Table of Mechanics

Mechanics (1F): Newton's First Law

Mechanics (1H): Newton's Third Law

Lecture Demonstrations

Newton's Second Law

PIRA classification 1G

Second law: The acceleration a of a body is parallel and directly proportional to the net force F and inversely proportional to the mass m; F = ma.

40 Demonstrations listed of which 24 are grayed out.

Grayed out demonstrations are not available or within our archive and are under consideration to be added.

1G10. Force, Mass, and Acceleration


Demonstration Name




Constant Acceleration Car


A PASCO cart attached to a mass with a string running over a smart pulley is accelerated at a constant rate. A computer together with the PASCO interface can be used to measure the position, speed, and acceleration as a function of time.(Similar to 1G10.25)


Constant Acceleration Car on Incline

A PASCO cart attached to a mass with a string running over a smart pulley is accelerated at a constant rate up an inclined track. A computer together with the PASCO interface can be used to measure the position, speed, and acceleration as a function of time.(Similar to 1G10.10)


Constant Acceleration car on Incline with Scale

Accelerate a PASCO car or air track glider up an inclined track with a mass on a string over a pulley and use a Newton scale to measure the tension of the string.


Acceleration Car with Accelerometer

An elegant pendulum accelerometer designed for the air track. Reflected laser beam is directed to a scale at one end of the track. See TPT 17(1), 45.


Acceleration with Spring (air track)

An air track glider is pulled by a small spring held at constant extension.


Battery Propeller Force Generator

A battery powered air track propeller that provides a constant force. See AJP 57(6), 543.


Constant Force Generator

A constant force generator for the air track based on the induction of eddy currents. It is easy to handle and can be self-made. SeeAJP 51(4), 344.


Acceleration Car

A car is accelerated across the table by a descending weight use different pulley arrangements


Acceleration Car Photo

Take a strobed photo of a light on a car pulled by a weight on a string over a pulley.


Acceleration Block

Accelerate a block of wood across the table by a mass on a string over a pulley.(Similar to 1G10.10)


Mass on a Scale

Suspend a mass from a spring balance and then cut the string.


Atwood's Machine


Two equal masses are hung from a pulley. A small percentage of mass is add to the hanging weight on the front side. A timer is used of measure the free fall time of the the front mass of a distance of one meter.


Atwood's Machines

Three aluminum skeleton pulleys of different diameters are mounted together on good bearings. Many combinations of weights may be tried.

1G20. Accelerated Reference Frames


Demonstration Name




Candle in a Bottle

A candle in a dropped plexiglass chimney goes out after 2-3 meters due to absence of convection currents. It would otherwise continue to burn for a long time. Try it with a closed jar.


Elevator Paradox

A large hydrometer flask in a beaker of water remains at its equilibrium position as the beaker is moved up and down.


Ball in a Thrown Tube

Invert and throw a 4' plexiglass tube full of water that contains a cork. The rising cork will remain stationary during the throw.


Modified Falling Tube

Couple a lead weight and cork with a spring and put the assembly in a tube of water so the cork just floats. Drop the tube and the cork sinks.


Ball in a Falling Tube

A ball in a tube are dropped simultaneously from the ceiling. The ball strikes the bottom of the tube after hitting the floor.


Leaky Can Drop

Punch a hole in the bottom of a can and fill it with water. When you drop it, no water will run out.


Einstein's Birthday Present

A ball attached to a tube by a weak rubber band is pulled to the tube in free fall.


Bucket with Weights

Hang 1 kg weights from heavy rubber bands extending from the center over the edge of a Styrofoam bucket. Drop the thing. The masses will be pulled into the bucket.


Vanishing Weight

A mass sits on a scale. Dropping the entire apparatus, the scale will show the mass has no weight does not apply a weight force on the scale.


Drop a Mass on a Spring

Drop a frame with an oscillating mass on a spring hanging from the top and the mass will be pulled up but stop oscillating.


Dropped Slinky

Hold a slinky so some of it extends downward, then drop it to show the contraction.


Vanishing Weight

Drop a frame containing three different masses hanging on identical springs or a frame with a pendulum.


Dropping Pendulum

Suspend a pendulum from a stick. Drop the stick when the pendulum is at an extreme and the stick and pendulum will maintain the same relative position.


Falling Dart Guns

A falling cage is equipped with two dart guns lined up with holes in two sheets and a nets to catch the ball. The balls don't go through the holes unless the cage is in free fall. The dart gun to the hole to the net is a straight line (the path of the dart relative to the box when the whole thing is in free fall.)


Accelerating a Spring Mass System

Quickly raise and lower a spring balance-mass system.


Acceleration of Masses on a Pulley

A rope over a ceiling mounted pulley has a weight on one side and a spring scale and lighter weight on the other side.



A Lucite box containing colored glycerine mounted on a cart is rolled down an incline or given a push up an incline.



A balloon filled with air is suspended from the top and a helium balloon from the bottom of a clear box mounted on wheels.



An iron ball is suspended from the top and a cork ball from the bottom of a clear box filled with water mounted on wheels.

1G30. Complex Systems


Demonstration Name




Tension in Atwood's Machine

Hang an Atwood's machine from a spring scale and take readings in both static and dynamic cases.


Double Atwood's Machine

The mass on one side of the Atwood's machine is replaced with another Atwood's machine.


Mass on Spring, on Balance

A large mass on a stretched sting is aloud to oscillates on one side of a tared balance. The string is then cut and the motion is observed


Weigh a Yo-yo

A yo-yo is hung from one side of a balanced critically damped platform scale.


Hourglass on a Balance

An hourglass sits on a critically damped balance and lead shot moves from the top to the bottom of the hourglass. Observe the scale's readout.


Acceleration of Center of Mass

A funnel full of water is placed on a tared platform balance and the water is then released and runs into a beaker.


Reaction Balance

One mass on an equal arm balance is supported by pulleys at the end and fulcrum. The balance is in equilibrium if the string holding the mass is held fast or pulled in uniform motion. Look it up.


Acceleration of Center of Mass

A ball is dropped in a tall cylinder filled with oil while the entire assembly is on a balance. A hollow iron ball may be released from an electromagnet on the bottom and float to the top.

Table of Mechanics

Mechanics (1F): Newton's First Law

Mechanics (1H): Newton's Third Law

Lecture Demonstrations



fw: Newtons2NDLaw (last edited 2018-07-18 16:40:37 by srnarf)