Date: Thu May 10 10:58:09 2007

Author: Patricia Sievert

Subject: Re: Spectacular stage demos

Post:
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That's an excellent list. I'd add just a few liquid nitrogen demos:
Get the extra long skinny balloons for making balloon animals. Inflate
fully and stand as many as you can fit upright in an empty open-mouthed
Dewar of about 4-6L. Pour the LN2 into the Dewar and onto the
balloons. Even in a large auditorium they can be seen to shrink
remarkably quickly. Totally submerge the balloons in the LN2 and then
(eye and ear protection recommended for demonstrator) remove balloons
and hold up for audience to see them reinflate. (Some will reinflate,
others will burst with varying levels of energy.)
Depending on the acoustic qualities of the auditorium you can get a
really loud bang by pouring a few ounces of LN2 into a 20 oz pop bottle
and attaching a 12 inch round party balloon to the top in place of the
cap. You will need to use rubber bands to keep the balloon on the
bottle. (Again, eye and ear protection required for the demonstrator.)
Set the bottle in a shallow bowl and pour just a few ounces of cold or
room temp water over the bottle. (If you do this too quickly or use too
much water, the balloon either flys off the bottle or bursts too quickly
and the results are not nearly as impressive.) If you do this "just
right" the 12" balloon will expand to approximately 18-22" before being
blown apart, with a very loud bang and little more than the neck of the
balloon remaining on the bottle. Shreds of the rubber balloon fly
several feet and if done in a classroom with ceiling tiles rather than
an auditorium, the boom will knock years worth of dust from the ceiling
tiles. Steve Shropshire uses larger balloons, claiming an increased
decibel level, but I'm not convinced that it is enough louder to justify
the increased cost. I buy bags of 144 balloons for a few $$ locally.
You can also fill a room with fog quite quickly if you make the right
apparatus. We saw this in the Physics on the Road workshop in Madison,
demonstrated by Roger Feely, currently a grad student at University of
Maine. He had worked for Sprott at UW Madison at the time. I do
smaller shows, so just add LN2 to a bowl of water and blow into the bowl.
Have Fun!
Pati

Gerald Zani wrote:

> Jayarti,
>
> To get you started I made the following list. These are some of the
> demonstrations that I've seen be quite effective. To be impressive
> these demos must be designed and constructed to the right scale and
> some of them need to be either illuminated or projected properly or
> both. Note that the art of salesmanship is everything; They must be
> presented well. The appropriate theme music will sometimes help, too.
>
> (In parenthesis is the name of a well known demonstrator who has the
> demo)
>
> * Tesla coil with the theme music from 2001 Space Odyssey (more
> reliable in humidity than a Van de Graaff)(Zig)
> * Hovercraft bumper cars (Stray Cats)
> * Hoot tube (Zig Peacock)
> * 3-D images using two slide projectors with 45 degree Polaroid,
> hand out 3-D glasses to the audience.
> * 55 gallon drum Can crusher
> * Shoot the monkey
> * Unmixing
> * CO2 gas poured down an inclined ramp of lit candles (Steven
> Shropshire)
> * Resonant flame tube
> * Breaking glass with sound
> * Non-Newtonian fluid pool
> * Vacuum canon
> * Singing rod
> * Chinese Singing water bowl
> * Chaos Pendulum
> * Fire extinguisher cart
> * Exploding Hydrogen and Hydrogen + Oxygen balloons (Steven
> Shropshire)
> * Bed of nails (Dave Maiullo)
> * Garbage can smoke rings
> * Leaf blowers and toilet paper rolls
> * Whirleys (Paul Doherty)
> * Palm Pipes (Brian Jones)
> * FLIR camera aimed at the audience (One of the top best crowd
> pleaser demos possible! Sam Sampere)
>
> End the show with the Michelson interferometer Physics rapper sound
> generator(Stanley Micklavzina):
>
> boom boom ching, boom boom ching (continue playing this by breaking
> the beams of light and tapping the interferometer)
>
> Hey there Sam, can you give me a hand?
> I need a physics demo - you're the best in the land.
> I'm teachin' this class and they're not very bright.
> I need a cool new demo, help 'dem turn on the light.
>
> It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
> It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
>
> wacka wacka wacka ....
>
> Build me somethin' big, build me somethin' cool.
> Build me somethin' they ain't never seen at this school.
> My teachin' really stinks, I screwed up in my class.
> You're the only one who can save my ---!!!!
>
> It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
> It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
>
> wacka wacka wacka ....
>
> Lyrics courtesy of Sam Sampere and Stanley Micklavzina.
>
> Also, you could take most any demo off the PIRA 200 list and make it
> really big.
>
> I recommend going to Dick Berg's Physics is Phun show:
> http://www.physics.umd.edu/deptinfo/facilities/lecdem/outreach/phun.htm
> and there you will find a link to other physics road shows across the
> country.
>
> You might check Clint Sprott's Wonders of Physics Wisconsin show. He
> has some crowd tricks:
> http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/wop.htm
>
>
> Cheers,
> -- JZ
>
> At 11:39 AM 5/9/2007, you wrote:
>
>> I like the large 3' balloon filled with CO2... It is a sound lens
>> demo. As you whisper behind the balloon the sound focuses and
>> transmits out the other side and it can be heard over a long
>> distance. Cliff Bettis set me up with one in Lincoln, Nebraska at
>> the AAPT summer meeting one year and I had everyone in the audience
>> lift up their hands as I whispered and moved the balloon from left to
>> right(around 1000 people in the audience). It was a wave of hands
>> being lifted and dropped (like a stadium wave). It was really cool!
>> ....Doug J.
>>
>>
>>
>>> Hi all,
>>>
>>> At the Franklin Institute science museum, we are thinking about
>>> developing a stage show involving spectacular, large-scale science
>>> demonstrations -- things that really make you go "wow!". Anyone
>>> have any favorite physics demos you would recommend? The bigger the
>>> better (since the auditorium is fairly large); explosions and flying
>>> objects welcome.
>>>
>>> Thanks for your help!
>>> Jayatri
>>>
>>> **********************************
>>> Jayatri Das, Ph.D.
>>> Senior Exhibit and Program Developer
>>> The Franklin Institute
>>> 222 N. 20th St.
>>> Philadelphia, PA 19103
>>>
>>> 215-448-1193 (phone)
>>> 215-448-1188 (fax)
>>> jdas@fi.edu
>>
>>
>
> Gerald Zani e-mail: Gerald_Zani@brown.edu
> Manager of Demonstrations phone: (401) 863-3964
> Department of Physics FAX: (401) 863-2024
> Brown University Providence, RI 02912-1843 USA
>
> http://www.physics.brown.edu/physics/demopages/demo/
> http://www.physics.brown.edu/physics/userpages/staff/Gerald_Zani/index.html
>
> Do a little more of that work which you have confessed to be good,
> Which you feel that society and your most Just Judge rightly demand of
> you.
> Cultivate the tree which you have found to bear fruit in your soil.
> If you have any experiments you would like to try, try them.
> Now's your chance.
>
> Henry David Thoreau, Journal entry, 1850.
>

--
Patricia Sievert, Outreach Coordinator
Department of Physics
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

sievert@physics.niu.edu
www.physics.niu.edu/frontier
(815) 753-6418

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That's an excellent list.
I'd add just a few liquid nitrogen demos:
Get the extra long skinny balloons for making balloon animals. Inflate
fully and stand as many as you can fit upright in an empty open-mouthed
Dewar of about 4-6L. Pour the LN2 into the Dewar and onto the
balloons. Even in a large auditorium they can be seen to shrink
remarkably quickly. Totally submerge the balloons in the LN2 and then
(eye and ear protection recommended for demonstrator) remove balloons
and hold up for audience to see them reinflate. (Some will reinflate,
others will burst with varying levels of energy.)
Depending on the acoustic qualities of the auditorium you can get a
really loud bang by pouring a few ounces of LN2 into a 20 oz pop bottle
and attaching a 12 inch round party balloon to the top in place of the
cap. You will need to use rubber bands to keep the balloon on the
bottle. (Again, eye and ear protection required for the
demonstrator.) Set the bottle in a shallow bowl and pour just a few
ounces of cold or room temp water over the bottle. (If you do this too
quickly or use too much water, the balloon either flys off the bottle
or bursts too quickly and the results are not nearly as impressive.)
If you do this "just right" the 12" balloon will expand to
approximately 18-22" before being blown apart, with a very loud bang
and little more than the neck of the balloon remaining on the bottle.
Shreds of the rubber balloon fly several feet and if done in a
classroom with ceiling tiles rather than an auditorium, the boom will
knock years worth of dust from the ceiling tiles. Steve Shropshire
uses larger balloons, claiming an increased decibel level, but I'm not
convinced that it is enough louder to justify the increased cost. I
buy bags of 144 balloons for a few $$ locally.
You can also fill a room with fog quite quickly if you make the right
apparatus. We saw this in the Physics on the Road workshop in Madison,
demonstrated by Roger Feely, currently a grad student at University of
Maine. He had worked for Sprott at UW Madison at the time. I do
smaller shows, so just add LN2 to a bowl of water and blow into the
bowl.
Have Fun!
Pati

Gerald Zani wrote:
Jayarti,

To get you started I made the following list. These are some of the
demonstrations that I've seen be quite effective. To be impressive
these demos must be designed and constructed to the right scale and
some
of them need to be either illuminated or projected properly or
both. Note that the art of salesmanship is everything; They must be
presented well. The appropriate theme music will sometimes help,
too.

(In parenthesis is the name of a well known demonstrator who has the
demo)


Tesla coil with the theme music from 2001 Space
Odyssey (more
reliable in humidity than a Van de Graaff)(Zig)

Hovercraft bumper cars (Stray Cats)

Hoot tube (Zig Peacock)

3-D images using two slide projectors with 45
degree Polaroid, hand
out 3-D glasses to the audience.
55 gallon drum Can crusher

Shoot the monkey
Unmixing
CO2 gas poured down an inclined ramp of lit
candles (Steven
Shropshire)

Resonant flame tube
Breaking glass with sound
Non-Newtonian fluid pool
Vacuum canon
Singing rod
Chinese Singing water bowl
Chaos Pendulum
Fire extinguisher cart
Exploding Hydrogen and Hydrogen + Oxygen
balloons (Steven
Shropshire)

Bed of nails (Dave Maiullo)

Garbage can smoke rings

Leaf blowers and toilet paper rolls
Whirleys (Paul Doherty)

Palm Pipes (Brian Jones)

FLIR camera aimed at the audience (One of the
top best crowd pleaser
demos possible! Sam Sampere)


End the show with the Michelson interferometer Physics
rapper sound
generator(Stanley Micklavzina):

boom boom ching, boom boom ching (continue playing this by breaking the
beams of light and tapping the interferometer)

Hey there Sam, can you give me a hand?
I need a physics demo - you're the best in the land.
I'm teachin' this class and they're not very bright.
I need a cool new demo, help 'dem turn on the light.

It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching

wacka wacka wacka ....

Build me somethin' big, build me somethin' cool.
Build me somethin' they ain't never seen at this school.
My teachin' really stinks, I screwed up in my class.
You're the only one who can save my ---!!!!

It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching
It's the physics rap. boom boom ching, boom boom ching

wacka wacka wacka ....

Lyrics courtesy of Sam Sampere and Stanley Micklavzina.

Also, you could take most any demo off the PIRA 200 list and make it
really big.

I recommend going to Dick Berg's Physics is Phun show:
http://www.physics.umd.edu/deptinfo/facilities/lecdem/outreach/phun.htm

and there you will find a link to other physics road shows across the
country.

You might check Clint Sprott's Wonders of Physics Wisconsin show. He
has some crowd tricks:
http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/wop.htm



Cheers,
-- JZ

At 11:39 AM 5/9/2007, you wrote:


I like
the large 3' balloon filled with CO2... It is a sound lens demo. As
you whisper behind the balloon the sound focuses and transmits out the
other side and it can be heard over a long distance. Cliff Bettis set
me up with one in Lincoln, Nebraska at the AAPT summer meeting one year
and I had everyone in the audience lift up their hands as I whispered
and moved the balloon from left to right(around 1000 people in the
audience). It was a wave of hands being lifted and dropped (like a
stadium wave). It was really cool! ....Doug J.




Hi all,

At the Franklin Institute science museum, we are thinking about
developing a stage show involving spectacular, large-scale science
demonstrations -- things that really make you go "wow!". Anyone have
any favorite physics demos you would recommend? The bigger the better
(since the auditorium is fairly large); explosions and flying objects
welcome.

Thanks for your help!
Jayatri

**********************************
Jayatri Das, Ph.D.
Senior Exhibit and Program Developer
The Franklin Institute
222 N. 20th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103

215-448-1193 (phone)
215-448-1188 (fax)
jdas@fi.edu



Gerald Zani e-mail:
Gerald_Zani@brown.edu
Manager of Demonstrations phone: (401)
863-3964
Department of Physics FAX:
(401) 863-2024
Brown University Providence,
RI 02912-1843 USA

http://www.physics.brown.edu/physics/demopages/demo/
http://www.physics.brown.edu/physics/userpages/staff/Gerald_Zani/index.html

Do a little more of that work which you have confessed to be
good,
Which you feel that society and your most Just Judge rightly
demand of you.
Cultivate the tree which you have found to bear fruit in your
soil.
If you have any experiments you would like to try, try them.
Now's your chance.

Henry David Thoreau, Journal entry, 1850.



--


Patricia Sievert, Outreach Coordinator
Department of Physics
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

sievert@physics.niu.edu
www.physics.niu.edu/frontier
(815) 753-6418





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