You are here

Lecture Demos: Policies and Guidelines

Welcome to the new and improved Lecture Demonstration webpage. As of Summer 2009, the entire lecture demo database has been rewritten and reorganized. Please read through the following policies and guidelines before viewing the new Table of Contents.

Access to the Lecture Demonstration Facility

The lecture demo room (PAA AM008) is a closed facility, open only to Physics/Astronomy Department staff and faculty who are teaching during the current quarter. We encourage instructors to come early to practice their demonstrations before class, and keys can be requested from the main Physics office in C121. John or Steven would be glad to sign the form.

However, keep in mind that space is tight. The lecture demo room is also our office and work space. The main door (in the stairwell by A118) MUST be pulled closed behind you to prevent the theft of personal and department property.

Demonstration Requests

The best way to request lecture demonstrations for your class is by emailing (an Email list that goes to both John and Steven). Phone calls aren't recommended because we don't listen to each other's voicemail. If one of us is out, the other may not get your request in time for your class (if at all). Making requests in person during the ten minute break is also discouraged because we're busy setting up for the next class.

Requests are filled in the order they're received (i.e. on a first come, first served basis). This is where email is preferable because messages are time stamped and it's clear whose request came in first. Sometimes it's possible to share a demonstration if two instructors request the same item for the same day and time. However, whoever asked for something first gets the first shot at using it.

One caveat to this is that new requests take priority over carry-over requests. If one instructor wants to repeat a demonstration (either as a repeat or because they didn't get to it), but someone else asks for the same demonstration; whoever made the new request gets the demonstration. This holds even if the new request came in after the carry-over request. The way to avoid disappointment is to get your requests in early.

Some instructors give us their demonstration requests for the ENTIRE QUARTER before classes even begin. While we greatly appreciate this level of organization, we don't always need quite so much notice. Many instructors like to give us their requests by the week and we're quite happy with that.

If your class is at 8:30 or 9:30, please give us your Monday requests by early Friday afternoon.

When making requests, we need the EXACT title as it's written in the catalog (the entire text in bold). The individual demonstrations have been given unique titles in order to avoid as much confusion and ambiguity as possible. For example, the Stirling engines are no longer specified as "New," "Newer," or "Newest." Their titles are now descriptive of their demonstration attributes (i.e. "Hot & Cold" or "Hand-Held," etc.).

If you aren't sure what you'd like for your class, we'd be glad to offer advice.  However, please read through the lists first.

Lecture Demonstration Equipment

We have a lot of neat "toys" and equipment. However, every item in the lecture demo room has a primary purpose as a teaching tool. If you would like to borrow something for a research lab or project, talk to us first and we'll be glad to help out if possible.

Absolutely no equipment is allowed to leave the facility without prior approval from the lecture demonstration staff.

Removing equipment from the facility after hours or without prior approval is rude to both the lecture demonstration staff and other instructors. The students will be harmed the most because they'll miss out on a valuable part of their education.

Please respect the lecture demonstration equipment, as most items are fragile and irreplaceable. If you are unsure of how to use something, please ask us. Some demonstrations are over 100 years old and we'd like to ensure that future students will get to see them. 


Lecture Demonstration personnel are not available to pass out, collect, proctor, store, or sort exams. Please talk to Daryl Pedigo if you need TA support for your exams. 

Exams and Demonstrations Don't Mix. 

There is not enough floor space for exam tables and demonstration tables at the same time. It is also impossible to set up demonstrations while the front of the room is crowded with students. If you request demonstrations on the same day that you'd like to return exams, we will wait until the front of the room is empty (and exam tables are out of the way) before we even begin setting things up (even if that means waiting well past the class bell). Most of our demonstration equipment is too fragile to risk getting damaged when 100+ students rush the front of the room for their exams.

Lecture Hall Equipment

Lecture Demonstrations provides and supports a laptop for each of the large lecture halls. You're welcome to bring your own laptop and we'll be glad to help you get it connected to the LCD projector. However, we are unable to provide in-depth technical support for any computers other than our own. If you wish to use your own laptop, we suggest coming by early for a practice run (especially if you wish to show videos in your class).   

The overhead projectors, PA systems, podiums, LCD projectors do NOT belong to the Physics Department. They are the property of Classroom Support Services and it is their responsibility to maintain them. We can help show people how to use them and provide some minor support (however, this is a lower priority than providing demonstrations).