Review of Physics Demonstrations: A Sourcebook for Teachers of Physics.
By Julien Clinton Sprott.
The University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, 2006.
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, May/June 2006