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Physics Project Ideas

Science Fair Project Idea
This implies that not all of the potential energy is converted to the kinetic energy of the bounce. But conservation of energy requires that the energy must be the same before and after the ball is dropped? Where does the energy go? Bounce a ball 100 times, then hold it in your hand. In your other hand hold a ball that wasn't bounced. What is the difference? (See: Goodstein, 1999, pp. 22-23.) Read more
Phys_p050
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Science Fair Project Idea
This project is an experiment in classical physics. You'll be following in Galileo's footsteps, and investigating Newton's laws of motion, but you'll be taking advantage of modern video recording technology to make your measurements. Sure, it's been done before, but if you do it yourself, you can get a firm understanding of these important concepts. Read more
Phys_p027
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Want to start a garage band, but Mom or Dad won't let you because it will make too much noise? This is a good project for someone who is interested in acoustics and likes to build things. Who knows, it might help you figure out how to make everyone happy. Read more
Phys_p029
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Note: Project costs will be lower if you already have good quality speakers connected to a computer that can play audio files.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Very loud sounds can cause hearing damage. Be sure to keep your speaker volume at reasonable levels when doing this experiment.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail This physics project seems like it should have an easy answer. Instead, it turns out to be a great illustration of why it is important to base scientific conclusions on the outcome of controlled experiments. Things don't always turn out as we expect! Read more
Phys_p032
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Careful attention to the details of your experimental method are required for this project.
Material Availability Specialty items
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision recommended for heating water and handling hot water.
Science Fair Project Idea
Spoiler alert: Your physics textbook might contain an inaccurate equation. Are you shocked? Let us explain — many questions in your physics textbooks are simplifications of how things behave in the real world. For example, in physics textbooks, springs are usually modeled with the equation Force = stiffness x displacement: Equation 1: F is the force in newtons (N) Δx is the spring's displacement from its neutral position in meters (m) k is the spring constant in newtons… Read more
Phys_p090
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Time Required Very Short (≤ 1 day)
Prerequisites An introductory high school physics course would be helpful (but not required) for this project.
Material Availability You may be able to find some springs at home, for example by disassembling pens or toys. If you cannot find any at home, many online retailers such as [# Link Name="Phys_p090.1" Value="HtmlLink" #] and specialty companies will have springs.
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Did you know that you can figure out how much sugar is in a liquid without ever tasting it? In this science fair project, you will learn how to measure the concentration of sugar dissolved in a liquid by using a laser pointer, a hollow prism, and some physics. You will discover how refraction, or the bending of light, is the key to measuring the sugar content of a liquid with a laser pointer. Read more
Phys_p028
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Average ($40 - $80)
Safety Adult supervision recommended. Even low-power lasers can cause permanent eye damage. Please carefully review and follow the [# ProjectGuide Name="Advanced.LaserSafetyGuide" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail You might think that plants and animals have little in common with batteries, springs, or slingshots, but they actually do have something in common. Both living and non-living things store and transfer energy from one form to another. In this physics science fair project, you'll investigate this energy storage and transfer, not in a plant or animal, but in bouncy balls. You'll find out if there are limits on how much energy can be stored and if there are losses when the energy is transferred. Read more
Phys_p071
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Very Low (under $20)
Safety No issues
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Are you fascinated by radioactivity and the emission of particles caused by the disintegration of an atom? This science project enables you to observe safely a spectacular display of radioactive decay. Following the instructions in the Procedure, you will be able to isolate a safe radioactive source and build a cloud chamber to watch the radioactive decay. Then you will use your cloud chamber to discover if a plastic lid can shield you from this type of radioactive decay particles. Read more
Phys_p086
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites Basic understanding of, or willingness to study independently, the atomic model and what radiation is.
Material Availability Specialty items are required. See the Materials tab for details.
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety

You will be working with radioactive material in this science project; it is completely safe as long as the simple safety instructions in the Procedure are followed.

This project uses isopropyl alcohol, a flammable product. Do not use it near an open flame or anything hot.

Dry ice is colder than regular ice and can damage your skin. Wear insulating gloves when handling it.

If you choose to take apart a smoke detector, be very careful when cutting through metal or plastic. Cut edges might be sharp. Adult help and supervision is required. Minor injury is possible.

Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail Astronomers can figure out what distant stars are made of (in other words, their atomic composition) by measuring what type of light is emitted by the star. In this science project, you can do something similar by observing the color of flames when various chemicals are burned. Read more
Phys_p058
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Time Required Average (6-10 days)
Prerequisites None
Material Availability Requires specific chemicals; see Materials for more details. For your convenience, a kit is available for purchase at the [# Link Name="Phys_p058.5" Value="HtmlAnchor" #].
Cost Average ($50 - $100)
Safety Adult supervision required. This science fair project involves creating small controlled fires. Make sure you follow all the safety guidelines in the Experimental Procedure.
Science Fair Project Idea
thumbnail There is evidence to be gathered at every crime scene. The hard part is making sense of it all. That's where crime scene investigators and forensic scientists come in. In this science fair project, you will investigate blood spatter using fake blood. Your job, as an impartial scientist, is to deliver facts so that justice can be served. Are you up to the challenge? Read more
Phys_p072
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Time Required Short (2-5 days)
Prerequisites Basic knowledge of trigonometry is required. For a refresher, check out the trigonometry reference listed in the Bibliography.
Material Availability Readily available
Cost Low ($20 - $50)
Safety This topic of inquiry can be a little scary. If you are at all squeamish, then do not attempt to research the topic or do this science fair project. Always have an adult with you when you are doing your research, especially if you are doing research online. Adult supervision is required.
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