Physics Demonstration

The Society of Physics Students encourages all visitors to come see a variety of demonstrations of physics at all levels. Exhibits crafted by RIT physics majors will be on display for viewership and interaction.

Our activities include:


The brachistochrone is a pair of curves with two different lengths. Golf balls are placed at the top of both tracks and released at the same time. Balls roll down the tracks and off the tracks where they land in a bucket. We also have a smaller version called galileo tracks.

Sand Pendulum

A pendulum that is allowed to move in two independent directions. This allows it to trace different ellipses in the sand.

Coupled Pendulum

A series of pendulums of different lengths hanging in a frame are started simultaneously. Over time their oscillations go in and out of phase.

Phone Microscopes

Use a homemade setup to turn your smartphone into a low-powered microscope!

Physics Toys

The physics toys table is a small interactive exhibit that includes rattle backs, balance birds, tops, and gyroscopes.

Angular Momentum

An interactive demo where a person can sit on a turntable and change their rotation using weights and a spinning bike wheel.

Liquid N2 LED

This experiment involves using a power source to put a small current across an LED which will then be submerged in liquid N2 using a small foam cup and fishing twine to change their color. We also submerge a superconducting wafer in liquid nitrogen to display the Meissner Effect.

Range Equation Demo

The range equation predicts where a projectile experiencing a constant acceleration will land if it's thrown with a known velocity. Our demo consists of a cart, motion detectors, and a ball. The ball rests on the cart and when the cart is pushed the ball is launched. Pushing the cart at the right velocity makes the ball land in the cart.

Feather Penny Vacuum

Inside a tube that is free to flip is both a penny and a feather. While full of air the penny falls faster. The air is then removed from the tube, and the demo repeated.

Human EtchaSketch

The Human EtchaSketch is an interactive exhibit that lets two people work together to draw a picture by moving back and forth in front of motion detectors.


The photosynthesizer is a small box containing several light sensors and a speaker. Various light sources can be used to generate different tones by shining them on the sensor, varying with color and brightness.

Gauss Cannon

To demonstrate how current-carrying wires create strong magnetic fields we constructed a Gauss Cannon, which launches iron slugs using electric current. We accelerate the slug with a speed proportional to an amount of current applied.

Ion Trap

Homemade trap, potential using simple materials, that demonstrates the capability of electric/magnetic fields to trap charged particles.


Kristian Feliz,
Lucas Berens

Yes: Dr. Michael Pierce and Dr. Dawn Hollenbeck

Student Club: Society of Physics Students

Thank you to all of our sponsors!

grid of festival sponsor logos.grid of festival sponsor logos.