Center of Mass

Purpose: Explain center of Mass. Parts: Stand with a pendulum wooden block, with the shape of MA Setup: Just hang the wood plate from different holes and find the center of mass. As can be seen from first two pics the pendulum string goes through Worcester. Continue reading »

Dinner Table

Purpose: Illustrate Newton’s First law of motion(Law of inertia). Parts: Dinnerware (Plate, cup, glass and utensils Table cloth (sheet of paper) Setup: Setup the table with dinnerware(should be heavy, paper plates cups won’t work) and the cloth or sheet of paper(picture 1). Continue reading »

Newton’s cradle

Purpose: Explain momentum conservation and Collisions. Parts: Newton’s Cradle Setup : No setting up required. Pull the ball on one end  aside and allow to swing as a pendulum. It hits the next ball and the outcome… Continue reading »

“Atomic trampoline”

Purpose: Describe elastic and inelastic collisions. Parts: Atomic Trampoline set up which contains, One stainless steel base One stainless steel base with a 1/8″ thick disk of Liquid metal glued atop it. Two 14″tall clear plastic tubes. Two small stainless steel ball bearings. Continue reading »

Gravitational Orbits demonstration

Purpose To visualize gravitational orbits. Parts Latex stretched on a frame, found in box marked “Rubber sheet” under shelf M1 4 wooden blocks, found on shelf M1 Assorted metal balls, found on shelf M1 Set up Place latex… Continue reading »


Purpose To illustrate various concepts of circular motion Parts The “Gyrowheel” is found on shelf J3 Setup No setup required. Simply turn on the “Gyrowheel” and let go as desired. Note that there are 3 settings to regulate stability; to go up in stability, one needs to… Continue reading »

Spinning wheel on string

Purpose To illustrate concepts of circular motion such as angular momentum. Parts The wheel with string attached is found between shelves G and H Setup Spin wheel in position perpendicular to floor. Hang it by the string and notice that it stays upright. (see rotating… Continue reading »


Purpose To illustrate circular motion concepts such as moment of inertia. Parts The gyroscope is found on shelf D3 Set up Plug gyroscope into outlet, turn on power switch, and use as you please to demonstrate circular motion concepts.  … Continue reading »

Spinning masses and pulley

Purpose To illustrate the concepts of angular momentum and gravity. Parts The system of masses and pulleys is found on shelf D2 Set up Clamp system down on table. Thread attached string through pulley. Attach weight if desired.  … Continue reading »

Tops and related props

Purpose To illustrate angular momentum and related concepts. Parts The assorted tops are found on shelf D3 Includes special top capable of flipping itself around while spinning Set up Spin the tops as desired.  … Continue reading »

Circular motion props

Purpose To illustrate various concepts of circular motion. Parts All parts are found on shelf D3. Crank to transfer hand motion into bit rotation Various attachments Set up Secure desired attachment to crank and use… Continue reading »

Angular momentum conservation demo

Purpose To visually demonstrate the conservation of angular momentum Parts The apparatus is found fully-assembled on shelf D3. Set up No set up required. Simply spin the two-ball system using the textured knob in the center, and then squeeze handles as much as possible. Notice that the… Continue reading »

Spring scales

Purpose May be used as demo to illustrate gravity/springs and relationships among the associated forces. Parts A lot of scales, found on shelf C2 More scales, found under shelf C1 Ring stand and clamp Set up No set up required unless… Continue reading »

Two-body system

Purpose May be used to demonstrate the principle of center of mass and circular motion Parts The two-body system is found fully-assembled on shelf C3. Setup No setup required. simply twirl the system as in the photo below to illustrate concepts of center of mass and circular motion. Continue reading »

Mass on spring (incomplete)

Purpose: Investigate the dependence of the period of the system on the mass, spring constant and the amplitude. Parts: Two masses Two springs Holder Setup: Setup contains two hanging masses from springs. The spring constant/mass(k/m) ratio for  spring+mass systems are same. So that the frequency of oscillations or the time… Continue reading »

Shadow projection of circular motion

Purpose: Describe Simple Harmonic motion as projection of circular motion. Parts: Turntable Ball with a metal stand(cylinder) Pendulum Setup: Keep the ball on the metal cylinder and place it on the turntable as shown in the picture.  Adjust the height of the pendulum, so that two balls are in… Continue reading »

Rotating Platform

Purpose: Conservation of Angular Momentum. Parts: Rotating platform Weights Bicycle wheel Setup: Keep the platform on the floor, let a volunteer stand on it(feet should spread out and align the body so that the center of mass is right over the center of mass of the platform). Continue reading »


Purpose The steelyard balance has been around since ancient times. It works by employing a counterweight and lever to weigh objects. Leverage is adjusted by sliding the counterweight on a metal arm. The balance may be used to demonstrate the principles of torque and center of mass. Parts The steelyard… Continue reading »

Magdeburg Hemispheres

Purpose: Illustrate the concept of Atmospheric pressure. Parts: Two hemispheres Vacuum pump Setup: Setup contains a pair of hemispheres with mating rims. One of them have a tube connection attached to the pump.  Keep the two hemispheres together (keep the two circular cross sections together) and suck the… Continue reading »

Loop the loop

Purpose This demonstration may be used to illustrate the concepts involved in circular motion. For example, one can perform a calculation to determine the minimum height of release required for the steel ball to make it through the loop. Parts All required parts other than ring stand are found on… Continue reading »

Pail of water

Purpose: Illustrate the idea of centripetal and centrifugal forces and accelerations. Parts: Bucket with water, or glass of water on the base shown in the pictures. Setup: Hold the setup from the hanger and spin it around in a vertical circle with a certain speed. The water stays inside… Continue reading »

Ball in a bowl

Purpose: Explain the force and acceleration in Circular motion Parts: Tray with a circular track made with clay & steel ball. Setup: Let the ball go along the circular path and guess what path will it take at the end 1,2,3  or 4 ?… Continue reading »

Penny on turntable

Purpose: Motion of an object traveling in a circle. Parts: Turntable Penny Setup: Plug the turn table lead to the wall outlet, set a desired speed. Place few pennies with different distances from the center. Turn the table ON with the little black switch. Continue reading »

Atwood Machine (incomplete)

Purpose: Demonstrates basic principles of dynamics and acceleration. Parts: Pulleys String Set of masses Pulley holder. Setup: Set it up as shown in the pictures. The velocities/accelerations can be logged using Labquest interface box. Change the hanging masses and watch the accelerations. Continue reading »

Falling Drops

Falling drops setup

Introduction The falling drops demonstration is a way for students to observe the motion of an object under a constant acceleration (in this case, from gravity). By timing the flashing of a strobe light to sync with a water pump, fluorescing falling water drops appear to freeze midair. Students can… Continue reading »

Feather and Penny

Purpose The feather and penny demonstration shows how air resistance affects falling objects. A penny and feather are in a tube, and when the tube is flipped, the feather takes more time to fall than the penny. But when the air is evacuated from the tube, both fall in the… Continue reading »

Galileo Ramp

Galileo drop final set up

Introduction Final set up of Galileo drop To observe the displacement of an object at constant acceleration, a cart is sent down an inclined air track, with flags or sticky notes marking positions on the track. These positions correspond to the increasing distances traveled over equal time intervals. A… Continue reading »

Fan Cart and Motor Cart

Fan cart final setup Introduction The motion of different types of carts on a track, one with a fan that creates a constant acceleration, the other with a motor that creates a constant velocity, can be graphed onto a classroom computer by a sonic ranger. Weights are available for… Continue reading »