from Intuitor Website


Resonance is a common thread which runs through almost every branch of physics, and yet a lot of people have never studied it. Without resonance we wouldn't have radio, television, music, or swings on playgrounds, not to mention cool gismos like Tesla coils. Of course, resonance also has its dark side. It occasionally causes a bridge to collapse, a helicopter to fly apart, or other inconveniences.


Unlike black holes, time travel, and quantum mechanics, resonance is common place and easy to observe. Yet, it is one of the most striking and unexpected phenomenon in all of physics.

The following report is the most comprehensive on resonance available on the web. Its information is intended especially for use by high school students, teachers, home schools, and anyone interested in the subject. Suggestions for quick demos are included in many of the sections and are noted on the contents page. More elaborate demos and lab experiments are described in separate sections which contain the word demonstration in the title.

The materials and parts specified in the demonstrations are based on items commonly found in the United States since that is where the demonstrations were built and tested.


However, we sincerely hope our international readers will be able to gain some useful ideas.




  1. Resonance Basics

    1. Nikola Tesla - Master of Resonance: Tesla was a genius who was obsessed with resonance. No discussion of resonance could be complete with out talking about Tesla.

    2. The ABC's of Resonance: Find out what resonance is and why it happens.


  2. Vibrations/Oscillations

    1. Playground Swings: This is the example Tesla used when he gave explanations of resonance. (Demo)


  3. Sound

    1. An Incredibly Irritating Resonance Demonstration: This easy-to-do demo creates an unexpected, incredibly ear splitting, and annoying sound. It's one of the most dramatic high school physics demos available.


  4. Electrical/Magnetic Resonance

    1. Electrical Circuits Anything which moves can potentially resonate, even the electrons in a circuit.

    2. Crystal Radio Demonstrations Crystal radios are simple circuits designed to resonate at the same frequency as the radio station they're tuned to receive.

    3. How Antennas Work You guessed it. They resonate (at least the most efficient ones do).

    4. Standing Electrical Waves Demonstration Actually see standing electrical waves using an ordinary florescent tube.

    5. Antenna Demonstrations Shows that simple antenna's work best when their length is adjusted so that they resonate. Also shows that simple antennas emit polarized waves.