Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2000 17:28:48 -0500

Author: Gary Karshner

Subject: Re: timeline of major events in the history of demonstrations (and


If memory serves the practice of having students perform hands on
experiments (Labs) was started by Maxwell. Pervious to this students were
just lectured at, and rarely shown demonstrations since the demo apparatus
was also the professors research equipment and he didn't want to risk
breaking it.
I remember a story of Maxwell and his students investigating the motion of
a top. When the students returned the next day, Maxwell saw them coming and
started it spinning so that when the came into the room it looked like it
had been going all night.
Our student would never buy into something like this. We have become so jaded.
I don't remember where I picked this up so I may be wrong. But another
good question is what motivated hands on physics labs?


At 12:19 PM 9/29/00 -0700, you wrote:
>Gary: sorry if this has been made clear - what did Maxwell start?
>- Rk
>> I think it is high time that someone put an article together on
>> this as
>>well as the introduction of student laboratories into physics. I believe it
>>was Maxwell who first started the practice.

Gary Karshner

St. Mary's University
San Antonio, Texas