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Physics Education: Lecture & Lab Demos

An introduction to educational resources and research materials, both print and online, in the realm of physics education. It is intended as a starting point for graduate students who will be teaching physics and faculty who may be new to teaching.

Experiments & Demos

Selected books that provide demonstrations and experiments in physics are listed below.

Other books can be found by browsing the Kresge shelves at QC 33, or by browsing the library catalog (try the subject heading Physics -- experiments).

PIRA - The Physics Instructional Resource Association

The Physics Instructional Resource Association (PIRA)

PIRA was created in 1985 to aid physics teachers with demonstration and laboratory information.  PIRA is an association of professionals (teachers, professors, laboratory specialists, community outreach coordinators, etc.) and is an affiliate of the American Association of Physics Teachers (AAPT).  Among other resources and Links, the site provides:

  • PIRA 200
    A collection of 200 physics demonstrations that the site's organizers consider essential in teaching about the most common physics phenomena.
  • PIRA Demonstration Bibliography
    A compilation of thousands of referenced demonstrations, all categorized according to physics concept (i.e. Relative Motion, Work and Energy, Wave Motion, etc.)
  • Global Demo Web Spider
    Search (more than) 50 physics lecture demonstration websites at once.  PIRA claims that this spider is the "web's only up-to-date index of University Physics Lecture Demonstration Websites (UPLLWs)."  The unique collection is re-indexed every month.

Science and Physics Educational Digital Libraries

Science and Physics Educational Digital Libraries are useful for locating a resoure like a course outline, an applet to demonstrate an idea, or an assessment of a learning exercise.