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

Mutual induction and path dependent electric fields Electricity and Magnetism
Magnetic Braking Electricity and Magnetism
Electromagnetic Induction Electricity and Magnetism
RC Circuit Electricity and Magnetism
Barkhausen Effect Electricity and Magnetism
Meissner Effect Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Physics
Motional EMF Electricity and Magnetism
Forces on conductors inside magnetic fields and between current carrying conductors Electricity and Magnetism
Oersted’s law Electricity and Magnetism
Temperature Dependence of Resistivity of a Metal Wire Electricity and Magnetism
Semiconducting behaviour of thermistor Electricity and Magnetism, Solid State Physics
Galton Board Probability and Statistics
Triboelectricity, Gauss’s law and Van de Graaf Generator Electricity and Magnetism
Wimshurst Machine Electricity and Magnetism
Magic eye Modern Physics
Electron diffraction Modern Physics, Solid State Physics
Michelson Interfrometer Modern Physics, Optics
Statistics of natural radioactivity Modern Physics
Data analysis with capacitor Electricity and Magnetism
Optical tunneling Modern Physics, Quantum Physics
Hall effect in Semiconductor materials Modern Physics, Solid State Physics
Fluorescence from quantum dots Modern Physics, Spectroscopy
Energy-time uncertainty exemplified by lifetime broadening Atomic Physics, Modern Physics
Demonstrating diffraction of light Modern Physics, Optics
X-rays as probes of atomic structure Modern Physics
Modern version of J.J. Thomson’s experiment Modern Physics
Energy quantization Modern Physics
Franck-Hertz experiment Modern Physics
Excitation by electric fields Modern Physics
Phonon modes in a linear lattice Solid State Physics
Close packing of atoms Solid State Physics
Eddy current and Lenz’s law Electricity and Magnetism
Bicycle gyroscope Mechanics
Monitoring the ECG
Candle in the Wind Electricity and Magnetism
Surface Charges on Current Carrying Conductors Classroom Demo, Electricity and Magnetism