Mission Statement

We provide visual demonstrations for a wide variety of topics to supplement lectures in physics, chemistry, astronomy, and biology. Our lecture demonstrations have two important purposes: to increase student understanding of the concepts demonstrated, and to increase student enjoyment of class.

Natural Science Lecture Demonstrations consists of a team of physicists and chemists who develop, construct, and present demonstrations for lectures in the Science Center building. Working with members of faculty and testing our skills in machining, electronics, and dazzling imagery, we aim to clarify and enhance the scientific concepts presented in lecture with visible, memorable, and sometimes mind-blowing effects.

About the Catalog

This website is an ongoing project to create a comprehensive library of physics demonstrations, simulations, videos, and other useful resources available at the Harvard Science Center. Having evolved from "The Demonstrative Physicist's Companion," a handbook begun in 1990 by W. Rueckner and S. Steel, this website goes far beyond a compilation of all the demonstrations in our current repertoire.

Included in the table of contents at the left are twelve topic sections relating to particular areas of physics, chemistry, and math. Each topic section is further divided into sub-sections in which the demonstrations are listed. You may find browsing through these sections helpful to get ideas for your lecture, but even more helpful is the ability to search the catalog with key words so that you needn't rely on our categorization or cross-referencing schemes to find what fits your needs.

It is our intention to make this site as useful as possible. Any suggestions from you, the user, are greatly appreciated. If you found a demonstration listed for which you wished there was an "in-depth" description, let us know. You can contact us by the various methods listed above.

Find Us

Our offices are located in the basement of the Science Center, in room B-08A. We can also be found in the vicinity of the Prep Room, preparing the demonstrations to be used in the lecture halls.

Campus Location: Science Center B-08A
Tel: (617) 495-5824
Email: scidemos-at-fas.harvard.edu 
Mailing Address: Lecture Demonstration Services, Science Center, Rm B-08A, 1 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Featured Demo

Key to Catalog Listings

Size: from small [S] (benchtop) to extra large [XL] (most of the hall) 
Setup Time: <10 min [t], 10-15 min [t+], >15 min [t++] /span>
Rating: from good [★] to wow! [★★★★] or not rated [—] 

Complete key to listings

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