Movie 1: Magnetic Levitation of Superconductor

A box filled with superconducting materials cooled below their superconducting transition temperature moves above a magnetic track. Movie taken at the Toshiba Museum, Kawasaki, Japan.

Movie 2: Memory Metal

A memory metal (Nitinol) wire can be bent, but when heated it reverts to its straight shape.

Movie 3: Thermochromic Ink

The FriXion™ pen from Pilot uses heat to remove the color of the ink. The pen can be used to write normally. When you want to erase it, rub the ink with the plastic end of the pen, causing friction and heating which discolors the thermochromic ink. (But if you cool it in liquid nitrogen, the color comes back!)

Movie 4: Thermoelectric Fan

The power supply for this fan is the heat of the stove. The thermoelectric element in this fan takes the heat from the wood stove and coverts it to power to run the fan. When thermoelectric materials become more efficient, waste heat from your car exhaust will be used to help run your car.

Movie 5: Amorphous Metal

When a metal ball hits an aluminum surface, it does not bounce well. But when it hits an amorphous metal surface, it bounces very well. Amorphous metals, also known as a metallic glasses, can be used in applications requiring excellent energy transfer, such as golf club heads.

Movie 6: Thermal Expansion

A brass sphere just fits through a brass ring at room temperature, but when the sphere is heated, it expands and no long fits through the ring.

Movie 7: Bimetallic Strip

A bimetallic strip has one type of metal on one side, and a different type of metal on the other side. Here, the lower metal has a higher thermal expansion coefficient than the upper layer, so when it is heated, the strip curls accordingly.

Movie 8: Heat Pack

Sodium acetate trihydrate melts at 58 °C but can be easily supercooled to room temperature. When activated by flexing the disk, it crystallizes and the exothermomicity of the crystallization process makes it a useful heat pack.

Movie 9: LED in Liquid Nitrogen

When a red light-emitting diode (LED) is dipped in liquid nitrogen (T = 77 K = -196 °C), the light glows brighter due to the lower resistance at lower temperature. Also, the emitted light changes from red to yellow as the band gap increases at lower temperature.

Movie 10: Thermochromic Liquid Crystal

The layers of the liquid crystal structure increase in spacing as the liquid crystal sheet is heated by the hand. This results in a change in color. Change in color with change in temperature is called thermochromism.

Movie 11: Surface Tension

When aluminum squares are carefully placed on a water surface, they float due to surface tension. When the squares are pushed, they self-assemble to minimize the dimpling of the water surface.

Movie 12: Cube Bubble

When a cube frame is dipped in a soap solution, the shape of the resulting bubble might surprise you! Bubbles like to minimize their surface area.

Movie 13: Spiral Bubble

When a spiral for is dipped in a soap solution, a beautiful bubble shape results. This spiral shape is often found in Nature, where surface areas also are minimized.

Movie 14: Polarizers

A polarizer cuts out some of the light from a light table. When a second polarizer is added, what we see depends on the relative orientations of the two polarizers. If they are oriented the same way, some light is blanked out. But if they are rotated so that they are in perpendicular orientations, as so-called crossed polarizers, all the light is cut out.

Movie 15: Stress Between Polarizers

This plexiglass system is on a light table, with one polarizer below it and another one above it; the polarizers have opposite orientations, i.e. they are crossed. When stressed, we see color associated with stress polarization, as seen on the front cover of "Physical Properties of Materials". When the stress is removed, the color disappears.

Movie 16: Polarizers and Birefringence

As seen through a birefringent crystal, text is doubled. But if we put a polarizer in front, we only see one image. If we rotate the polarizer, we see the other. This demonstration shows that the two beams arising from the birefringent material have different polarizations of light.

Movie 17: Polarized Light from a Liquid Crystal Display Projector

We are looking at the screen from a liquid crystal display projector. When we put a polarizer in the light path, the color we see on the screen depends on the orientation of the polarizer. This experiment tells us that the light from the projector is polarized, and that different colors have different polarizations.

Movie 18: Ternary Phase Diagram: Simple Case

A ternary phase diagram has three components, A, B and C. In this model, mixing A with B causes freezing point depression, as for B with C and C with A. The greatest freezing point depression occurs when we have all three components present.

Movie 19: Ternary Phase Diagram: Partial Solubility

A ternary phase diagram has three components, A, B and C. In this model, mixing A with B causes freezing point depression, as for B with C and C with A. In addition, A is partially soluble in B and C, B is partially soluble in A and C, and C is partially soluble in A and B. (Partial solubility is also called partial miscibility.) The greatest freezing point depression occurs when we have all three components present.

Movie 20: Auxetic Structure

Movie 21: Complementary Colours

Movie 22: Dental drills

Movie 23: Drooping Cones

Movie 24: Floating Magnet

Movie 25: Ice Melting on Different Platforms

Movie 26: Liquid Crystal Displays

Movie 27: Phosphorescent Paper

Movie 28: Prince Rupert Drop

Movie 29: Thermal Expansion of Plastic