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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
 Newton's First Law
 Newton's Second Law
 Newton's Third Law
 Statics Of Rigid Bodies
  video  - Center of Mass of Virginia
  video  - Center of Mass Toys
 Stacking Blocks
  video  - Stability Track
  photos  - Tension in a String
 Rope and Three Students
  photos  - Knot in Static Equilibrium
 Force and Tension
 The Roman Arch
 Rotational Equilibrium
  video  - Giant Yo-Yo
 Applications Of Newton's Laws
 Work and Energy
 Rotational Motion
 Properties of Matter

The Roman Arch


To investigate the construction of a particular form of architecture, i.e., the Roman Arch.


The blocks are numbered according to position and order so the arch can be constructed in front of the class and then tested for strength. A detailed force-vector matrix analysis can be done to see how the arch grows stronger as more force is applied to it (up to an upper limit, of course). Discuss the need for thorough study before building any structure that will be subject to stresses and strains.


  • Set of Roman Arch blocks