Schedule a show at your school or event

What is a Wonders of Physics show?

A Wonders of Physics show is a fun, engaging, and educational physics demonstration program.  We present demonstrations that help people better understand the physics in the world around them, while having fun at the same time! The show frequently involves volunteers from the audience. The show can be adapted for any age group, and is designed to last 45 minutes to an hour, but can be adjusted to fit a schedule. The best venue for a Wonders of Physics show is a large space, such as a gym, auditorium, or cafeteria. Shows can be presented for as many people as the venue holds, but is best for groups under 300, and for groups of similar age or grade level.

What is Physics?

Physics is the science that studies how the natural world works. In a typical show, we present demonstrations that cover the six main areas of classical physics: Motion, Heat, Sound, Electricity, Magnetism, and Light. The show can be focused on one area to fit curriculum standards or group interests.

Shows on Campus

There are two ways that you can see The Wonders of Physics shows on the UW-Madison Campus:

  1. Come to one of our annual shows for the general public in February. These shows are free and tickets can be reserved beginning on January 1; or
  2. Schedule a group visit.

You can bring a group to campus, and make The Wonders of Physics show part of your day!  Contact Visitor & Information Programs.  They will help to plan your day on campus, including bus parking, lunch, campus tours, and other campus attractions.

The Ingersoll Physics Museum is also in Chamberlin Hall.  Check it out while you are here!  Group tours can be arranged.

We ask for $100 for a campus show.

Due to room availability when UW-Madison classes are in session, we can only host groups of less than 60.  During breaks, we can host larger groups.  See the chart below:

Dates (exact date varies by year) Groups of less than 60 
Groups of more than 60
Labor Day - December 31 anytime evenings & weekends only
Martin Luther King Day - 3rd Monday in Jan anytime anytime
UW-Madison's Spring Break  anytime anytime
Last week in May - Labor Day anytime anytime

Check to see when we're on the road - if we're out visiting schools, we can't host The Wonders of Physics show on campus.


The following list gives you an idea of what kinds of demonstrations are included in a Wonders of Physics show. A typical show includes some of these demos, and other demos that are not listed.

What is Motion?

Beaker and Cloth
Bowling Ball Pendulum
Bicycle Wheel Gyroscope
CO2 Rocket
Newton's Cradle
Spinning Stool/Hand Weights
Water Pail

What is Heat

Collapsing Can
Ethanol Vapor Explosion
Nitrogen Vapor Cannon
Parabolic Mirrors (also light)

What is Sound?

Wave Machine
Changing Voice

What is Electricity?

Tesla Coil
Van de Graaff
Jacob's Ladder
Human Generator
Plasma Balls

What is Magnetism?

Floating Globe
Jumping Ring
Plasma Tube
Can Crusher

    What is Light?


    Ultra-Violet Light
    Parabolic Mirrors (also heat)


    The Grand Finale

    Exploding Balloon
    Liquid Nitrogen Cloud 



    We'll go just about anywhere! "Traveling" is our middle name! We have visited Portugal, South Africa, Egypt and Japan, in addition to our frequent shows around North America.  Click on the map below to see where we've been in the continental U.S.

    In 2005, we made a Grand Tour of Wisconsin! We've been to every county in Wisconsin, now our goal is to visit every state. If we haven't been to your state, give us a call and we'll try to find a way to get there.

    Check our schedule to see if we'll be in your area!

    Wonders of Physics
    University of Wisconsin Department of Physics
    1150 University Ave
    Madison, WI 53706
    (608) 262-2927
    (608) 262-7205 fax

    Demo at The Wonders of Physics Show on campus  The Wonders of Physics Show on campus!  Girl's hair stands up at campus show  Kids play with electricity at campus show