The point of a demonstration is to provide a stimulating introduction to a new fact or concept, or to illustrate a method for carrying out some activity. The goal is to capture the imagination of the viewer and hopefully generate interest which can be carried forward beyond the demonstration into a more detailed discussion of the concept and in- depth understanding of the background information.

       Demos are most often used in the lecture setting, but hands-on demos can play an important role in the laboratory. They can provide a quick positive response situation that will get the students mentally and physically involved in carrying out a more detailed experiment that follows the demos. This last is kind of an appertizer role: it stimulates the appetite for the full course meal to follow.

        Many demos can be of more than one kind. A specific concept can be introduced through a Gedanken experiment or visualization that is followed by a presentation of the concept that may or may not involve hands-on participation by the audience. In the demos that follow, we include symbols that will help you understand potential uses in these kinds of applications. Demos that are most effective for lecture, and that involve safety considerations that make them less desirable for hands-on participation, have appropriate safety symbols associated with them. The list of symbols is given below with the definition.