Physics Demos

Remember that all Projects must include: Research on the theory of the science and/or engineering, a literature review, and original science research and/or engineering design.

Idea Explanation Do this if you like … Resources
Make a Physics Movie Make the next ‘myth busters’ YouTube movie. With a demonstration of the question and the science behind the answer. Science. Explaining things and delving deeply into a topic. Also, the movie making process. Peeing on Electric Fence

Summer Science

IR Camera Make a camera that takes picture of infrared light instead of visible light. Then see what’s crawling around at night and/or take pictures of your friends to see who’s the hottest. Optics, photography, hacking into a camera and understanding how a camera works in full detail.
Tesla Coil Do a search on internet and then come see me to talk about your ideas. Lightning. Electronics. Amazing an audience Matt Lam’s Tesla Coil


Shaker Table A table that can shake at any frequency, thus showing resonance phenomenon and earthquake testing for buildings, bridges. Mechanical things, like bridges and sky scrappers. Can use this to study Earthquake proofing. Earthquakes
High Speed Camera Use a high speed camera to see what happens as a bullet goes through a block of wood. As a baseball is smashed by a bat. The possibilities are endless. Seeing what’s really going on. Video. Physics. High Speed Camera

Isaac’s High Speed Photo

A $14 Steady Camera

Make a Physics Simulation Use Visual Python to make a physics simulaiton like the ones on PHET. You’ll help future generations of physics students and be famous forever (at least at Menlo). Physics and programming. Visual Python

Visual Python Sandbox

Breaking Glass with Sound Waves


Breaking glass with base speakers (see Dr. Dann for design)
Breaking a Wine Glass with Sound Waves
Another Breaking Wine Glass, More Nuts and Bolts
Magnetic Field Probe Make a magnetic field probe from Asahi chips and a programable processor that then dumps voltage data into Labquest. Being on the cutting edge. Electronics and science.
Electromagnetic Launcher Design Instructions (class room demo)

Serious Badass Launchers (no you can not do this in my class, but I can teach you how for later)

Shooting things. Some basic electronics. Building things. Barry’s Coilgun Design Site (a great site that helps you optimize your design)

Coil Gun Theory and Designs

Rocket Contest   Rockets. Rocket Contest Registration and Rules
Gauss Gun Build a gun that works on the power of magnetism. Magnetism and shooting things. There are many sites, so do your own search.
Ping Pong Blaster All you need is a PVC pipe, a pingpong ball (international competition ball) and some packing tape. Use the Vacuum pump and when air is all out, poke a hole and look out! Building things. Measuring things (like it’s velocity, spin, etc.). A great combination of engineering and physics.
Bowling Ball Demo Build a hanging bowling ball to scare freshman and teach them conservation of energy. Then think of other demos you can do with it. Building things. Scaring people. YouTube video
(make a better one, because this one is pretty boring)
Cloud Chamber Build your own cloud chamber and see particles from space and/or radiation.