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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

Energy Conversion and Conservation


To demonstrate energy convertability and conservation using piezoelectric effect and solar cell.


Pump the level arm of piezoelectric crystal set up with short, rapid strokes to produce the spark between the ball point ends.
Shine light on solar cell which converts electrical and then mechanical energy. Similar with the solar battery powered car.
Blow compressed air on the wind turbine to produce light.
Turn the friction conversion apparatus on. The apparatus shows the friction force torque, counts number of turns and measures the increase of the temperature which allows for quantitative estimate of the conversion of mechanical into thermal energy.


Use a bright flood light but do not bring it too close to the solar cells, for it will melt the plastic casing of the cells.


  • Piezoelectric Demonstrator
  • Solar Car
  • Solar Cell
  • Wind Turbine