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125 Wickedly Fun Ways to Test the Laws of Physics!
Now you can prove your knowledge of physics without expending a lot of energy. 125 Physics Projects for the Evil Genius is filled with hands-on explorations into key areas of this fascinating field. Best of all, these experiments can be performed without a formal lab, a large budget, or years of technical experience!
Using easy-to-find parts and tools, this do-it-yourself guide offers a wide variety of physics experiments you can accomplish on your own. Topics covered include motion, gravity, energy, sound, light, heat, electricity, and more. Each of the projects in this unique guide includes parameters, a detailed methodology, expected results, and an explanation of why the experiment works. 125 Physics Projects for the Evil Genius:
- Features step-by-step instructions for 125 challenging and fun physics experiments, complete with helpful illustrations
- Allows you to customize each experiment for your purposes
- Includes details on the underlying principles behind each experiment
- Removes the frustration factor--all required parts are listed, along with sources
125 Physics Projects for the Evil Genius provides you with all of the information you need to demonstrate:
- Constant velocity
- Circular motion and centripetal force
- Gravitational acceleration
- Newton's laws of motion
- Energy and momentum
- The wave properties of sound
- Refraction, reflection, and the speed of light
- Thermal expansion and absolute zero
- Electrostatic force, resistance, and magnetic levitation
- The earth's magnetic field
- The size of a photon, the charge of an electron, and the photoelectric effect
- And more
Table of Contents
Section 1: Motion
Project 1. Getting started. Constant velocity. Running the gauntlet.
Project 2. Picturing motion. Getting a move on.
Project 3. The tortoise and the hare. Playing catch-up.
Project 4. How does a sailboat sail against the wind? Components of force.
Project 5. Stepping on the gas.
Project 6. Rolling downhill. Measuring acceleration.
Project 7. Independence of horizontal and vertical motion. Basketball tossed from a rolling chair.
Project 8. Target practice. Horizontal projectile--rolling off a table.
Project 9. Taking aim. Shooting a projectile at a target.
Project 10. Monday night football. Tracking the trajectory.
Project 11. Monkey and coconut.
Section 2: Going Around in Circles
Project 12. What is the direction of a satellite's velocity?
Project 13. Centripetal force. What is the string that keeps the planets in orbit?
Project 14. A gravity well. Following a curved path in space.
Project 15. How fast can you go around a curve? Centripetal force and friction.
Project 16. Ping-pong balls racing in a beaker. Centripetal force.
Project 17. Swinging a pail of water over your head.
Section 3: Gravity
Project 18. Feather and coin.
Project 19. How fast do things fall?
Project 20. The buck stops here (the falling dollar.) Using a meterstick to measure time.
Project 21. Weightless water. Losing weight in an elevator.
Project 22. What planet are we on? Using a swinging object to determine the gravitational acceleration.
Section 4. Force and Newton's Law
Project 23. Newton's first law. What to do if you spill gravy on the tablecloth at Thanksgiving dinner.
Project 24. Newton's first law. Poker chips, weight on a string, and a frictionless puck.
Project 25. Newton's second law. Forcing an object to accelerate.
Project 26. Newton's third law. Equal and opposite reactions.
Project 27. Newton's third law. Bottle rockets. Why do they need water? (Sir Isaac Newton in the passenger's seat.)
Project 28. Pushing water. Birds flying inside a truck.
Project 29. Slipping and sliding.
Project 30. Springs. Pulling back. The further you go, the harder it gets.
Project 31. Atwood's machine. A vertical tug of war.
Project 32. Terminal velocity. Falling slowly.
Project 33. Balancing act. Painter on a scaffold.
Project 34. Hanging sign.
Project 35. Pressure. Imploding cans.
Project 36. Pressure. Supporting water in a cup.
Project 37. Pressure. Sometimes the news can be pretty heavy.
Project 38. Archimedes's principle. What floats your boat?
Project 39. Cartesian diver.
Project 40. An air-pressure fountain.
Project 41. Blowing up a marshmallow. Less is s'more. Why astronauts do not use shaving cream in space.
Project 42. Relaxing on a bed of nails.
Project 43. Blowing hanging cans apart. What Bernouli had to say about this.
Project 44. Center of mass. How to balance a broom.
Project 45. A simple challenge. Move your fingers to the center of a meterstick.
Project 46. Center of gravity. How far can a stack of books extend beyond the edge of a table?
Project 47. Center of mass. The leaning tower of pizza.
Section 5: Energy/Momentum
Project 48. The pendulum and your physics teacher's Ming dynasty vase.
Project 49. Two slopes. Different angle, same height.
Project 50. Racing balls. The high road versus the low road.
Project 51. Linear momentum. Where can you find a perfect 90-degree angle in nature?
Project 52. Elastic collisions.
Project 53. Inelastic collision. Sticking together.
Project 54. Impulse and momentum. Eggstreme physics.
Project 55. Using gravity to move a car.
Project 56. How can CSI measure muzzle velocity? The ballistic pendulum.
Project 57. Angular momentum. Riding a bike.
Project 58. Moment of inertia. Ice skaters and dumbbells.
Project 59. What caused Voyager to point in the wrong direction?
Project 60. Moment of inertia. The great soup can race or that's how I roll.
Project 61. Making waves. I thought I node this.
Project 62. Rolling uphill.
Project 63. Getting around the loop. From how far above the ground does the roller coaster need to start?
Section 6: Sound and Waves
Project 64. What does sound look like? Oscilloscope wave forms.
Project 65. Ripple tank.
Project 66. Simple harmonic motion. The swinging pendulum.
Project 67. Simple harmonic motion. The spring pendulum.
Project 68. Generating sine waves.
Project 69. Natural frequency.
Project 70. Bunsen burner pipe organ. Resonant frequency.
Project 71. Springs and electromagnets. Resonance.
Project 72. Speed of sound. Timing an echo old school. Why Galileo couldn't do this with light.
Project 73. Speed of sound. Resonance in a cylinder.
Project 74. Racing against sound. Doppler effect.
Project 75. Adding sounds. Beat frequency.
Project 76. Pendulum waves.
Project 77. Using waves to measure the speed of sound.
Section 7: Light
Project 78. Ray optics. Tracing the path of light using a laser.
Project 79. Two candles, one flame.
Project 80. Laser obstacle course.
Project 81. Light intensity. Putting distance between yourself and a source of light.
Project 82. How do we know that light is a wave? Thomas Young's double slit experiment with a diffraction grating.
Project 83. How to measure the size of a light wave.
Project 84. The speed of light in your kitchen. Visiting the local hot spots.
Project 85. Refraction. How fast does light travel in air or water?
Project 86. Polarization. Sunglasses and calculator displays.
Project 87. What is the wire of a fiber-optic network? Total internal reflection using a laser and a tank of water.
Project 88. The disappearing beaker.
Section 8: Hot and Cold
Project 89. How much heat is needed to melt Greenland? Heat of fusion.
Project 90. A water thermometer.
Project 91. What is the coldest possible temperature? Estimating absolute zero.
Project 92. Liquid nitrogen.
Project 93. Boiling water in a paper cup.
Project 94. Boiling water with ice.
Project 95. Seeback effect/Peltier effect. Semiconductor heating.
Section 9: Electricity and Magnetism
Project 96. Static changes.
Project 97. Making lightning. The van de Graaff generator.
Project 98. The Wimshurst machine. Separating and storing charges.
Project 99. Running into resistance. Ohm's law.
Project 100. Circuits: Bulbs and buzzers.
Project 101. How does heat affect resistance?
Project 102. Resistivity. Can iron conduct electricity better than copper?
Project 103. Storing charge. Capacitors.
Project 104. Is the magnetic force more powerful than gravity?
Project 105. Magnetic levitation using induction. Electromagnetic ring tosser.
Project 106. Magnetic levitation using superconductivity. The Meissner effect.
Project 107. Moving electrons produce a magnetic field. Oersted's experiment. The magnetic field of a current-carrying wire.
Project 108. Faraday's experiment. Current generated by a magnet.
Project 109. If copper is not magnetic, how can it affect a falling magnet? Lenz's law.
Project 110. Effect of a magnet on an electron beam. The right-hand rule for magnetic force.
Project 111. What is the shape of a magnetic field?
Project 112. What happens to a current-carrying wire in a magnetic field?
Project 113. A no-frills motor.
Project 114. Magnetic accelerator.
Project 115. Alternating current.
Project 116. The diode. An electronic one-way valve.
Section 10: The Earth
Project 117. Measuring the Earth's magnetic field.
Project 118. Weighing the Earth.
Section 11: The Twentieth Century
Project 119. What is the size of a photon?
Project 120. How is a hydrogen atom like the New Jersey turnpike? Seeing the energy levels of the Bohr atom.
Project 121. Photoelectric effect.
Project 122. Millikan oil-drop experiment. Mystery marbles. Understanding how the experiment worked.
Project 123. Ping-pong ball chain reaction.
Project 124. The sodium doublet. Why do we think the electron has both up and down spins?
Project 125. Building a cloud chamber. Why muons should not be here. Special relativity.
About the Author
Jerry Silver has developed components for terrestrial photovoltaic systems and designed solar arrays currently providing power for over 20 commercial and NASA satellites. He participated in the production of high-performance semiconductor materials used for cell phone transistors, optical communication, and multijunction solar cells. Mr. Silver holds a B.S. in Engineering Physics from Cornell University and an M.S. in Physics from the University of Massachusetts. Mr. Silver currently teaches in the New Jersey area.