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Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, Prague

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Interactive Physics Laboratory

Welcome to the website of the Interactive Physics Laboratory (IPL, the Czech abbreviation IFL), which is managed by the Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University in Prague.

The IPL is a place where we enable high school students to grasp physics with their own hands. We do not offer a show, we prepare conditions for students’ own experimenting in physics.

About the project


The birth of the laboratory

The idea to establish a laboratory intended primarily for high school students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics was inspired by the House of Science in Stockholm, which – unlike IPL – focuses on not only physics experiments, but experimenting in science generally. With the support of the Faculty, the laboratory was opened in December 2008.

Our goals

The goal of the IPL is to provide high school students (resp. their teachers) a space for conducting physics experiments which could be hardly carried out in the classroom because of their time or equipment demands. Students play a major role – they conduct all the experiments with their own hands, prepare measurements, record and evaluate data and at the end briefly present their results to their classmates. For the whole time in the laboratory, students can consult their steps with lecturers, whose role is however only supportive – students are led to maximal autonomy. We believe this way we can help students to significantly deepen their physics insight as well as manual skills.

Organizational and technical information


Basic information for teachers intending to visit IPL

What does the typical visit of the IPL look like?

How to reach the IPL?

The IPL is situated in the campus of Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in Praha-Trója (street V Holešovičkách 2), the building of Heavy Technology Laboratories, 2nd floor, door L261.

Transportation to the campus is from the subway station Nádraží Holešovice (line "C") with bus no. 201 to the stop Kuchyňka or with bus no. 112 to the stop Pelc Tyrolka. The walk from both these stops to the IPL is shown in the picture below.

Experimental sets

The table below shows offered experimental sets and their units. Working sheets for students are available only in Czech .

ElectrostaticsElectric field around a charged spherical conductor
Experiments with simple plate capacitors
Playing with capacitors
Electrostatics with straws
How to illustrate electric field?
Construction of an electric charge indicator
Motions under gravityFree fall
Horizontal launch (going down a slide)
Ballistic launch (video analysis)
Ballistic launch (shooting a cannon)
Magnetic field of solenoidsSee special website (only in Czech )
OpticsLaw of reflection and refraction of light
Total internal reflection
Interference and diffraction of light
Polarization of light
Oscillations and rigid body mechanicsMoment of inertia
Oscillations on a spring
Resonance frequency and damped oscillations (Pohl's pendulum)
Torsional oscillation
Quantum effects in microworldFranck–Hertz experiment
Diffraction of X-rays
Photoelectric effect (applet)
Photoelectric effect
Determination of Planck’s constant using LEDs
Rotating frames of referenceCentripetal force
Rotating marbles
Liquid in a rotating vessel
Thermodynamics I – quantitative approachDetermining the specific heat capacity of water
Comparing the specific heat capacities of water and cooking oil
Verifying the Boyle-Mariotte law
Verifying the Charles's law
Thermodynamics II – qualitative approachHeat conduction
Melting of crystalline substances
Evaporation, condensation and boiling
How to influence the speed of evaporation

Our team, contact

Project supervisor:

doc. RNDr. Zdeněk Drozd, Ph.D.


RNDr. Petr Kácovský, Ph.D. (contact person)
RNDr. Marie Snětinová, Ph.D.
RNDr. Jitka Houfková, Ph.D.
Mgr. Matěj Ryston
Mgr. Jana Machalická



Adress: Interactive Physics Laboratory, Department of Physics Education, Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, Charles University, V Holešovičkách 2, 180 00 Praha 8-Trója.
Last update:26. 10. 2006
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