Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Physics Video Tuesday - Electric Field Demos!

Physics Video Tuesday    April 19, 2016

Visualizing the Electric Field  by James  Lincoln

For as long as I have been a Physics Teacher, I have been interested in making the Electric Field visible to my students.  This is IMPOSSIBLE because it is literally imaginary.  Despite this challenge, I have researched and demonstrated the best ways to display it.  What follows is a collection of videos I have created to demonstrate and describe the Electric Field. 
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate it is with Potassium Permanganate crystals which dissolve slowly on a damp saline cloth. 

ELECTRIC FIELD Visualized with Crystals

For AAPT Films, I created a two-part documentary on all of the best ways I know to demonstrate the electric field:

Ten Ways to SEE the Electric Field - Part 1

Ten Ways to SEE the Electric Field - Part 2

It is not enough that we simply show the effects of the electric field, but we must also know the rules of how it behaves.  Here are two videos I made for UCLA Physics on the Rules of Drawing Electric Field Lines and Rules regarding the behavior of Conductors:

5 Rules of the Electric Field

5 Rules for Conductors

In my research, I did create an original contribution to these demonstrations that I think makes a classic work much better.  In this video, I have some more of my lettuce seed demonstrations.  I have written an article about making this yourself from a coat hanger and Styrofoam cups:

Lettuce Seed Demonstrations

This demonstration is typically performed using grass seeds:

Grass Seeds Electric Field Demos

Monday, January 25, 2016

Physics Video Tuesday - January 26, 2016

AAPT’S Physics Video Tuesday     January 26, 2016

Sulfur Hexafluoride and Helum – At the Same Time! Explained        by James Lincoln

Sulfur Hexafluoride vs Girl (Anna Spitz)    by James Lincoln and Anna Spitz

These two videos we made to feature some of the demonstrations that can be done with Sulfur Hexafluoride.

The first was made by James Lincoln as part of a video contest and the second was made by James Lincoln and Anna Spitz as part of a video demonstration series.

Sulfur Hexafluoride is available from Flinn Scientific, and should only be inhaled from a balloon, as should helium, and never from the bottle directly.


Sulfur Hexafluoride with Musical Instruments by Kyle Forinash

Using Helium and SF6 in a trombone and a few other instruments.

Sulfur Hexafluoride Deep Voice Gas by Steve Spangler Science

Spangler does the voice demo, and floats a boat on it, as well as show that SF6 prevents sparks.

Related Articles from The Physics Teacher

Helium & Sulfur in Musical Instruments:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.4897582

Helium Speech - Applied Standing Waves: http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.3566028


To submit a video or make a suggestion email James Lincoln:  James@PhysicsVideos.net

Monday, January 18, 2016

Physics Video Tuesday!

AAPT’S Physics Video Tuesday     January 19, 2016

Polarization Physics: AAPT FILMS     by James Lincoln

In this video you will find about 20 physics demos using polarizers and related equipment.  
Also included are explanations and instructions on how to succeed doing them.

      1.     Crossed Polarizers
2.      The Mechanical Polarizer (analogy)
3.       The Construction and Axis of Polarizers
4.       The Triple Polarizer
5.       Light waves as vectors
6.       LCD Screens
7.       Circular Polarization
8.       Stress in Plastics, Glass, & Packaging tape
9.       Prince Rupert’s Drop
10.   Reflected Glare
11.   Glare on surfaces
12.   Polarized Sun Glasses
13.   The Polarized Sky
14.   3d Glasses
15.   Malus’ Law (Angle vs Intensity)
16.   Brewster’s Angle
17.   The Faraday Effect
18.   The Verdet Constant
19.   Microwave & Radio Polarization
20.   Projector Polarization

This video was created as part of the AAPT Films Series.  
The series is written, directed, and hosted by James Lincoln.  
This particular video was funded by the AIP Meggers Grant. 


UCLA Physics: Circular Polarization   by James Lincoln

UCLA Physics: Polarization of Light   by James Lincoln

60 Symbols

Polarization (of Microwaves too!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM2TkM0hzW8

Paul Hewitt

Hewitt-Drew-it Polarization:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsrq4RTHJvc
Polarized Glasses Explained: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PCE1JZ3bKMg

Related Articles from The Physics Teacher

Microwave Polarization: http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.2340822
Malus’ Law (using Lasers):  http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.880421
Model of Polarizers:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1119/1.3685128
To submit a video or make a suggestion email James Lincoln:  James[at]PhysicsVideos.net

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Halloween! Glow in the Dark this Month with Willemite!!

Willemite is my favorite fluorescent rock.

In this video, I use willemite to demonstrate that there are different colors of ultraviolet light, and that quartz is transparent to UV.

Stay tuned for more information about my top minerals and elements recommended for physics experiments and demos.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Behind the Scenes Interview with Anna Spitz

Go behind the scenes with our host Anna Spitz and learn what it was like to film the series "Try This Experiment Right Now!"

LincolnPhysics: Which video was your favorite and why?

Anna Spitz: Sing Happy Birthday” would have to be my favorite. First off, it was extremely fun to film.

Anna Spitz: I remember taking a lot of time convincing certain members of the crew to take part in it, and even trying to get myself to sing publicly was a necessary and fun challenge. Once we all got into it, it started to come together. We ended up doing a lot of laughing in between takes, which makes it the most memorable to me.

LincolnPhysics: Which video helped you learn something new about science that you did not know/found the most interesting?

Anna Spitz: Audio Triangulation” was the most interesting to me, because it seems so simple, yet it is such uncommon knowledge. 


 Anna Spitz: Of course it takes more time for sound to travel to the further ear, but only a physicist would actually think of that. I think this video helped me in particular to start thinking like a physicist and looking for answers to questions without obvious answers in everything around me.

LincolnPhysics: Which video was the most challenging to act in and film?

Anna Spitz: This is a question that I don't need to think for even a full second about. “Up Down Dizzy” was hands down the most challenging thing I have ever filmed.


 Anna Spitz: For starters, we filmed in a pretty busy park with airplanes flying overhead and we needed clear audio for my speaking part. This meant we had to stop, what felt like every two minutes, to adjust, move, or wait for whatever sound was happening to stop so that we could film. The most challenging part of all was attempting to do this demo despite my severe lack of athleticism. We filmed dozens of clips of me spinning and falling until we could get the most graceful clip. 

This took some time as gracefulness is hard to find in doing the "Up Down Dizzy" experiment. I fell down after about three seconds in every take, and in one in particular, I fell backwards and fell directly on my head, which was the worst injury I've had in years (again, lack of athleticism).

LincolnPhysics: Which video do you think EVERYONE should watch and why? 

Anna Spitz: Probably “How to See Your Retina.” It is so easy and fun to do this one! This one is the most relevant in my opinion, because everyone's retinas are as unique as their fingerprints and retinal scans could be the way of the future.

 Anna Spitz: It's an interesting experience because the experiment is done the same way for everyone, yet there is a unique outcome for everyone, as well.

Thanks, Anna, for giving us a behind the scenes look at the making of these interesting short videos! 

Check out all of the "Try This Experiment Right Now!" videos on our YouTube Channel, AAPT Films. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

How to "Hear Your Muscles"

You can "Hear Your Muscles." Do I really need to explain why this is a cool video? Okay, I will.  

Because it addresses our goal with the “Try This Experiment Right Now” series-- which is to teach you how to do an experiment that teaches meaningful physics with no equipment other than what you already have in your pocket. Therefore anybody can do it. 

The demos are unique, because most teachers don’t already know about this experiment, so it improves instruction in easy, timely yet awesome ways.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Share my new series with other teachers...

I created this informational flier for those who want to share the series with others. I will feature these videos on the blogs on certain days, but here is a list/overview of the entire series. 

Try This Experiment Right Now” video series is perfect for Back to School.

9 Original Videos starring Anna Spitz and writer/director James Lincoln provide examples of experiments you can perform immediately with just the cell phone in your pocket or the computer in front of you.

Many of these demos have never been seen or explained anywhere else! 

1.       See Your Retina   Teaches you how to look at the blood vessels in the back of your eye!

2.      Hear Ultrasonic  Connects you to an easy test to the upper limit of human hearing

3.      Easy Beats  shows how simple it is to demonstrate soundwave interference

4.      Up Down Dizzy  teaches about the inner ear and a new way to experience dizziness

5.      Audio Triangulation shows that the speed of sound in air is slower than you think

6.      Sing Happy Birthday reveals why Americans always start that song on the same note

7.      Hear Your Muscles a fun and easy way to find out what muscles sound like

8.      Newton’s Eye Poke a little known classic experiment from the master himself

9.      Credit Card Diffraction the easiest diffraction experiment you will ever do!

All the videos can be found at the AAPT Films Page: