Nordic Physics 2013

Learn Science by Doing Science

Paul Doherty




Paul Doherty website

Index of science activities on Paul's website

Exhibit Services Catalog


Exploratorium Science Snackbook
print and online


Sound Uncovered
Find the highest note

Color Uncovered
Shake My Colors, equiluminant time delay.


Iron Science Teacher

Summer Institutefor Physics Teachers

Summer Institute

and also used at the science for monks workshop


Annual Exploratorium Teacher Institute Science Film Festival

Because teachers need to laugh.


Second Life

Exploratorium, Splo sims

3D interactive virtual world , exhibits and exhibit prototyping.

Some Physics Explorations.

Lecture 1 Learn Science by Doing Science

Flying Tinsel Electrostatic levitation of aluminized mylar.

String Crossing Hold one string in front of you, what do you see?

Icy Bodies Model comets with dry ice pieces floating on water.

Comact Disk Spectrometer

Carbon Dioxide ModelMake a model of one of the infrared absorption oscillation modes of CO2

Magnetic Atmosphere Model stack five donut magnets on a pencil to model the earth's atmosphere.

Diamagnetic RepulsionRepel grapes on a cavendish torsional balance using diamagnetism

Floating in CopperUse eddy currents to slow the motion of a magnet so the human eye/brain/hand can fly the magnet.

MoonwalkExperience 1/6 g

Lecture 2 The Teacher Institute.

Soap Film in a Can

Soap Film Interference, use paper models of waves to explore interference patterns in soap films.

Soap film colors how interference produces soap film colors.

Permanent Oil Slick Float a drop of clear nailpolish on water creating a thin layer which can be picked up by black paper creating interference colors.

Two Slit Interference Model use drawings of waves on paper to model two slit interference.

Waves on a Phonecord Study wave speed on a phonecord.

Harmonic waves on a phonecord Study the frequencies of harmonic standing waves on a phonecord.

Stripped Down Motor Make a motor from a coil of wire and a magnet, make sure to add a commutator.

Balancing Ball Support a ball on a stream of air.

Colored Shadows Make colored shadows by blocking red green and blue lightsources.

Blinking lightsAttach blinking LED lights to moving objects and take timelapse images to study motion.

Additional demos

See infrared with the human eye Look through an infrared filter, acrylite 1146, mounted in opaque goggles to allow a human eye to perceive infrared.

Boiling water at room temperature in a syringe.

Images and Links


String Crossing
Seeing versus feeling. Look at one string. What do you see?


Finding Rays
Observe a small bright light, notice the rays. Where are they?

gray step

Gray Step
Learn how the eye and brain emphasize change, for example edges.

Acoustic Illusions

find the highest note

Find the highest note Acoustic illusion. Museum exhibit available as an Ipad app. Sound Uncovered


Teaching in a 3D virtual world
quantum lecture

Quantum physics class in Second Life 50 students: slides, videos, 3D interactive models, voice , text for whole class, individual private chat. Assistants!


Scientific Explorations by Paul Doherty

© 2013

12 June 2013