What it shows: The wave nature of light limits our ability to see the very small. Application of the Rayleigh limit of resolution tells us that the size of the smallest objects one can resolve under a microscope is approximately equal to the wavelength of light. Read more about Microscope Resolution
What it shows: Two bodies, rotating about each other, rotate about their common center-of-mass (COM). The COM exhibits uniform motion (or none at all) regardless of what the two bodies are doing. Read more about Air Table Center-of-Mass Motion
What it shows: A voltage pulse, injected into a long coaxial cable, will travel down the length of the cable and undergo a reflection at the other end. The nature of that reflection depends on how the cable is terminated at the other end. Shorting the cable at the far end produces an inverted reflection. With no termination (an "open" end), the reflected pulse is not inverted. When the impedance of the termination matches that of the cable, there is no reflection. Read more about Pulse Reflections in a Coax Cable
Inspired by Richard Feynman's story in his 1985 book (pp 63-65), Surely You're Joking Mr. Feynman, the demonstration answers the question "which direction does a lawn sprinkler spin if water enters the nozzle rather than being expelled from the nozzle?" The reverse sprinkler spins in the opposite direction of a "normal" sprinkler. "Dissipative effects" has been the hand-waving reason for the past 30 years, but the real reason why it spins in the reverse direction is far from obvious (see Comments, below). Read more about Reverse Sprinkler
Fifteen uncoupled simple pendulums of monotonically increasing lengths dance together to produce visual traveling waves, standing waves, beating, and random motion. One might call this kinetic art and the choreography of the dance of the pendulums is stunning! Aliasing and quantum revival can also be shown. Read more about Pendulum Waves
A high-pitched alarm on the end of a rope is whirled about the head.
What it shows:
Doppler shift of sound emitted by an object moving in a circular orbit, with the pitch clearly changing as the object move towards, away or perpendicular to the line of the observer. Useful as an analogy to the redshift and blueshift of spectral lines from a rotating astronomical source such as a planet or binary star system. Read more about Doppler Whirler
The circuits are built into large wood boards that mount easily onto an easel. The boards are labeled using conventional symbolism. Bulbs and batteries are easily removable--just be careful not to burn your fingers on the hot bulbs!