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Physics Demonstrations
A Sourcebook for Teachers of Physics
Julien Clinton Sprott

“[Sprott’s Physics Demonstrations] should be placed in the libraries of all college physics departments and would be useful for many high school physics programs.”
—Physics Today

Wow! How? Few techniques are as effective at generating interest in science as dramatic demonstrations. This fully illustrated sourcebook describes eighty-five physics demonstrations suitable for performance both in and outside the classroom. These demonstrations will fascinate and amaze while teaching the wonders and practical science of physics. Video demonstrations for this book are available at this page or go directly to our YouTube playlist for Physics Demonstrations.

Dr. Sprott shares demonstrations tested over many years in his popular lectures on “The Wonders of Physics,” which appeal to general audiences and to students from grade school to graduate school. Science teachers at all levels will find a wealth of detail showing how to present these demonstrations to students with flair. Science professionals will find indispensable information for creating educational and entertaining public programs. Organized to teach the six major areas of classical physics—motion, heat, sound, electricity, magnetism, and light—Physics Demonstrations includes:

  • a brief description of each demonstration
  • materials lists, with sources for common materials
  • preparation procedures
  • discussions of the physics principles demonstrated
  • potential safety hazards
  • references for further information.


Author. Photo credit, Name

Julien Clinton Sprott is a professor emeritus of physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and his many books include Chaos and Time-Series Analysis and Images of a Complex World: The Art and Poetry of Chaos. He has received numerous awards for his work in public science education, including a lifetime achievement award from the Wisconsin Association of Physics Teachers.

For more fun physics information, visit www.sprott.physics.wisc.edu/wop.htm or see Clint Sprott's YouTube channel.





He had promised to wow the audience and he more than made good on that promise. He first appeared from beneath the seats attired in a burgundy tuxedo and black cape. For his exit, he vaporized in a man-made cloud. Jaws dropped, eyes widened, and hair literally stood on end as he produced neon liquids that defied gravity, a levitating ball, a liquid nitrogen cannon, and a human light bulb.
The Wisconsin State Journal

“Professor Sprott is a master of his trade and a true inspiration to all who perform physics demonstrations. This text is a wonderful resource, containing a wealth of information. Thorough and well-organized, this is how it should be done.”
—David Willey, Mad Scientist for the Tonight Show with Jay Leno

“Backed by solid reasoning and Sprott's extensive teaching experience, this book is a gold mine of catchy demonstrations, a delight for physics teachers.”
—Jearl Walker, author of The Flying Circus of Physics

“Clint Sprott: I loved your show! I love physics.”
—Donna E. Shalala, former Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin–Madison and former Secretary of Health and Human Services

“This book should be on the desk of every college physics professor and every high school teacher. It will empower classroom teachers and those who make public science presentations to increase their repertoire and to effectively enhance the joy of learning.”
—Bassam Z. Shakhashiri, University of Wisconsin–Madison



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Of Related Interest


Chemical Demonstrations, Volume 5
A Handbook for Teachers of Chemistry
Bassam Z. Shakhashiri



March 2015
302 pp.   8.5 x 11

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Cloth $49.95 a
ISBN 978-0-299-30470-6
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