Recently in demos & experiments Category

A treasure-trove of supplies and ideas, this. Middlesex University have been supplying teaching resources for years, including some terrific activity packs you'll find in Maplin.

I'm particularly taken with the cardboard Stirling engine kit, the samples of stainless steel microsandwich engineering material, the single-cylinder compressed air motor, and the Baird-style electromechanical Televisor kit. Great stuff.

Middlesex University Teaching Resources web shop

I’m not sure this quite fits into the category of ‘science demonstration,’ but it sure looks like fun. And it might just spark clever ideas in some of you, so: how to make a bubble tube foam-erator.

(via Make)


Here’s an experiment you probably shouldn’t repeat at home. Not because it’s particularly dangerous, mind — more that it’s going to really really hurt. Lots.

Tom Scott tests out the often-repeated notion that you can remove your fingerprints by soaking your hands in pineapple. His film is brilliant, even if the experiment… umm… isn’t the most sensible I’ve ever seen.

Credit for dedication, though.


environmental_graffiti.jpg Nice post at leading UK environment blog Environmental Graffiti about our Vacuum Bazooka film, complete with amusingly tenuous link to low pressure weather systems. Come on, folks, you’re just having fun knocking over plant pots, right?

Meanwhile: you may have noticed the total lack of films about environmental issues. Why? Simple — nobody made any. Seems like a hole that needs filling, no?


Here’s a terrific video of an elegant way of synchronising metronomes. More along the same lines here and here.

Remember, if you wanted to enter a film of this terrific and unusual demonstration into the SciCast Physics competition, you’d have to write an explanation of what’s going on. Which should keep you busy for a while, I’d have thought.

(found via Kottke, who notes ‘if you watch only one metronome video in your life, make it this one.’)

[update 30/5/2008: YouTube-embedded video removed, on account of their suggestions for further viewing appearing to be… er… ‘not suitable for all audiences.’ The situation isn’t as alarming as that description might suggest, but some readers here have expressed concerns that we’ve been taken over somehow. We haven’t.

However, it looks like embedding video from YouTube is no longer an option for us, since we don’t get enough control over what you see on this site, let alone at theirs. This is, of course, one of the reasons SciCast isn’t built on YouTube in the first place.

Now would also be an appropriate time to remind everyone that we can’t be responsible for external websites. We’d never knowingly link to anything offensive, but we can’t guarantee that the pages to which we link will still be the same when you click through to them.

If, as here, you find something offensive, please alert us to the issue, either in comments, or by email. Our thanks to the readers who informed us of this situation.]

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