About this site
The aim of this site his is to slowly build up a reference cookbook for teachers of physics, a book of recipes for the preparation of demonstrations, experiments and curios to illustrate the principles that make the subject of physics so fascinating and so important to our understanding of the world about us.
You should view the information here as a chef would view any recipe. They are a great starting point but must be adapted and refined to meet the palate of the diners and the style of the chef. I hope to furnish you, the reader, with numerous suggestions so that your repertoire of experiments can be satisfying regardless of weather you’re furnished with a complete university laboratory, or merely the contents of your pockets.
It is true that to find the Higgs boson, or gravitational waves, you need the one piece of equipment capable but the basic principles of the overwhelming majority of our physical knowledge are demonstrable with inclined planes, pendulum bobs, electroscopes, toys, cars and and other pieces you can find in any laboratory, or pound shop for that matter.
Logic, insight, and your efforts to educate can regularly transform the commonplace rolling of a ball down an incline into a profound experiment. The average secondary, or high-school lab contains far better facilities than were available to those who laid the foundations of our science. Faraday made a great advance in his understanding of electricity when he performed what is now known as the ’’ice-pail experiment with the most elementary equipment.
In the study of physics, there is no substitute for experimental observation. In the laboratory students receive training in precise observation and acquire respect for the experimental verification of principles.
However, neither time nor equipment permits a student to perform more than a score or two of the countless experiments that contribute to a thorough understanding of the subject. Hence we turn to demonstration experiments, which by their very number and variety fill a real need in the physics course and at the same time provide the instructor with one of the most helpful methods of “selling’′ physics to a class of students.