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An Ultimate Elevator Ride: Weight and Apparent Weight Demonstration

Marina Milner-Bolotin, Department of Physics, Ryerson University

We all know that some concepts are harder for students to comprehend than others. The concepts of weight, apparent weight and weightlessness are often stumbling blocks for many of our students. Apparently they are also somewhat confusing for the seasoned scientists and engineers. While visiting the Lyndon B. Johnson NASA Space Centre in Houston, TX, I had a unique opportunity to have lunch at the “Zero-G Diner”1. Apparently, the Space Centre Houston is located at a special place where Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation does not hold and should be modified. Read More...

Total Internal Reflection

Diana Hall, Bell High School, Nepean, Ontario

A fun example of total internal reflection can be created with an aquarium tank or similar transparent container filled with water. Students enjoy wandering around the tank with objects placed around on all sides including above and below. Sometimes you can see what you appear to be looking at and sometimes not. Students are challenged to draw ray diagrams to show why you cannot see certain objects but can unexpectedly see others from certain angles. One example is shown here. It’s definitely a good seed for discussion. Probably a good coffee table display for your parties too. Read More...

Air Column End

Diana Hall, Bell High School, Nepean, Ontario

Here’s a really easy way to show students that the pressure at the end of an open-air column doesn’t change exactly at the physical end of the tube. It requires a motion sensor, a tube, and the right-sized insert for the tube. I happen to have a plexiglass tube into which a tub of play-doh fits just nicely. Read More...

Simple Centre of Mass Demonstrations

Tetyana Antimirova, Ryerson University

There are several very simple demonstrations on centre of mass that can be performed with everyday objects. In this article I describe a couple of demonstrations that I do with my students. Read More...
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