Using Video and Animation in Physics Instruction

for the 2013 Physics Day, NSTA, Charlotte


These materials may be used for non-commercial, educational purposes. All other uses require permission. Contact


An excellent history: Cinema before Cinema, The Origins of Scientific Cinematography, Virgilio Tosi, ISBN 0 901 299 75 8


For more information on optical toys as well as a video showing how to construct and use a thaumatrope, see this link:

For images of different types of optical toys, including both static and kinetic display devices, see this link and select the Optical Toys collection:

The instructional phenakistoscope

More animations

Labs from the online AP Physics B course: See L113 projected marbles), L117 (bouncing ball), L121 (long fall), L125 (swing), L129, L133 (rebounding collisions), L139 for labs using image or video analysis

The ballistic cart problem

Ballistic cart photo overlaid on a grid

Acceleration on a Swing

Force of Impact in a Tennis Ball Collision

Strobe Labs


Poker chip and popper

Thrown hammer


12-slotted stroboscope

Disc with cyclist (10 frames)

Color wheel (print on transparency)

Flashing light analyzer