Wherever possible, inexpensive items are used (under $20.00 inalmost all cases, and usually much less).
Simplicity of design
In all cases, designs have been perfected to make useof readily obtainable materials, and a minimum of skill is required toimplement the design. A good example of this philosophy is the designrecommended for a homemade ripple tank (demonstration Q.3) that givesresults as good as any commercially available ripple tank.
In assembling this collection, I have avoided dramatic buttemperamental demonstrations, which can be a great source of frustration(and a deterrent to doing demonstrations!). All the demonstrations includedactually work as advertised. Please contact me if you find this not to be thecase.
Wherever possible, unsafe materials and high voltages have beenavoided. A number of somewhat hazardous and dramatic demonstrationshave been omitted on this basis, and safety tips have been listed for alldemonstrations that present some degree of hazard.
Having personally been frustrated by demonstrations thatwere very large and not portable (and unusable if your class is not in alecture hall next to a demonstration facility), I have learned the virtue of compact items that can be easily carried to class.
All the demonstrations in this book require almost no time toset up, and the large majority can be performed in under one minute— important when one is pressed for time.
Although many demonstrations present a phenomenon only qualitatively, many others permit measurements andcalculations to be made that allow a quantitative check on various physical principles. In discussing such demonstrations, I have focused primarily ontheir quantitative aspect in order to show how far the demonstrations could be carried. It should be clear, however that all demonstrations capable of quantitative results can also be done qualitatively. For example, instead of directly verifying the exponential decay law for a capacitor dischargingthrough a voltmeter by measuring the voltage at a series of times, you could just convey the sense of an exponential decay by showing how the voltmeter needle swings toward zero with a gradually decreasing speed and yet never quite gets there.Because the demonstrations are simple, compact, and inexpensive, it isfeasible for instructors to have their own dedicated collection stored in acabinet in their office. Moreover, the same properties that make the