2003 Clips from The Whys GuyTM

Remember: Science is fun, but some of the experiments shown here are dangerous and should not be tried at home.


For best results, the latest version of  Windows Media Player should be used to view the streaming video clips posted below.


1/15/2003:
Clip 1 - Explain "Guess The Gas" exploding balloons from last time (9.0 MB)
Clip 2 - Dust explosion (10 MB)
Some related Questions and Answers can be found here and here.
Question for next time:
Explain why the powdered sugar in Clip 2 exploded, even though sugar by itself is hard to burn?.


1/22/2003:
Clip 1 - Explanation of dust explosion [nothing goes right] (7.8 MB)
Clip 2 - Energy Conservation (12 MB)
Some related Questions and Answers can be found here.
Question for next time:
If you drop a block of wood and a block of lead at the same time from the same height, which hits the ground first?


1/29/2003:
Clip 1 - Acceleration of gravity: Feather vs. Penny (8.9 MB)
Clip 2 - Dropping & rolling to illustrate constant acceleration [mic craps out] (7.3 MB)
Some related Questions and Answers can be found here and here.
Question for next time:
Besides gravity, what are the fundamental forces of nature?


2/5/2003:
Clip 1 - Electric and magnetic forces (9.5 MB)
Clip 2 - E-M cannon, Geiger counter and radioactivity (9.6 MB)
Some related Questions and Answers can be found here and here and here.
Question for next time:
There is a physics reason that ants canít be 6 feet high. What is it?


2/12/2003:
Clip 1 - Why bugs can't get too big (8.5 MB)
Clip 2 - Tarantula, Giant Roaches, Grasshoppers, Walking Stick (10 MB)
Clip 3 - Matt's new friend (1.2 MB)
Want more bug info? Check out the 2003 Insect Fear Film Festival !
Question for
next time:
What is the most radioactive thing in your home?


2/19/2003:
Clip 1 - Various radioactive things in your house (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Cosmic rays detected using a cloud chamber (10 MB)
Find out more about smoke detectors, radiation, cosmic rays, cloud chambers.
Question for next time:
How can you can pull a tablecloth out from under setting of dishes without breaking any? Why does this work?


2/26/2003:
Clip 1 - Tablecloth & Dishes & other 1st law demos (8.5 MB)
Clip 2 - Whack lead bring on Matt's arm & spin water glass (11 MB)
Question for next time:
When a bug hits the windshield of your car, who feels the bigger force, the bug or the windshield?


3/5/2003:
Clip 1 - Action-reaction: Skateboards with Matt, Fan cart (9.8 MB)
Clip 2 - Hero's Engine, launch balloon, Robert on Rocket Cart (9.0 MB)
Question for next time:
How does a figure-skater get herself spinning around so quickly when she does a spin? How does this work?


3/12/2003:
Clip 1 - Angular Momentum magnitude: stool with hand-weights. (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Angular Momentum direction: gyroscope, stool with bike-wheel.  (11 MB)
Question for next time:
Stand with your back to a wall and bend your waist, keeping your legs straight, and touch your toes. Now shuffle your feet back toward the wall as far as you can without falling over.  On average, women can get their feel closer to the wall than men can. Why?


3/19/2003:
Clip 1 - Center of gravity, various balance demos. (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Center of percussion, baseball bat & ball.  (9.2 MB)
Question for next time:
Drop a basketball and a tennis ball together, with the tennis ball on top.  When they hit the floor, the tennis ball is launched much higher than the original dropping height.  Why?


4/16/2003:
Clip 1 - Inelastic collisions: air-track, mouse-trap, big/small pendulum. (8.8 MB)
Clip 2 - Elastic collisions: air-track, Newton's Cradle, billiards, dry-ice pucks. (10 MB)
Question for next time:
Why is the first hill on a roller-coaster usually the biggest?


4/23/2003:
Clip 1 - Forces during collisions (drop & throw eggs). (8.1 MB)
Clip 2 - Roller-coasters. (11 MB)
For some more info about roller-coasters, look here and here.
Question for next time:
You and a friend go to the playground and get on swings that are side-by-side. You take one step back and start swinging with a small motion. Your friend takes two steps back and starts swinging with a bigger motion. If you both pick up your feet and start swinging at the same time, who gets back to the starting point first?


4/30/2003:
Clip 1 - Simple harmonic motion (pendulum, mass & spring, tortion). (9.7 MB)
Clip 2 - Resonance (swing, coupled pendula, PVC pipe, wine glass). (9.6 MB)
Question for next time:
Suppose you tap on an empty wine glass and listen to the note. Now you fill the glass half full of water and tap on it again. Will the note be higher or lower than when the class was empty?  Why?


5/7/2003:
Clip 1 - Waves (wave machine, slinky, no-one can hear you scream in space) (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Sound (break wine glass). (10 MB)
Question for next time:
Is the wavelength of high pitched sound longer or shorter than the wavelength of low pitched sound?
 


5/14/2003:
Clip 1 - Speed of sound (Helium whistle, Helium talking) (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Doppler shift (spinning beeper), sonic boom, singing Aluminum rod. (11 MB)
Question for next time:
Think of unusual ways to make sound & music?


5/28/2003:
Clip 1 - Musical Instruments (Al rod, violin, blocks, head-pipes) (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Wild Thing (Robert looks good with the bass guitar). (11 MB)
Question for next time:
Why is the sky blue
?  (Sammy Sosa changed this to baseball bats)


6/11/2003:
Clip 1 - More about sweet spots & baseball bats (11 MB)
Clip 2 - What does "corking" a bat do?. (10 MB)
Question for next time:
Why is the sky blue
?


6/18/2003: (my VCR broke so I don't have these digitized)
1. White light is a mixture of all colors (prism, CD).
2. Why the sky is blue (fish-tank & creamer).
For some more great info, look here.
Question for next time:
How can you bend light?


6/25/2003:
Clip 1 - How a CD can be used like a prism (11 MB)
Clip 2 - How to bend light. (10 MB)
Question for next time:
How does a rocket work?


7/2/2003:
Clip 1 - Rockets (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Explosions. (12 MB)
Question for next time:
You Tell Me!!


7/16/2003:
Clip 1 - Glow Sticks & Chemiluminescence (Luminol) (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Slime & Glurch (PVA). (10 MB)
For some more great info on Luminol, look here.
For some more great info on glurch, look here, here.
Question for next time:
Mix corn starch with water to get a runny paste. Play with this and see if you can explain what is so interesting about this "non-Newtonian" fluid. For a recipe, look here.


7/30/2003:
Clip 1 - Making "Silly Putty" at home (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Oobleck is really weird stuff! (11 MB)
For a great Silly Putty recipe, look here.
Question for next time:
Mix some food coloring with some water in a clear glass.  Carefully pour in an equal volume of mineral oil. Can you explain what happens (Which liquid floats on top? Why does the color mix with only one liquid?).


8/6/2003:
Clip 1 - Mixing oil & water: Making a wave machine (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Making Lava Lamps (11 MB)
To make a triple-layer liquid using water/oil/alcohol , look here.
For a great lava lamp recipe, look here. (Kids - don't try this without an experienced adult)
Question for next time:
Please send in ideas and questions for science experiments that you can do at home !!


8/13/2003:
Clip 1 - Galileo Thermometer, egg-float, Cartesian diver (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Balloons, buoyancy & air pressure (10 MB)
Question for next time:
Keep sending in ideas and questions for science experiments that you can do at home !!


8/20/2003: - Special Mars Edition with UIUC Astronomy Prof. Brian Fields
Clip 1 - The close approach of Mars to Earth (9 MB)
Clip 2 - More about Mars (9 MB)
Question for next time:
Does atmospheric pressure make it harder or easier to drink through a straw?


8/27/2003:
Clip 1 - Turning a full glass of water upside-down without spilling (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Collapsing a milk jug using atmospheric pressure. (8 MB)
(Have a look here to see the same demo done using a 55 gallon drum).
Question for next time:
We will be playing with Liquid Nitrogen. Let me know if you have any creative suggestions!


9/3/2003:
Clip 1 - Liquid nitrogen  & racquet ball! (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Freezing flowers & banana. (10 MB)
Question for next time:
You can compress a gas into a smaller space quite easily, but you can't compress
a liquid into a smaller space at all. Why is this?


9/17/2003:
Clip 1 - Liquid nitrogen  & Balloon (states of matter) (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Liquid nitrogen cannon, garbage can explosion. (9 MB)
Question for next time:
What happens when you change the temperature of an electrical conductor?
Does it conduct better or worse, or does it depend on the material?


10/1/2003:
Clip 1 - Resistance of diode and wire loop in liquid nitrogen (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Levitate a magnet above a superconductor. (9 MB)
Question for next time:
Will the Cubs win the Word Series?


10/8/2003 (in honor of the Cubbies):
Clip 1 - Hitting a baseball at the best angle (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Curveballs & Fastballs (10 MB)
Question for next time:
What happens when you move a magnet near a wire?


10/15/2003:
Clip 1 - Inducing a current - light stick (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Inducing a current - falling magnets (11 MB)
Question for next time:
How does an electrical generator work?


10/29/2003:
Clip 1 - Electric generators & AC currents (11 MB)
Clip 2 - Home-made electric motor (11 MB)
Have a look here for a nice explanation of how an electric motor works,
and look here for instructions on how to build a simple one yourself.
Question for next time:
Why do we use high voltages to move electric power from place to place?


11/5/2003:
Clip 1 - How a transformer works (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Why use High Voltage to transmit power? (12 MB)
Question for next time:
When a bird sits on a high voltage transmission line, why doesn't it get electrocuted?


11/12/2003:
Clip 1 - Parallel and series circuits (10 MB)
Clip 2 - "Squirrel" on capacitor bank (9 MB)
Question for next time:
Is there a way that electricity can be conductedwithout wires? (Hint: think if the Northern Lights).


11/19/2003:
Clip 1 - Plasma ball (9 MB)
Clip 2 - Northern Lights (e/m tube - cant see it very good) (10 MB)
Have a look here for some nice information about plasma.
Question for next time:
What is an EKG machine measuring?


11/26/2003:
Clip 1 - Mats home-made EKG machine (8 MB)
Clip 2 - Dr. Z explains Gay's heartbeat (10 MB)
Question for next time:
How can electricity be dangerous?


12/03/2003:
Clip 1 - Electrical Safety with Kyle Finlay (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Electrical Safety with Kyle Finlay (11 MB)
Question for next time:
What are some examples of crystals you can find in your house?


12/10/2003:
Clip 1 - Quick discussion of crystals (8 MB)
Clip 2 - Snowflakes (9 MB)
SnowCrystals.com is a fantastic site for info about snowflakes.
Assignments for next time:
- Make a tray of ice cubes using distilled water (to see why, look here) .
- Try making some sugar crystals on your own. Look here for recipe.
- Get back to me and tell me how it all worked (mats@uiuc.edu)


12/17/2003:
Clip 1 - Ice spikes, sugar crystals & electronics (10 MB)
Clip 2 - Piezoelectric effect (sparks, rocks, anti-static gun) (11 MB)
Assignments for next time:
When you look at something through a calcite crystal you see two separate images.
What's up with that ??