ExperiencingPhysics has been an umbrella under which my various projects and ideas have taken shelter. I came up with the name with my roommate Young-Ho Moon during our Sophomore year at Wheaton College. Young-Ho was majoring in Mechanical Engineering and I was studying Physics, but during our first two years there was overlap in much of the coursework. Often frustrated by the lack of demonstrations and experiment design in the physics and engineering classrooms or fascinated by little blurbs about experiments in the margins of textbooks I would attempt to “bring physics to life” with demonstrations that would be made in a dorm room. Young-Ho’s faithful documentation and assistance during this process let to a series of YouTube videos and posts on Instructables. Our videos gained a modest following and soon enough projects with the ExperiencingPhysics tagline moved out of the dorm room and have been featured in, and won some DIY competitions on instructables.com. I have continued to post my new projects under the ExperiencingPhysics banner and when I am not studying for the Physics GRE or running to Crew practice I am usually brainstorming what the next ExperiencingPhysics YouTube video will be about.
Also the story wouldn’t be complete without the dorm room where it all started!
These videos were formational for us as we cut our teeth making physics demonstrations:
The Pyro Board:
This project was my first instructables post! It got almost no views originally but I entered it into the A/V Contest and it won First Prize! Also because of thi Young-Ho and I were asked to give a seminar to the Wheaton Physics department about our projects and about safety (because of the burned table at the end of the video). After this project won the contest we were very motivated to continue working on other projects throughout the year. This really gave us a renewed vision for ExperiencingPhysics!
Ping-Pong Ball Explosion:
This project resulted from conversations with members of the Wheaton College Society of Physics Students (SPS). I had been talking with people about physics demos, since I was coordinating various physics shows at elementary and middle schools in the area. We all agreed that this demo was awesome but no one had a good venue for it. When I was sitting in Chapel later that day the idea hit me, and this video was the result. In the aftermath I ended up making many apologies to people around campus, and 21 of the ping pong balls did end up in the organ. Thankfully they did no damage and things were alright. I guess when you are a Sophomore you really are a wise fool and fortunately you can get away with things that you shouldn’t have been able to get away with!