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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
 Rotational Motion
 Rotational Inertia Rods
  video  - Rolling Objects and Moments of Inertia
  video  - Moment of Inertia Wheel
  video  - The Falling Rigid Body
  video  - Vector Nature of Angular Momentum
 Hero's engine
  video  - Precession of Bicycle Wheel Under Gravity Force
 Suitcase Gyro
 Air Gyro
 Euler's Disk
 Tippe Top
 Properties of Matter

Hero's engine


To demonstrate conservation of angular momentum of an isolated system.


Fill the Hero's Engine flask with water well below the level of the two reaction jets. Seal the top with a cork stopper (make sure it is tight, so it will not "pop" off like a rocket). Heat the water using a Bunsen burner.


First described by Hero of Alexandria (10-70 AD) as a steam-powered device called an aeolipile known today as a "Hero engine". It is considered to be the first recorded steam engine.