My parents both originally trained as physicists (one is now a high voltage researcher and inventor of amazingly compact power supplies, the other an world expert in software QA) and so I grew up learning and knowing things most people didn't. I was often surprised that people hadn't heard of certain scientists or their work.
I knew all the experiments on this list, and they are all beautiful and simple (the mathematician still lurking in me always gives points for elegance) and if you are at least a little familiar with them, you will "get" how our world works a little better. Physicis is cool after all: I can say this despite my father's characterization of chemistry and chemical engineering (my degrees are in chemical engineering) as "Stir well" and "Pump well" respectively. Some of them go back hundreds of years (one is thousands of years ago,) and each is illustrated with a little animated gif that really does help you to understand them.
Take a look!