Dracula's Library
Central Concept: The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Central Character: Dracula

A passage leads to Dracula's Library, complete with oversized books and furniture and a giant fireplace. A life-size cutout of the Prince of Darkness himself greets visitors and introduces them to the properties of light, waves and particles. Lessons on the electromagnetic spectrum and its relationship to light are integrated into hands-on activities. Visitors create "Quiet Lightning" by touching a glowing plasma sphere, causing electrons to flow through a combination of rare gases, demonstrating the conversion of high frequency alternating current into electromagnetic waves.

The thermal imaging exhibit uses a special infra-red camera to "photograph" the heat that objects, or in this case, visitors, radiate. An attached computer system generates a vibrant colorized video of the body temperatures, letting visitors "see" the unseen. Even small heat variations from different parts of the body are evident. Visitors learn about light particles by powering lightbulbs in the radiometer exhibit, about polarizing filters by making a bat appear and disappear. Dracula's interactive computer station, housed in giant books, uses graphics, text, images and sound to reinforce light and energy concepts.

Scenic Elements

  • Standing Figure of Dracula (Bela Lugosi)
  • Entrance through faux stone wall from Portrait Parlor
  • Large fireplace with skulls and gargoyle carvings
  • Stone wall panels and black filler panels
  • Large wooden tables holding exhibits
  • Oversized plywood armchair
  • Life-sized suit of armor
  • Giant leather bound books housing computer station
  • Large portrait of Dracula in ornate frame
  • Large portrait of Dracula's three brides
  • View of Ghostly Graveyard through arched windows and passageway

Exhibition Components

  • Quiet Lightning
  • Polarized Bat
  • Radiometer
  • Multimedia Computer Station

Quiet Lightning
Visitors touch a glowing plasma sphere to create a lightning-type effect from the flow of electrons through a combination of 15 rare gases, demonstrating the conversion of high frequency alternating current into electromagnetic waves.

Polarized Bat
Visitors spin a disc and see a bat image appear and disappear. Polarizing filters demonstrate how light has characteristics of waves. Filters are made up of very fine lines oriented in one direction. Light waves pass between lines but when another filter is placed at right angles (or perpendicular) to the original, no light can pass through, making the bat image appear dark.

This exhibit demonstrates the particle-like qualities of light. Visitors direct a light source toward several rows of radiometers. When the photons of light strike the surface of the radiometer sails they transfer their energy and cause the sails to spin, creating a dramatic display of light and movement.

Dracula's Multimedia Computer Station
This interactive computer station, encased in giant books in the library, reinforces the concepts explored in the Dracula Library interactive exhibits through a question and answer format. The concepts further explored in the computer interactive are:

  • Energy manifests itself in many forms. Mechanical (potential and kinetic), chemical, electrical, magnetic, nuclear and radiant energy are all different forms.
  • Energy can be transformed from one form to another.
  • Evidence that matter has properties of both particles and waves.