Tales from the Prep Room

The Prep Room plays a crucial role in the Royal Institution’s public communication of science. It is where all the equipment and demonstrations are prepared for Royal Institution events - not least the annual Christmas Lectures. This series provides a range of hands-on experiments and demonstrations across a full range of scientific topics led by the Royal Institution's Demonstration Technician, Mr Andrew Marmery.

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Tales from the Prep Room: Diffraction

From the Royal Institution, this short video shows how to use a laser and a piece of thin wire to show a diffraction pattern.

Adding more wires into the path of the laser changes the diffraction pattern that is generated. Another diffraction pattern is seen when the laser is aimed at the fine coil of a...

Tales from the Prep Room: the Ames Room

Produced by the Royal Institution, this short video clip shows how perception can be confused in an Ames room.

The video shows the production of the room, which has a checked floor, windows and ceiling that appear to be normal but is in fact distorted. The overall effect is that moving to different parts...

Tales from the Prep Room: Lighting a Match with Water

Produced by the Royal Institution, this video shows how superheated steam can be generated and used to light a match.

The clip shows how the equipment is set up to produce steam and then heat it further in a copper coil. This produces superheated steam at a temperature in excess of 200[sup]o[/sup]C.

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Tales from the Prep Room: Magnus Cups

Produced by the Royal Institution, this video demonstrates the effects of air movement over a spinning surface and how it can be used to generate lift. The demonstration is simple and uses just two polystyrene cups joined to produce a 'Magnus Cup.'

When launched, the Magnus Cup spins backwards and this...

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