Uses for a Vacuum Cannon and Deconstruction of Energy

Happy New Year! Thomas and Robin reflect on some questions from the Dulwich IoP Physics Conference and are joined by Patrick Kaplo to talk about uses for the Vacuum Cannon and whether teaching just two energy stores is the way forward.


  • New Year Resolutions @ 00:35
  • We’re going on tour! @ 03:51
  • Uses for the Vacuum Cannon @ 06:40
  • Dr Ben Still’s views on Energy @ 19:23


Happy New Year dear listener! Do you make New Year’s resolutions, then share them in the vain hope you will keep them up? Thomas asks Robin and Patrick to share theirs. Robin has been inspired by the podcast and Patrick is going to be more sharing. Thomas has set a low bar.

The exciting news of the week is that Thomas, Robin and Thomas are heading to Boston USA to run a session at the NSTA conference. Entitled “Podcasting and Professionalism – A British Twist”. We plan to run a hands-on session and not wear bowler hats… we’ll look forward to seeing you in Boston in early April. If you aren’t in America then, why not let us know your favourite physics CPD event and we’ll see if we can make it along.

Friend of the Podcast Jonathan Shaw loves his vacuum cannon but was wondering about how to use it to full-physics effect, and Patrick was more than happy to oblige. We got to five tips before we moved away from a soda-can-annihilation and in the end, we did answer Jonathan’s question.

Dr Ben Still, author of Particle Physics Brick by Brick shared an interesting insight in to Energy when talking at the Conference – that there are really only two energy stores – motion and field shape. Thomas is delighted by this and puts it to Patrick and Robin for their opinion. What do you think? Should we tell our KS3 students that there is only movement and field?

Join in!

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