Electromagnetic induction is probably one of the most challenging subjects for students in the introductory physics sequence, especially in algebra-based courses. Yet it is at the heart of many of the devices we rely on today. To help students grasp and retain the concept, we have put together a simple and dramatic classroom demonstration that combines sight and sound with a compelling personal story from U.S. history. Other classroom activities dealing with induction have been discussed in this journal,1–4 but we believe that this one will be especially likely to attract and retain student interest, particularly in courses geared toward medical, biological, and other non-physics majors.

1.
J. A.
McNeil
, “
The metal detector and Faraday's law
,”
Phys. Teach.
42
,
369
(
Sept. 2004
).
2.
Eduardo E.
Rodriguez
, “
Hands-on experiments on Faraday's law
,”
Phys. Teach.
43
,
228
(
April 2005
).
3.
Emily
Alden
 et al, “
An electromagnetic induction flashlight experiment
,”
Phys. Teach.
45
,
492
(
Nov. 2007
).
4.
Deborah
Wood
and
John
Sebranek
, “
Electromagnetic induction with neodymium magnets
,”
Phys. Teach.
51
,
344
(
Sept. 2013
).
5.
Malcolm
Graham
, “
President Garfield and the Pythagorean theorem
,”
Math. Teach.
69
,
686
(
Dec. 1976
).
6.
Owsei
Temkin
and
Janet
Koudelka
, “
Simon Newcomb and the location of President Garfield's bullet
,”
Bull. Hist. Med.
24
,
393
(
1950
).
7.
Wojciech
Dindorf
, “
Lenz's law in the kitchen
,”
Phys. Teach.
37
,
268
(
May 1999
).
8.
Bernard
Taylor
, “
Physics on a shoestring: Physics fails the president
,”
Phys. Educ.
38
,
63
65
(
2003
).
9.
Candice
Millard
,
Destiny of the Republic: A Tale of Madness, Medicine and the Murder of a President
(Anchor,
2011
), p.
199
.
10.
Dean
Zollman
and
Johannes v.d.
Wirjawan
, “
Alexander Graham Bell & the Assassination of President Garfield
,” in
Physics Community and Cooperation
, edited by
D.
Raine
 et al (
Lulu/The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science, University of Leicester
,
2010
), p.
301
.
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