ensue with "neutrons" flying all over. When cleaning up the debris, be very careful as there are usually some fissionable material left over which can cause "burns".


  • Mouse traps
  • Plexiglass Housing
  • Small Superballs