Philosophy for classroom demonstrations

A technique I employ towards cultivating a stimulus for physics inside the classroom is the deployment of carefully crafted practical demonstrations. These are short experiments performed inside the classroom during regular lecture time. I consider these practical demonstrations as one of the last gasps of breath of a dying art where visualizations and remote virtual experiments inundate the Internet.

Given below are some demos I’ve built and employed in the classroom to enliven the teaching of physics. I have assembled photographs and in many cases, video recordings for these demos. Feel free to re-hash this material. Some feedback will however be most appreciated.


modern physics reality



Operation of semiconductor diodesElectricity and Magnetism, Modern Physics
Mutual induction and path dependent electric fieldsElectricity and Magnetism
Magnetic BrakingElectricity and Magnetism
Electromagnetic InductionElectricity and Magnetism
RC CircuitElectricity and Magnetism
Barkhausen EffectElectricity and Magnetism
Meissner EffectElectricity and Magnetism, Solid State Physics
Motional EMFElectricity and Magnetism
Forces on conductors inside magnetic fields and between current carrying conductorsElectricity and Magnetism
Oersted’s lawElectricity and Magnetism
Temperature Dependence of Resistivity of a Metal WireElectricity and Magnetism
Semiconducting behaviour of thermistorElectricity and Magnetism, Solid State Physics
Galton BoardProbability and Statistics
Triboelectricity, Gauss’s law and Van de Graaf GeneratorElectricity and Magnetism
Wimshurst MachineElectricity and Magnetism
Magic eyeModern Physics
Electron diffractionModern Physics, Solid State Physics
Michelson InterfrometerModern Physics, Optics
Statistics of natural radioactivityModern Physics
Data analysis with capacitorElectricity and Magnetism
Optical tunnelingModern Physics, Quantum Physics
Hall effect in Semiconductor materialsModern Physics, Solid State Physics
Fluorescence from quantum dotsModern Physics, Spectroscopy
Energy-time uncertainty exemplified by lifetime broadeningAtomic Physics, Modern Physics
Demonstrating diffraction of lightModern Physics, Optics
X-rays as probes of atomic structureModern Physics
Modern version of J.J. Thomson’s experimentModern Physics
Energy quantizationModern Physics
Franck-Hertz experimentModern Physics
Excitation by electric fieldsModern Physics
Phonon modes in a linear latticeSolid State Physics
Close packing of atomsSolid State Physics
Eddy current and Lenz’s lawElectricity and Magnetism
Bicycle gyroscopeMechanics
Monitoring the ECG
Candle in the WindElectricity and Magnetism
Surface Charges on Current Carrying ConductorsClassroom Demo, Electricity and Magnetism