6J11.33 - Persistence of Vision - Magic Screen

See paragraph one in the procedure section.
Code Number:
Demo Title:
Persistence of Vision - Magic Screen
Persistence of Vision
Area of Study:
Optics, Human Biology
Slide with large words, white meter stick, slide projector.

Focus the slide projector on a screen about 5 ft in front of the projector.  Remove the screen and in that position is where you will rapidly wave the meter stick up and down.  The words of the slide should be clearly visible.

  • Lain MacInnes, Stuart Smith, "A Simple Demonstration for Estimating the Persistence of Vision", TPT, Vol. 48, # 6, Sept. 2010, p. 394.
  • Martin Gardner, "Retinal Retention", TPT, Vol. 33, # 6, Sept. 1995, p. 366.
  • Hans Weltin, "An Optical Illusion", AJP, Vol. 33, #11, Nov. 1965, p. 969.
  • O-585:  "Moving Screen - Horiz. & Vert",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • S-380:  "Slit Beams on String Cylinder",  DICK and RAE Physics Demo Notebook.
  • George M. Hopkins, "Experiments with the Scientific Top", Experimental Science, p. 174.
  • Martin Gardner, "Retinal Retention", Science Tricks, p. 66.
  • Paul Doherty, Don Rathjen, "Persistence of Vision", The Cheshire Cat, p. 85
  • Julien Clinton Sprott, "6.11, Tubeless Television", Physics Demonstrations, p. 258, ISBN 0-299-21580-6.
  • Ron Hipschman,  "Magic Wand",  Exploratorium Cookbook II, p. 110.1.

Disclaimer: These demonstrations are provided only for illustrative use by persons affiliated with The University of Iowa and only under the direction of a trained instructor or physicist.  The University of Iowa is not responsible for demonstrations performed by those using their own equipment or who choose to use this reference material for their own purpose.  The demonstrations included here are within the public domain and can be found in materials contained in libraries, bookstores, and through electronic sources.  Performing all or any portion of any of these demonstrations, with or without revisions not depicted here entails inherent risks.  These risks include, without limitation, bodily injury (and possibly death), including risks to health that may be temporary or permanent and that may exacerbate a pre-existing medical condition; and property loss or damage.  Anyone performing any part of these demonstrations, even with revisions, knowingly and voluntarily assumes all risks associated with them.