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published by the Public Broadcasting Service
technical implementer: the Show of Force Productions
This video-based resource provides a highly visual way to introduce basic physics concepts to high school students. Eight videos feature footage from the PBS series Circus to illustrate the laws of physics at work. Learn about projectile motion by watching jugglers; view trapeze artists to explore pendulum motion and linear momentum; watch as trick riders use centripetal acceleration to run their horses in circles without tiring them; investigate how acrobats use conservation of angular momentum to flip and twist. For deeper exploration, each video has a corresponding activity guide for teachers.

Please note that this resource requires Flash, or Quicktime, or Xuggle.
Editor's Note: Don't miss the raw video clips that can be downloaded and used for classroom video analysis. See Related Materials for a link to the cost-free "Tracker Video Analysis" software, which can be used in conjunction with these materials.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Classical Mechanics
- Linear Momentum
= Conservation of Linear Momentum
- Motion in Two Dimensions
= 2D Acceleration
= Center of Mass
= Projectile Motion
- Newton's Second Law
= Interacting Objects
- Rotational Dynamics
= Conservation of Angular Momentum
- Work and Energy
= Conservation of Energy
Education Practices
- Technology
= Multimedia
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Collection
- Instructional Material
= Activity
= Problem/Problem Set
= Student Guide
- Assessment Material
= Test
- Audio/Visual
= Movie/Animation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
- Activity
- Assessment
- New teachers
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Intended Users:
Access Rights:
Free access
© 2010 Public Broadcasting System
classical mechanics videos, motion videos, physics videos, video analysis, video-based learning
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created November 18, 2013 by Caroline Hall
Record Updated:
August 4, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
ComPADRE is beta testing Citation Styles!

Record Link
AIP Format
(Public Broadcasting Service, Arlington, 2010), WWW Document, (http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22).
Circus Physics, (Public Broadcasting Service, Arlington, 2010), <http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22>.
APA Format
Circus Physics. (2010). Retrieved June 23, 2017, from Public Broadcasting Service: http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22
Chicago Format
Show of Force Productions. Circus Physics. Arlington: Public Broadcasting Service, 2010. http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22 (accessed 23 June 2017).
MLA Format
Circus Physics. Arlington: Public Broadcasting Service, 2010. Show of Force Productions. 23 June 2017 <http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Title = {Circus Physics}, Publisher = {Public Broadcasting Service}, Volume = {2017}, Number = {23 June 2017}, Year = {2010} }
Refer Export Format

%T Circus Physics
%D 2010
%I Public Broadcasting Service
%C Arlington
%U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22
%O text/html

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%D 2010
%T Circus Physics
%I Public Broadcasting Service
%V 2017
%N 23 June 2017
%9 text/html
%U http://www.pbslearningmedia.org/search/?q=%22Circus+%7C+Physics%22

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Citation Source Information

The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

The APA Style presented is based on information from APA Style.org: Electronic References.

The Chicago Style presented is based on information from Examples of Chicago-Style Documentation.

The MLA Style presented is based on information from the MLA FAQ.

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Circus Physics:

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