b Catholic Memorial Physics Demonstration Page
Iona Physics Demonstrations

Note: Most of the following are JAVA applets. Don't waste time on this page unless your browser supports JAVA.


Some ways in which our senses can fool us.
Rotating Dots A collection of Optical Illusions Illusions collected by Donald Simanek
Florida Election Recount Auditory Illusions: 1 2 Psych Experiment

An eclectic collection of awesome video demonstrations

Another collection of video and audio demonstrations

Mechanics Demonstrations

Pendulum Java Applet Simulation of the Pendulum Experiment. You can perform the entire experiment, or verify results. Undamped, Undriven Pendulum Another experiment you can perform. A stopwatch is provided. In this case you can vary the acceleration of gravity and/or the length of the pendulum. There are also links to a discussion of the theory. Projectile Motion Fire a cannon. Adjust angle, muzzle velocity, add air resistance, if you want.
Cannon This one has more variables you can control including the acceleration of gravity. Sound effects are provided. Newton's Mountain lets you adjust the muzzle velocity of a cannon on a high mountain. This was described by Sir Isaac himself. Contains rudimentary sound effects. There is also a link which permits you to download the applet to your own computer. Virtual Physics Laboratory (Mississippi State University mirror site) Contains many Java applets including Reaction time while braking a car, Vernier scale reading, and others.
Conservation of Momentum Experiment using an air track. Set e=1 for elastic collision. Set e=0 for inelastic collision. Two-dimensional collisions Do your own experiments with conservation of momentum. Galileo's Experiment You drop things from the famous leaning tower.
The Roller Coaster. Have some fun experimenting with mechanics. NASA Movie of hammer and feather dropped on the moon.

Rotational Motion Definitions
Cross Product
Angular Momentum

Graphing Motion (This will download an .exe file which you use to help understand graphing motion) An Advertisement for Honda. The best ad ever!

Variable Length Pendulum


Wave Motion Demonstrations

Iona Prep Wave You move the cursor to demonstrate pulses, longitudinal and transverse waves, and the effect of frequency on wavelength. Colors Shows mixing colors, mixing pigments, and color printing. Both Transverse and Longitudinal waves are demonstrated here.
Refraction of light As it passes from a semi-circular piece of glass into air. (Includes data sheet for mini-lab). Refraction of light as it passes from water into air. You can move the flashlight. Reflection and refraction As light enters a more dense medium.
Total Internal Reflection of light. Dispersion of light as it passes through a glass prism. The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Converging Lens image formation You can adjust the object distance. The focal length and size of the object are fixed. Diverging lens image formation You can adjust the object distance. Other variables are fixed. Thin Lens and Mirror demo. You can adjust all parameters.
The Doppler Effect - a student project with explanations and demonstrations. Doppler Effect animation of sound waves. The Doppler Effect Sound demonstration will play through your sound card. Works only with Internet Explorer.
Double Slit Interference Ripple tank animation. You can vary the distance between the slits and/or the wavelength. Single Slit Diffraction Pattern You adjust the color and the width of the slit. Two Circular waves interfere
Fourier Synthesis of sound waves. This applet turns your sound card into an audio generator and your monitor into an oscilloscope. Interference lets you demonstrate both constructive and destructive interference of waves. Standing Waves shown to be produced by two waves moving in opposite directions.
Interference another example of constructive and destructive interference. The Laser demonstration. Interference: Two circular waves. You move the origins and observe the interference pattern produced.
Beats This is a demonstration of beats which will play through your sound card. Resonance Breaking glass Opera Singer Breaking glass
3-D Picture Beats Interference demo plays through your computer's speakers
Amplitude Modulation Frequency Modulation  

Electricity Demonstrations

Coulomb's Law Fire a proton and see how it moves through a field of charged particles. You place the charges. Charged particles moving in a magnetic field. In this demonstration particles are entering the region of the magnetic field with their velocities being perpendicular to the magnetic field lines. According to the "right or left hand rule" the magnetic force acting on the particle always remains perpendicular to its velocity.

Magnetic Field around a Bar Magnet

Two resistor circuit lab. You may change the voltages and resistances and observe the current changes on meters.

Ohm's law demonstration in a metallic conductor at constant temperature.

Ohm's Law Change variables and see what happens in the circuit.

Charged Rod and pith ball. The pith ball becomes polarized. If you touch it, it becomes changed.
Charging by contact Charging by induction The Electric Force tutorial
Adding resistors in parallel or in series Resistors in Series You pick which resistor is needed to make the circuit function properly. Electric Motor Demonstration
Van de Graaff generator Ohm Zone -Build circuits (shockwave) Soccer Players hurt when lightning hits the field

Atomic Physics Demonstrations

Photoelectric Effect Bohr's Hydrogen Atom Radioactive Decay
Standard Model of Particle Physics    


Miscellaneous Demonstrations

Physics Education Technology a collection covering many physics topics

Walter Fendt's Applets another collection

Wave Animations collection includes the Tacoma Narrows Bridge and many others.

The Internet Plasma Physics Internet Experience Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory has interactive instruction in Atomic Physics and a Virtual ToKAMAK

Also visit the Teacher's page of this site for a list of Java libraries and other resources.

Last Update: by Br. Robert W. Harris

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