The forces of nature are invisible but they affect every moment of our lives. You can feel them when driving round corners, ice skating or riding a bike. And you can see their effects in smoke rings and bubbles, even the way water flows when emptying the bath. These large-scale exhibits help explain how they work.
• A gallery with about 150 sq metres of open floor space.
• Electrical power – five plug sockets.
• Two of the exhibits use water and may cause slight splashing but mats can be provided.
• The exhibition must be supervised at all times when in use, preferably by staff accustomed to working in an interactive environment
Gyro wheel – Visitors can spin a weighted bicycle wheel and feel how much force is required to turn the wheel over. The wheel acts as a gyroscope resisting any change of direction.
Roller race – Two wheels roll down parallel tracks supported by their axles. The wheels are the same weight but one has the mass near the hub and the other near the rim. Which gets to the bottom first?
Anti-Gravity Wheel – A large vertical disc is spun by hand and bean bags are thrown inside the rim where they are held by centripetal force.
See stress – Stresses in clear plastic structures are revealed by viewing in polarised light.
Black Hole – Balls are rolled around a curved well. The inner orbits are completed more quickly than the outer ones, like planets orbiting the sun or like objects falling into a black hole.
Magnetic Fields – Magnetic fields around magnets are revealed by iron filings.
Magnetic pendulum – A magnetic pendulum is swung over different sets of magnets to investigate the strength and extent of magnetic fields.
Balls and bubbles in liquids – Steel balls drop and bubbles rise through everyday liquids of differing viscosities
Air stream – A beach ball is suspended in a jet of air and held in place by the Bernoulli effect.
Vortex bottles – Long-lasting vortices, looking like whirlpools or tornadoes, are created as water passes between two interconnected bottles.
Electricity and magnetism – See how to create electricity by dropping a magnet through a coil of wire.
Air cannon – The visitor sends a doughnut-shaped vortex of air across the room. Its shape is revealed when it hits an array of small flags. The vortex can be shown as a smoke ring in demonstrations.
Create a fountain – Lengths of pipe and pipe fittings are joined together in various ways and connected over a water spout to create a fountain. The effects of height on water pressure and the flow of water can be investigated.
Canals – Sections of canal, lock gates and water wheels can be linked together to direct water in different ways.
Windy city – Air blows over models of tower blocks and skyscrapers. Threads show up how vortices and eddies form behind some of the buildings.
Flying wing – A section of aircraft wing flies in a stream of air. Visitors can block air flowing over the wing to investigate what makes it fly.