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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
 Applications Of Newton's Laws
 Work and Energy
 Potential Energy
 Simple Machines
  video  - Inclined Plane
 Human Lever Arm
  video  - Conservative System
  video  - Pendulum with Moveable Peg
  video  - Loop - the - Loop
 Ball in Curved Tracks
 Maxwell's Wheel (Yo-Yo)
 Work Done by a Compressed Spring
  video  - Work Done on a Cart
 Energy Conversion and Conservation
 Rotational Motion
 Properties of Matter

Work Done by a Compressed Spring


To verify quantitatively the work done when a compressed spring is released.


Slide 0.192kg travel car into launcher car and secure launch lever. Measure spring displacement. While holding launcher car in place, launch travel car. Note velocity on computer display. The Capstone software calculates speed by measuring time it takes car's 1cm wide flag to go thru photogate. Measure spring constant of launcher by hanging weights on the spring and noting the displacement.

Quantitatively here are some numbers:
Mass of the Travel Cart = 0.192kg
Cart Velocity = 1.15m/s
Spring Constant = 28.6N/m
Spring Compression = 0.095m
with these numbers we get conservation of energy within 2%


Use Capstone experiment file "Work_Done_by_Compressed_Spring.cap". Single photogate plugs into Digital Channel #1.


  • Timer
  • Air Track
  • Gliders w/ spring attachment
  • Weights