This is an example of a demonstration where video doesn’t come close to capturing the awesomeness of seeing it for real. I love seeing students have the same reaction to it as I did when I first saw it – one of joyful wonder at seeing something which appears to defy the laws of physics, of seeing something impossible.
Pearls in air can be a tricky demonstration to set up and I have to confess that, until making this film, I’d never had to set it up myself as I’ve always worked in schools where the physics technician did it for me. The version shown in the video isn’t perfect – it’s possible to get a better looking stream of “pearls”, but I’m OK with that because it’s honest in its depiction of what can be achieved in a limited amount of time with limited resources.
I find this demo incredibly useful for teaching about projectile motion and it’s a nice companion to the monkey and hunter demo which I think was the first demo film Jonathan and I made together.
This film was produced for the Get Set Demonstrate project. Click through for teaching notes, and take the pledge to perform a demonstration to your students on Demo Day, 20th March 2014.