Radiometer [Demonstration Guide]

The Lessons of Phyz
Grade Levels
7th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • Google Drive™ folder
3 Student Pages & 3 Key Pages
Share this resource
Report this resource to TPT
The Lessons of Phyz
Made for Google Drive™
This resource can be used by students on Google Drive or Google Classroom. To access this resource, you’ll need to allow TPT to add it to your Google Drive. See our FAQ and Privacy Policy for more information.
Also included in
  1. The bundle opens with a virtual demonstration of thermoscopes and a discussion of temperature scales. Next we have the classic ball and ring thermal expansion demonstration guide, followed by a demonstration to see the difference between hot and cold in a couple of ways.The Mechanical Universe's "Te
    Price $36.99Original Price $54.24Save $17.25


Radiometers are fairly inexpensive and fun. Sunlight activates them; incandescent light activates them. In the old days, most household lights used incandescent bulbs. So it always seemed like these things were light-activated.

This demonstration contradicts that notion. A fluorescent light and a black light are tested. Transparent and opaque filters produce surprising results. We develop a new name for the device, more appropriate than "radiometer". (Hence the quotation marks in the title on the cover and student document.)

We end by heating a radiometer set on its side to prevent the vanes from spinning. Then it's allowed to cool. Which way—if either—will the vanes spin?

When I did the activity in remote teaching/distance learning (RT;DL), I conducted the demonstration live over Zoom. I didn't record any video. The included presentation is one I use when conducting the demo. That's why I'm calling this a Demonstration Guide rather than an RT;DL Virtual Demonstration.

I use a 250-W heat bulb on a gooseneck lamp, a 40-W incandescent showcase bulb, a 40-W equivalent compact fluorescent lamp a CFL black light (not a purple-colored incandescent fake black light), a glass filter (blocks IR) and an opaque filter that passes IR. I'm told that black plastic sheeting can do this, too.


Student document (print-friendly Google Docs file on Google Drive)

Instructional presentation (link embedded in answer key)

Answer key

Total Pages
3 Student Pages & 3 Key Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
Report this resource to TPT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TPT’s content guidelines.


Questions & Answers


TPT empowers educators to teach at their best.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up