Demonstrations and Experiments

SPS utilizes a variety of experiments to demonstrate a wide range of physics topics. Below are just a few of the concepts and related demonstrations regularly covered during outreach events.


Sodium lamp: illustrates monochromatic light.

Polarizing sheets: demonstrates how light can be filtered, how polarized 3D glasses and sunglasses work.

Archimedean Mirrors: Concave mirrors that reflect light to ignite a match to demonstrate mirror optics and transfer of energy through light.


Electricity and Magnetism

Tesla coil: used with various light bulbs and gas discharge tubes to demonstrate electric fields.

Copper tubes and magnets: demonstrates eddy currents.

Van de Graaff Generator: demonstrates effects of static charge and discharge.



Euler’s Disk: explores the motion of a spinning disk on a curved surface.

Bicycle wheel gyroscope (Susan’s Bike): demonstrates angular momentum and its conservation, procession.

Momentum Beads: a string of beads that demonstrate conservation of momentum.


Modern Physics

Gravity Well: Simulates the fabric of space time by simulating gravitational attraction.

Levitating Superconductor: demonstrates magnetic locking via the Meissner effect.