Review of Physics Demonstrations: A
Sourcebook for Teachers of Physics.
By Julien Clinton Sprott.
The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison,
ISBN 0-299-21580-6. 288 pp. Hardcover, $45.
There are several ways to teach children about science. One method is
to set the kids down in a classroom, talk at them about gravity and
vacuums and Bernoulli's principle, and watch the eyes glaze over and
the heads droop in bored stupor. This is a common and time-tested
method virtually guaranteed to nip most junior scientists in the bud.
Another way is to show kids how truly amazing science is, with a book
such as Julien Sprott's Physics
Demonstrations. Teachers can entertain students while teaching
them with flames, flying objects, and levitation. The text offers
step-by-step demonstrations of principles in heat, motion, sound,
electricity, light, and magnetism. For example, "A dripping faucet
illustrates periodic and chaotic behavior and the period-doubling route
to chaos." The "period-doubling route to chaos" sounds like pretty
heady stuff, sure to intrigue kids of all ages! Materials, precautions,
and principles are discussed as well. Complete with two DVDs featuring
85 demonstrations, Physics
Demonstrations should be on every physics teacher's desk.
Skeptical Inquirer, 30 (3) 64,