waves

Feeling Sound Waves

This experiment is one that I have noticed while doing my electricity shows. I use a balloon in the show to demonstrate positive and negative static charges. While holding this balloon, I noticed that I could feel a variety of sounds, especially when I was using a microphone and loud speaker.

Eclipse Watching


A photo I took during a partial eclipse.

Solar eclipses are fairly rare, so it is always a treat to be able to observe one. The main challenge is to find a way to see the eclipse, without damaging your eyes. While there are special filters that let you watch an eclipse, there is also a very safe, very simple way to observe it with materials that you probably already have.

You will need:

Seeing Dark Lines

In the Bubble Colors activity, we saw how light waves could cancel each other to produce the colors we see in a soap bubble. In that experiment, we only canceled out part of the light, removing some colors so we could see others. This time, we are going to cancel it entirely to let you see lines of darkness while you are looking at a light.

Comb Kazoo

I was talking with a group of educators about demonstrations. The conversation led to an interesting discussion, and this experiment. It is one that we did back when I was a kid, and it is still fun.

CD Spectrum

This experiment uses a computer CD or DVD. If you have ever looked closely at either a music or computer CD, you have probably noticed that they produce rainbows. If you hold the CD with the shiny side up and let light from a lamp reflect off of it, you will see a very nice rainbow of colors. If you are using a regular incandescent bulb, you will see all of the colors of the rainbow: Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet. If you use other kinds of bulbs, you may find some colors missing.

Bubble Colors

I came across the idea for this while searching for the website of Tom Noddy. Tom is the original bubble man (and in my opinion, still the best.) He planted the seed for my decision to go into business for myself. I met him while I was working at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum. He was doing a weekend of shows at the museum and got to see me doing an electricity show. He told me that I should take the show on the road. That was back in 1987. It has been a long and wonderful road so far, and hopefully it is far from over.

Bouncing Remotes

This experiment comes from spending too much time in hotel rooms as I travel. As I was packing for the trip home, I found a very useful technique for adjusting the television when I was not directly in front of it.

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