Physics Lecture Demonstrations

University of Wisconsin - Madison

Physics demonstrations are stored in room 2237 Chamberlin Hall. Floor Map

Fall 2018 - Room Schedules and Demo Lists

WOP Files

1. Browse by Subject

Below are links to our demonstration Index by subject. The tables contains PIRA numbers, demonstration names, and abstracts. These tables contain a manifesto of existing demonstrations. Demonstrations listed in "Gray" are future demonstrations to be added and are not available here at the UW Madison. They are suggestions only.

Demonstration are Indexed by Subject & Area:

[1] Mechanics Index

[2] Fluid Mechanics Index

[3] Waves & Sound Index

[4] Thermodynamics Index

[5] Electricity and Magnetism Index

[6] Optics Index

[7] Modern Physics Index

[8] Astronomy Index

Please Note:

2. Browse by Storage Location

Take a virtual tour of our demonstrational equipment. By clicking on the below links, you'll see how our cabinets are laid out and individual cabinet bays showing our equipment. From there, you'll be able to review any demonstration or equipment, if there is a link.

Mechanics Cabinet

Fluid Mechanics Cabinet

Waves & Sound Cabinet

Thermodynamics Cabinet

Electricity & Magnetism Cabinet

Optics Cabinet

Modern Physics & Astronomy Cabinet

Floor Map:


3. Resources

Other Universities

Museums and Historical


Global Demo Web Spider

Historical physics apparatus

Arizona State

AIP Cosmic Journey

Berkley Index

University of Nebraska Antique Equipment

MIT YouTube Channel

Harvard Natural Sciences

Hands On! Inc.

1960 Frames of Reference Movie


EXS, Exhibit Services

1959 Coulombs Law Movie

Appalachian State

Discovery Center Museum, Ill

1959 Magnet Lab Movie




Museo Galileo, Italy

4. Browse by Course

We have developed several course demonstration lists. This lists are a canonical listing of demonstrations by class period for the whole semester and contain the most popular demonstrations used by all faculty that have taught that course. Within these lists, you'll be able to review any demonstration, if there is a link.

Please Note: These lists are master lists and should be used as a guide. There maybe more demonstrations listed for a given lecture then is physically possible to due within that lecture period.

Physics 103

Physics 104

Physics 107

Physics 109

Physics 115

Physics 201

Physics 202

Physics 205

Physics 207

Physics 208

Physics 244

Physics 247

Physics 248

Physics 241

Physics 208 - OLD

Physics 371

Physics 625

5. Demonstration Classification Scheme

We are in the process of classifying all demonstrations according to the PIRA classification scheme. "PIRA" stands for the Physics Instructional Resource Association, partially supported by the American Association of Physics Teachers. Click here to join the AAPT!

The goal of the PIRA demonstration classification scheme is to provide a logical organization of physics demonstrations and to assign each one a universal and unique number. The structure of the classification system is as follows, however an additional lower case letter was added to the standard PIRA code distinguish between duplications of equipment within our facilities.

Example: 1D60.10.a Howitzer and Tunnel (another name, Ballistic Cart and Bridge)








(motion in two dimensions)



(projectile motion)



(Howitzer and Tunnel)

For more info Click DCS



UW-Madison addition for multiple units, (a, b, c, ...)

In order to proceed with the above classification scheme at the UW-Madison. We had to devise a new scheme for equipment. This scheme is based on the PIRA Scheme but uses "EQ" within the id number to state that this item is Equipment and is used in multiple demonstrations. These numbers still use the Area and Topic nomenclature from the PIRA classification scheme which represents the main area that the equipment is stored at. The goal of the (EQ) classification scheme here is to provide a unique number for check out and inventory of all equipment and supplies related to that main area of physics demonstrations. The structure of the classification system is quite similar to the PIRA number and is as follows:

UW-Madison Equipment Classification Scheme


Example: 5B.EQ020.a (Electrometer)




(Electricity and Magnetism)





Equipment Name




For Multiple Units, (a, b, c, ... is used to distinguish between item's of different model & Serial Number)

Current Equipment lists: ME Equipment List

A number of universities also use this PIRA scheme, so you may be able to find more detail about a particular demonstration by typing the demonstration name and the first part of the PIRA number into a any search engine, eg "Cottrell Precipitator 5B30".


Hex Color Mixer

Hex Color blender

fw: Demonstrations (last edited 2018-06-27 16:40:55 by srnarf)