Cornell 2009

Physics at a Science Museum

by Paul Doherty


The Exploratorium Website, over ten thousand pages of ideas:

Paul Doherty's Website, hundreds of pages of scientific explorations:

Iron Science Teacher, dozens of hour-long programs of science teaching ideas.

Books: Here's my latest science exploration book, written with Don Rathjen.

The Sequel to the Snackbook, "Square Wheels" 30 new science explorations.


Explorations presented at my lecture.

Floating in copper, fly one magnet in air with the help of eddy currents.

Magnet collisions on a pencil., Donut magnets exhibit elastic collisions when held on a pencil with a steel eraser band.

Barkhausen effect. An audio amplifier and an iron core coil can be used to listen to magnetic domains.

Pick-up coil metal detector feedback amp. The frequency of feedback in an audio system is changed by the presence of metal.

Magnetic cassette tape (In Square Wheels), Make the worlds cheapest digital tape recorder.

Magnetic oscillator. Two magnets which attract face-to-face, repel when moved to the side, and so we need fields to understand their mutual forces.

Repel a grape (In Square Wheels) Use a neodymium magnet to repel a grape full of diamagnetic sugar water.

Drop a slinky, Hold a slinky by its top, let it stretch down, when released, the top will accelerate faster than g.

Ringing Aluminum rod, Tempered aluminum has a high Q, it will ring for a minute when struck by a hammer.

Whirly Corrugated tubes can be made to sing when air blows through them. (Thanks to Frank Crawford)

spinning cylinder, (In Square Wheels) A spinning cylinder of PVC shows surprising patterns.

Scientific Explorations with Paul Doherty

© 2009

28 January 2009