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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
 Current and Resistance
 Electromotive Force And Current
 Visual Electricity Demonstrator and Generator
 Electrolysis of Water
 Internal Resistance of Batteries
 Fuel Cell
 Thermoelectric Generator
 Thermoelectric Magnet
 DC Circuits
 Magnetic Materials
 Complex Circuits
 Semiconductors And Tubes
 Transmission Lines and Antennas



To show that an electric current can be carried by an electrolytic solution, and that the result is a chemical charge.


Fill the cell about 2/3 with cupric sulfate and insert the electrodes. Complete battery circuit connecting the copper electrode to the positive terminal of the battery. When current flows, copper is dissolved from the positive electrode and plated on the negative electrode. Reversing the current flow will clean the plated copper off the nickel and plate it back on to the copper electrode. Note that current could be (and once was) defined in terms of the rate of plating a substance out of solution.


  • Carbon rheostat
  • Cupric Sulfate Solution
  • Electrolytic cell with copper and nickel electrode