ABOUT THESE DEMONSTRATIONS:

This physics WWW site is an effort to make available an on-line source of information and pictures used for preparing and performing undergraduate lecture demonstrations at the University of California Physics Department at Berkeley. This site deals with demonstrations for the subjects of:

Demonstrations

Downloads

Users can download Physics Notebooks in PDF format
The words 'Notebook 'A' etc. are a reference to actual hardcopy handwritten notebooks filled with drawings and instructions that have accumulated over the years. The numbering system used in the notebooks is somewhat antiquated, -but it is still the system we use to catalog the demonstrations. We recognize the good work of the PIRA lecture demonstration classification scheme used at other schools, and hope to eventually create a 'Cross-Index' so that people using the PIRA system may more quickly locate an equivalent demo at our site.

One can click the mouse pointer on the 'Icons' in the graphic at the top of the page to go to a desired section. Or, if the graphics option is disabled in the net-browsing program, one can simply click on the desired text. The list of all the demos can be searched by clicking on the 'Index to Demos' button or text. One can browse through the list, or search for a key word using the 'Find' features of the net-browsing program. The 'Things of Interest' section contains MPEG movies and fun pictures, etc.

This site contains many of the old, classic, well-known favorite demonstrations. It also contains an assortment of new and also less well-known 'demos'. This collection of demos is intended to give a brief idea of what is available. It is not, however, totally complete. Some older and less popular demos have not been included, and new demos are always being developed. Berkeley physics professors who use lecture demos will find it helpful to exchange ideas with the Lecture Demonstration Staff. They often know better ways to demonstrate a concept or experiment. Demos that do not yet exist can often be constructed. For Berkeley professors, it is still helpful to look at the notebooks in room 72 LeConte. These notebooks often contain additional information not included in this on-line collection.

It is sometimes complained that demonstrations use up some of the instructor's class time. However, it can be time very well spent. A good demo helps spark interest and can liven up a class. The visual impact of a good demo can help to make a concept clearer and more 'real' in the mind of a student. Years after taking a class, the demos are often what a student remembers with the greatest clarity. A lot of the demos are fun!

Some of the demos are easily performed; others require more skill or preparation. With all of these demos, it is a good idea to test the apparatus out before a lecture begins. (Many of the demo 'failures' during a lecture are because the apparatus is not being used correctly, or not enough time is allowed.) Occasionally a demo will fail completely,- but it does not have to be a loss: it is a reflection of how things operate in the real world!

We would appreciate any feedback and suggestions for changes in this on-line collection.

Further Demo questions can be directed to Roberto Barrueto or Danae Havice-Hull at (510) 642-3267. You can also send e-mail messages to demos@physics.berkeley.edu


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