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MIT Department of Physics Technical Services Group

The Technical Services Group at MIT's Department of Physics provides technical and teaching support for undergraduate courses at MIT. Our many rooms of physics demos, accumulated over the past century, display subtle physics concepts ranging from electromagnetism, to kinematics, to optics.

The undergraduate physics courses at MIT include lecture courses, as well as the Technology Enabled Active Learning (TEAL) studio classroom courses. Click here for more information on the MIT Physics Department, or see MIT OpenCourseWare to download free course materials.

Collection videos

Exploding Wire

Exploding Wire

Added over 2 years ago | 00:01:14 | 4650 views

A 100uF capacitor is charged to 3kV (450 joules) and then discharged through a thin iron wire, causing it to explode.

A Heat Gun

A Heat Gun

Added over 2 years ago | 00:01:17 | 4086 views

A small amount of water is placed inside an airtight copper tube, with the end sealed by a rubber stopper. The tube is heated using a blowtorch, causing the water inside to boil. As the water changes from a liquid to a gas the pressure i...

DC Motor

DC Motor

Added over 2 years ago | 00:01:17 | 4553 views

A DC current is sent around a wire loop that is free to rotate. The current causes the loop to feel a torque in the presence of a magnetic field. Switching the current when the loop flips over allows it to continue accelerating, demonstr...

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection

Refraction & Total Internal Reflection

Added 3 years ago | 00:01:53 | 6326 views

A beam of light from a helium-neon laser is directed at a tank of water and is refracted as it enters the water.  The outgoing angle of refraction is smaller than the incident angle.  Next, the laser is directed from below the ...

Change in Frequency of Voice with Helium

Change in Frequency of Voice with H...

Added 3 years ago | 00:02:52 | 5448 views

Helium introduced into a resonant cavity, including the lungs of the demonstrator, will increase the frequency of all pitches originating in the cavity.  This is because the speed of sound in helium is greater than the speed of soun...

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