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Physics Experiment Ideas

  1. Apr 26, 2005 #1
    Hey everyone, I'm a grade 11 high school student taking Physics and I'm having no trouble whatsoever :).

    For our final end of the year project, we are expected to come up with a physics lab/experiment that has to relate to either motion,light,sound, waves, energy, electricity or magnetics or a mix of any.

    The top labs/experiments will be sent to Montreal, Canada for a physics expo.

    I really want to get in however I need a really cool and interesting experiment to do. If you guys can provide me with ideas of some very cool experiments that are really original it would be great.

    Thanks in advance!

    Edit: I just found the science fair project ideas post however the ideas I am looking for need to be as original as possible... something that no one has ever done!!
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 26, 2005 #2
    Use a magentic field produced by a current in a vertical solenoid to levitate a frog....Bascially the solenoids upward magnetic force on the frog balances the downward gravitational force on the frog. Very Hard to do but I have seen it done and great eye catcher
  4. Apr 26, 2005 #3


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    In a relatively small transparent container mix up a saturated solution of sugar. Let is set quietly for a while. Then direct a laser beam (a pointer will do fine) in to the solution parallel to the surface about a cm from the bottom. (you may need to add a drop of milk to see the beam, but do not stir. Observe.

    If all is good, you will see the beam bend toward the bottom of the container, then reflect off the bottom toward the surface, in a mirror image of the entry path, the beam will bend back to a path parallel to the surface and exit the container.

    This is due to the fact that the index of refraction of the solution is determined by the concentration of sugar. The sugar will settle so the concentration will be highest at the bottom and decrease toward the surface.

    You may need to play (raise/lower) with the entry point to get the beam path described.

    This is the same phenomena which creates road mirages.
  5. Apr 26, 2005 #4
    Isn't this just because the cells in a frog are diamagnetic?
  6. Apr 26, 2005 #5
    When a frog is place in the diverging magnetic field near the top end of a vertical current-carrying solenoid, every atom in the frog is repelled upward, away from the region of stronger magnetic field at the end of the solenoid. The frogn moved upward into weaker and weaker magentic field until the upward magnetic force balanced the gravitational force on it, and there it would hang in the midair. Basically if you built a solenoid that was large enough you would leviatate a person in midair owing to the person's diamagnetism......
  7. Apr 26, 2005 #6


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    Your profile says 'male', and you have an avatar like that? You don't live on Davie St., do you?
    Anyways, how about a little magnetohydrodynamic generator? It wouldn't have to actually produce any electricity, as long as you had the right stuff in the right places to demonstrate the principles. If all else fails, at least you get to play with fire. :biggrin:
  8. Apr 26, 2005 #7
    WOW you guys are great, amazing ideas and so fast!!! :rofl:

    bertholf07 would this do any harm to the frog? :grumpy:
  9. Apr 26, 2005 #8
    No the frog would be completely comfortable just like floating on water
  10. Apr 26, 2005 #9


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    Not as much as the firecrackers that I used to levitate them with...
  11. Apr 26, 2005 #10
    Danger, want to explain what your magnetohydrodynamic generator is and does? I'd like to learn a bit more about it, seems very interesting.
  12. Apr 26, 2005 #11
    magnetohydrodynamic generator

    I have an idea, .. :surprised ...it's a sponge. It acts like a magnet when picking up spilled water. Or maybe it's Bounty paper towels.
  13. Apr 26, 2005 #12


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    I'm no expert on any of this kind of stuff, believe me. One of the heavy physics dudes can tune you in a lot more. I never finished high school, so all of my knowledge is unofficially absorbed. Basically, a magnetohydrodynamic generator is a honkin' huge Tiger torch blowing through a coil. In practise, a turbojet engine is most often the blast source. Since a large percentage of the particulate matter in a flame has some appreciable electromagnetic properties, the extremely fast-moving stream thereof passing through a multi-coil solenoid induces a current. Although it doesn't sound like it from my description, they're very efficient. I was thinking that for a school project, a propane torch or similar could be used in place of the fanjet. Since that's a clean-burning fuel with few metallic particulates, you probably wouldn't achieve any sort of measurable electricity.

    edit: I just popped into your profile section to check you out, and I see that this is your first day with us in the asylum. WELCOME ABOARD!!! :biggrin:
    I've only been here a bit over a month myself, but it's home now. :wink:
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2005
  14. Oct 12, 2011 #13
    Going back to the diamagnetic talking...

    Can someone tell me how much force a magnet would need to have to lift a frog or something with about that much mass?
  15. Oct 12, 2011 #14


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    The frog demonstration actually requires a pretty fiendishly big and powerful electromagnet. I don't think your College / School would have enough copper wire, iron or the electrical supply to power it ---- unfortunately.
  16. Oct 12, 2011 #15
    I heard that graphite works as well (I think it was graphite), would a small piece of wood work well?
  17. Oct 15, 2011 #16
    How much power would it take to levitate a worm? A small one...
  18. Oct 16, 2011 #17
    I think if you come up with a new idea that could lead to a research project and a new invention it will get you to Montreal, Canada for a physics expo.

    I think there are still lots if things to be learned. I have an idea I have been thinking about for years. If you build a magnet pulse generator you can recharge a magnet. Magnets have a half life of about 2 seconds sorta like urainum has a half life too but its about 100 years. You take a magnet that has a magnetic attraction of lets say.......about 1 lb for example. If you pulse it with a magnetic pulse generator it will store all that energy like a super powerful battery the magnetisum of that 1/2 lb magnet is now 300 lbs or more but remember magnets have a half life of about 2 seconds. After 2 second 300 lb drops to 150 lbs. 2 more seconds it drops to 75 lbs. Then it drops to 37, then 19, then 9, then 4.5, and soon the magnet is back to 1/2 lb of magnet force like it was originally. I think there is something to be learned here. What can you do with this??? Is is possible to build a perment magnet generator with a built in magnet pulse generator to super charge the magnets to 100 times their original power to produce a super charged generator. What about the magnet flux of the generator windings can they pick up all this extra power from the super charged magnets. If so then it should be possible to reduce the size of existing generators down to maybe 100 times smaller and still generate the same power as before. Science projects do not always require you to build the real thing you put your theory on paper, drawings, photos, models, formulas, etc. so other people understand your idea. What they really look for are people with creative minds.
  19. Oct 16, 2011 #18
    The kind of machines scientists use could take the same amount of energy your school consumes in a year, so in short... a lot.
  20. Oct 16, 2011 #19
    hmmm I know that there is a small type of graphite that works well, any other resource?
  21. Oct 16, 2011 #20

    Vanadium 50

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    This thread is 6 years old, and Obsolete Bacon, you already have a thread on this topic.
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