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Experiment Objectives

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Instruct the students about surface tension, minimal surfaces geometry, surfactants, film thickness, reflection.


Instruct the students about mass, volume, density, quantitative measurements, and surface tension.


Instruct the students about pressure, suction, siphoning, hydrostatics, how straws work, and surface level equilibrium.


Instruct the students about pneumatics, pressure, and over pressure.


Instruct the students about static electricity. Concepts include: net charge, induction, charge transfer, Coulomb’s law.


Instruct the students about batteries, electrolytes, anodes, cathodes, voltage, current, resistance, and use of a multimeter.


Instruct the students about a complete circuit, continuous paths for electrons, measuring current and voltage to calculate power, preliminary series and parallel.


Instruct the students about series circuits, voltage, current, voltage addition, and power.


Instruct the students about resistance in series and parallel, Ohmic, and non-Ohmic resistors.


Instruct the students about capacitors, capacitance, electrical energy storage, and equation analysis.


Give students a hands-on opportunity to learn about wiring that is actually used in their everyday life: switches, receptacles, and lights.


Instruct the students about magnetism, magnets, field lines, ferromagnetism, Earth’s magnetosphere, and electromagnets.


 Instruct the students about relays and circuitry.


 Instruct the students about right hand rule, motors, generators, and torque.


Instructs students about diodes and applies a number of other circuit and electronic components the students have learned about (capacitors, generators, and relays). This experiment was published in The Physics Teacher, 2007.


Instruct the students about speakers, microphones, induction, amplification, recording and transmission of sound, and electromagnetism.


Instruct the students about sound, frequency, instruments, and overtones.


Instruct the students about amplitude, standing waves, and overtones.


Instruct the students about period, frequency, amplitude, wave velocity, resonance, pendulums, standing waves, and chambers.


Instruct the students about geometrical optics, reflection, and refraction.


Note, this demo is best used in the winter term because it can be too humid in the fall.


Students mix RGB light to make different colors.


Observe and measure light outputs and efficiencies of different types of light bulbs.​


To teach the concepts of vector addition, the net force/torque as the vector sum of multiple forces/torques, torque as vectors, right hand rule for torque vector directions, unit conversion, mechanical advantage and center of gravity.


To demonstrate that all objects fall with the same acceleration under the influence of gravity irrespective of mass and that projectile motion is the superposition of horizontal motion with constant velocity and vertical motion with a constant acceleration and that these two motions are completely independent of each other.



To demonstrate Newton’s three laws of motion .


To teach the definitions of work and energy, kinetic energy, gravitational potential energy, the Work-Energy Theorem, to demonstrate non-conservative work due to friction and to demonstrate energy conservation for cars rolling down ramps.


To demonstrate the concepts of density, buoyancy, Archimedes’ Principle and surface tension .


To demonstrate the concepts of pressure, compressible and incompressible fluids, hydrostatic pressure of a fluid column, continuity (mass conservation) in fluid flow, Pascal’s Principle, Pascal’s Law, gauge pressure, work and energy in a flowing fluid and Bernoulli effects due to the inverse relationship between flow speed and pressure in a moving fluid.


To instruct the students about optical instruments formed from multiple optical elements:   periscopes, compound microscopes, refracting telescopes and reflecting telescopes.


To instruct the students about the interference of light and the use of diffraction as an experimental tool.


To instruct the students about geometrical optics: ray tracing and the formation of real and virtual images by a pinhole and a thin converging lens.   Also to demonstrate practical instruments based on a single thin lens:   light house, slide projector and camera.


Instruct students on energy, sources of power conversions, and have them construct a working calorimeter to take data.


Instruct students about ​solar energy, sources to extract that energy, and consequences of solar heating.


Instruct students to apply topics explored in Solar Heating and Solar Energy lab, given a set of supplies, to measure the thermal expansion of the world's oceans.


Instruct students to explore the idea of what makes a solid, liquid, and gas.  Then observe and record observations about substances that change phase.


Instruct students to construct a primitive camera to explore how lenses work and quality of images from them.  ​


Instruct students to ​perform copper electroplating and to perform electrodeposition of thin films to produce fractal patterns.