Leaming by doing is the quickest and surest way to understanding. In- stead of just reading about how and why something works, you perform experiments yourself and actually see what happens. The experiments in this book will help you to understand magnetism, electricity, electronics and nuclear energy — all subjects that are bccoming more and more important in today’s worid.
With simple equipment, most of which you already have at borne, you can set up your own laboratory in a comer of a room and follow in the foot- steps of the great scientists, many of whom began their lifelong interest when they were young.
It is a good idea to perform the experiments in the order in which they are given, because each one depends. to a large cxtent, on the knowledge gained in thosc that carne before. Before beginning any experiment, read all the directions carefully. You’ll be anxious to begin immediately, of course, but two of the foremost requirements of a scientist are patience and discipline. After you understand what you are lo do, assemble all the equipment you will need. Then, read each step through again before performing it. Refer to the illustrations to make sure you’ve set the equipment up correctly, and, most important, ihink about what you are doing and why. Some of the experiments may look complicated at first, but you will find, as you go methodically from step to step, that everything fits into place. If, by chance, you don’t succeed the first time, try to figure out what went wrong, and begin again. Another essential trait of a scientist is pcrsevcrance, or what some people cali “stick-to-itiveness.”
While all of the experiments in this book are safe, you must exercise ordinary care and use your common sense. If you follow the directions, everything will work out well.
Where warnings are given, be sure to heed them.
After you finish each experiment, store your equipment neatly. Then, if you want to do the experiment again some other time, orgo on to the next one, you will find everything easily.
You will soon discover that leaming by doing is fun. You will also get great satisfaction from understanding more deeply some of the forces in nature that you see and use every day of your life.
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