A Physics Fair 14 replies

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Metall_pingwin

Call me Pingwin

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26th May 2005

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#1 10 years ago

Today we were given a fantastic assignment at school.

Every year, the current physics class is holding a physics fair - the fun part is the motto: Flashiness over substance. Upon this fair, each year a mass of confused, hyper sixth graders from our conjoined middle school is unloaded. The goal, and literally what we are graded on is: for how long can we keep them focused on our project?

So here is my question: Help me come up with the flashiest, coolest most deviously wonderful physics fair project ever! Notably, Past ones include a hover-chair, huge catapult and bed of nails.

The theme this year around is transforming energy, and the sky is the limit.

Any brilliant ideas?

My group-mates wanted to do something with liquid hydrogen - which is pretty badass.




Scientist Dr. Professor

The Old Man

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4th September 2004

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#2 10 years ago

Nuclear reactor.

Edit: Scale replica of Chernobyl.




Inyri Forge VIP Member

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15th March 2005

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#3 10 years ago

I dunno about liquid nitrogen. I think you need something with lots of blinking lights. Nothing keeps kids (or raccoons) interested like shiny sparkley or blinkie stuff.




Mr. Pedantic

I would die without GF

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8th October 2006

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#4 10 years ago

You could set up an electrical circuit, deliberately short-circuited, and show how you can get an arc, and set up a resistor wire and get it hot enough to cut through stuff.




Nemmerle Forum Mod

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26th May 2003

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#5 10 years ago

Tesla coils are always fun.




Rich19

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14th August 2004

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#6 10 years ago

Some sort of laser?




Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

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15th September 2004

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#7 10 years ago

Are you allowed to use liquid nitrogen? If so, superconductors. There's this really cool thing that type 2 superconductors can do called the Meissner effect. I have to add that the superconductors you need are toxic, but not badly. As far as energy transformation, you can pass it off as electrical energy to gravitational potential energy (I'll explain a little more if you want), but it may be too vague to use.

Also thermocouples. These are devices transfer heat energy into electrical energy. The physics behind it is college-level, but I think you can get away with how it's made w/o getting confused. The setup would be simple. You can get a heat lamp, thermocouple, and a light bulb and have the heat lamp light the light bulb up.

You can also pass electricity through a gas and watch the glow of it. Each gas glows a different color. This is actually the physics behind "neon" (they use more than neon) lights and flourescent bulbs. Pre-made apparatuses that demonstrate this idea are easy to find. This would be an example of electrical energy into light. This idea is also behind some lasers.

I think your best bet of these ideas would be in thermocouples because they are in practical use but still are being improved upon, and the whole idea of heat to electricity will keep everyone busy.

I'll have more ideas soon. You can look online for science equipment for teachers and classrooms and get some ideas there and possibly the things you need to do the experiment.




Rich19

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#8 10 years ago
Killer Kyle;4795865Are you allowed to use liquid nitrogen? If so, superconductors. There's this really cool thing that type 2 superconductors can do called the Meissner effect.

Last time this was demonstrated to me, the guy nearly poured liquid nitrogen over my feet by accident (I had to jump out the way)!




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#9 10 years ago
Nittany Tiger Forum Mod

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#10 10 years ago
Rich19;4796186Last time this was demonstrated to me, the guy nearly poured liquid nitrogen over my feet by accident (I had to jump out the way)!

Initially, it would have evaporated before even hitting your skin because your skin is well above nitrogen's boiling point. It takes a while for LN (Liquid Nitrogen) to cause skin damage because the skin has to start cooling down to where LN won't boil, and by then damage is already being done to your skin. In short, you would have been fine.

I first thought that it was dangerous stuff as well, but it's not as bad as Hollywood makes it out to be. Other people knew the limits of LN and would play around with it and I thought they were crazy at first, but they convinced me that it wasn't that bad.

I've seen people pour it on themselves all the time (for a second). May have done it myself once. One person put some in his hat and wore the hat and the hat was smoking. He also put it down his coat and gave him a nice chill I've seen it thrown on the floor. Evaporates on contact. It beads up the dirt on the floor quite nicely. We froze stuff in it and you'll be surprised what does and doesn't shatter. Finally, a friend and I put it in bottles. We watched one explode (12 oz) and hid another one (2 liter) in the physics lounge and I heard it go off a floor down.

Oh, and we did some of this stuff in lab (meaning in the presence of grad students). In fact, we would dispose unused LN that way and no-one cared.

Liquid Nitrogen is very fun stuff. Don't be as afraid of it as you should. Yes, it can harm you, but only if you're stupid, but again, if someone pours it on your foot by accident, you'll be fine (unless you keep it in the way of the LN).

EDIT: No, pingwin, do not make an LN bomb for your project and I'm not responsible if you do. :)




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