Only under special circumstances can we lend demos to requestors from outside UC Berkeley. So what can we provide? We are only too happy to field questions regarding our apparatus. Documentation on our equipment is (generally) very good, and we can help you recreate any of our demos at your facility.
If you are going to be in Berkeley, and would like to tour our hallway of physics toys, feel free to contact us via email/phone. Discussions with visitors never fails to spark great ideas.
A few words and resources on getting you started building:
Off the shelf apparatus
Often times, you can purchase ready made equipment of high quality that will suit your needs. And the time saved building the equipment will generally offset the extra cost incurred by purchasing the demo.
Here's a selection of our favorite places to buy finished equipment:
For any general supply, you can't do much better than McMaster. They have absolutely every item that's ever existed in stock and will be able to get it to you by the next day.
American Science and Surplus is always worth a look for whatever you're trying to find. Not exactly the most extensive catalog, but they have great prices and you always seem to come across several items you didn't even know you needed until you saw them on the site.
Fisher Scientific has significant discounts for educational institutions on the more common chemicals and glassware, so be sure to ask about what
Lenses and Optics
These guys aren't cheap, but there stuff is of the highest quality. If you have extra wiggle room in your tolerances, I would recommend going to any of the websites in the websites in the first category up above.
Here at Berkeley, we're using the Vernier Lab Pro exclusively, but Pasco has a similar product. These are great for demos as the array of sensors available allows you to quantify just about any demo you have.
Other good demo sites
Obviously, we don't create in a vacuum. There's tons of innovative things being thought up at all times. We tend to start with the PIRA index