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An Inexpensive Magnetometer

Dave Doucette (OAPT President) Richmond Hill High School, Richmond Hill, Ontario

Several years ago I was in need of a cheap, easily assembled, sensitive magnetometer. The intent was to design a tool for students to palpably observe the magnetic field around a current carrying conductor. Deflection of a compass needle lacked the ‘wow factor’ I sought. The solution turned out to be beautiful in its simplicity. Read More...

Induction Puzzle

Leigh Palmer, Simon Fraser University

Here's a demonstration that will make your students think more carefully about the meanings of the terms voltage, electromotive force, and potential difference. A transformer is necessary for the demonstration. Read More...

The World’s Simplest Motor

John Pitre, University of Toronto

In the December 2004 issue of The Physics Teacher, Christopher Chiaverina described a motor consisting of four components: a battery, a cylindrical rare earth magnet, a small piece of copper wire, and a steel nail. Since I know that many of our members do not have ready access to this journal, I have essentially reproduced his article here. Read More...

An Electric Guitar Pickup

Peter Scovil, Waterford, ON

I like music, and enjoy playing the guitar, so the following demo caught my eye (or ear?). It was in the Jan. '95 issue of The Physics Teacher (p.58) by G.R. Davies of South Africa. It is a good example of electromagnetic induction that is easy for students to understand. Read More...

Lenz’s Law with Plumbing Pipes

John M. Pitre, Department of Physics, University of Toronto

In the January 1997 issue of The Physics Teacher, two articles appeared detailing the use of rare earth magnets to demonstrate Lenz’s Law in the classroom. The principle involved is that a permanent magnet falling through a tubular conductor will induce a current in the conductor and hence a magnetic field which will oppose the magnetic field of the permanent magnet and thus slow its rate of fall. This article gives variations of the methods discussed in those papers. Read More...

A Multi-Purpose Instrument

Tomasz Dindorf and Wojciech Dindorf
Donaufelderstr. 252/24, 1220 Wien, Austria

(Editor's note: This article is reproduced, with permission, from a delightful little book, "The Sun on the Floor -Physics experiments that can be performed at home." This 68-page book describes 58 experiments that can be accomplished with simple apparatus. There are many drawings and photographs to illustrate the experiments. A single copy of the book can be ordered for only $10 U.S. from the authors at the address above, and 20 copies can be obtained for $100 U.S.) Read More...

The Levitron

Alan Hirsch, Port Credit SS, Mississauga

What physics toy have you seen that can attract the attention of every passerby in a mall during the December shopping rush? And what toy can you expect your physics students to exclaim “hey, cool” when they see it? The answer to each of these questions is the same: The Levitron: The Amazing Antigravity Top. Read More...

Big Ben — Lenz’s Law and the Cow

John Childs, Grenville Christian College, Brockville

Two demonstrations from John Childs.

Huge Pendulum, Centre of Mass, and Magnetic Force

John Earnshaw, Trent University

The author presents three demonstrations: a large pendulum, the centre of mass of a person, and the magnetic force on a beam of electrons. Read More...

The World’s Simplest Speaker

Frank Allan, Science Co-ordinator, Ottawa Board of Education

The world’s simplest speaker can be constructed in a matter of seconds. Read More...

The World’s Simplest Motor

Robert Ehrlich, Physics Department, George Mason University

The world's simplest motor can be constructed in less than five minutes. Read More...

The D.C. Motor

Peter Scovil, Waterford District High School

Have you had difficulties explaining to students the complexities of the D.C. motor? Read More...
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