Science Demonstrations

PBS (ended 1967)


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Episode Guide

  • Season 3
    • Miscellaneous and Wondrous Things in E & M
    • Further Adventures in Electromagnetism
    • Adventures in Electromagnetism
      Miller reproduces Faraday's experiment that led to electromagnetic induction. More powerful is the experiment on an electric charge.
    • Properties and Effects of Electric Currents
      Miller reproduces Hans Christian Oersted's experiment that showed electricity produces magnetism. Then Miller also copper-plates a small lead slab in a solution of copper sulfate amd cooks a hot dog on an electric system.
    • Ways to "Produce" Electricity
      One does not produce electricity. It is abundant around us. Miller simply shows ways electricity can be seen or do work. Miller makes a voltaic cell, explaining that lead plates in storage batteries are not all lead. He also sheds light (literally) on electromagnetic induction.
    • Adventures in Magnetism
      Everything is magnetic to more or less degree, says Miller. He suggests making an iron bar a magnet just by aligning it properly and striking it at one end. Then he introduces the electromagnet. And just how strong is a magnetic force? It's a puzzler.
    • Adventures with Electric Charges
      The Van Der Graaf Generator is the focus of this program. Miller sets up an astonishing set of demonstrations, such as the "Mad Professor's Hair."
    • Electrostatic Phenomena: Foundations of Electricity
      From a simple observation of attraction between a charged rod and small bits of matter, comes all our knowledge of electrostatics and electricity. Miller charges objects by conduction and induction.
    • Miscellaneous Adventures in Sound
      Miller has set up a Blackburn pendulum. At its bottom is a funnel which he fills with salt and lets go at a certain position. The funnel swerves around, and the falling sand produces Lissajous figures.
    • Vibrating Rods and Plates
      Miller strikes rods at the beginning of the program, creating different nodes depending on where he holds the bar. Then comes his artistic masterpiece: vibrating plates sprinkled with sand and bowed with a bow. Wonderful artistic designs result from that bowing.
    • Sounding Pipes
      Sounding Pipes
      Episode 5
      Miller excites pipes by driving air through them and heating them. The most enchanting element comes from heating pipes with wire screens lodged in them. He calls it "filling them with music." The physics of thermally excited pipes is difficult to understand, but a joy to hear.
    • Resonance – Forced Vibrations
      Every vibrating body has a a corresponding frequency and pitch. Miller uses tuning forks that resonate with sounding pipes and vibrating strings.
    • Vibrating Bars & Strings – The Phenomenon of Beats
      Miller excites musical bars and tuning forks to demonstrate beats, a disruptive musical aspect. When he holds a vibrating bar at the nodes, the bar still vibrates. And he holds a vibrating string to demonstrate harmonics and overtones.
    • Sound Waves – Sources of Sound
      For sound to be heard, there has to be something to compress. Miller vibrates metal, tears cloth, and blows streams of air through holes to discuss the propagation of sound waves.
    • Waves: Kinds and Properties
      "What is a wave?" is a simple question that is not easy to answer. Miller wishes to answer the question by showing different kinds of waves. But it is the class of acoustic waves that will be the major subject of the next six programs.
  • Season 2
  • Season 1
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