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Physics Toy Store 05


Story Scope

This mirror anamorphic art is now sold as "Cosmic Zoom" and comes with a variety of morphing image tubes- including the "Powers of Ten" as shown in the video.

From Amazon: Cosmic Zoom Story Scope

The imagery shown in this toy is based on my absolute favorite science video short: Powers of Ten
Made by the designers Charles and Ray Eames in 1977- worth a watch!



Hoberman Sphere

A wide variety of Hoberman Spheres are available- my favorite involve glow-in-the-dark components.

From Amazon: Hoberman Spheres



Prisma Clock

One can usually find these clocks for sale on eBay- a bit pricey though!

From eBay: Prisma Clock

New versions of the Prisma and other amazing clocks are also available from Chrono Art



Stick Man Chaotic Pendulum

These stick man chaotic pendulums are no longer in production. However the product below is very similar and actually offers a wider range of configurations. I will post a video on this version in the future!

From Amazon: Chaos Machine



CineSpinner Pencil Topper

For a wide array of CineSpinners animations see the following video and links. The I❤U pencil topper can be found here:

From Star Magic: Pencil Topper



CineSpinner

CineSpinners are available with a wide array of animations: swinging monkey, blinking eye, running deer, dog, cat, and horse, and a jumping dolphin among many others...

From Amazon: CineSpinners



Frozen Lightning Lamp

Frozen Lightning Lamp: a Lichtenberg fractal created by electron discharge from a charged acrylic insulator. A piece of nonconducting acrylic is filled with electrons using a linear accelerator and then discharged to ground with a flash and bang- the figure is the permanent result. Electrons typically will not flow through an insulator, but a high velocity beam of them from a linear accelerator allows the electrons to tunnel deep into the plastic and build up a very large charge slowly. Such a large charge can then create a high enough voltage to create a breakdown arc which is hot enough to leave the fractal pattern. This piece is part of the Captured Lightning Sculptures series by Stoneridge Engineering LLC. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many other physics toys. #Litchenberg #frozenlightning #fractal #electron #linearaccelerator #beamtree #physics #physicstoy #lamp #lavalamp #electromagnetism #science #lightning #highvoltage #scienceisawesome #electricity #arc #electricarc #fractalart #fractalsculpture

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Making a fractal Litchenberg figure: A piece of nonconducting acrylic is filled with electrons using a linear accelerator and then discharged to ground with a flash and bang- the "frozen lightning" figure is the permanent result. Electrons typically will not flow through an insulator, but a high velocity beam of them from a linear accelerator allows the electrons to tunnel deep into the plastic and build up a very large charge slowly. Such a large charge can then create a high enough voltage to create a breakdown arc which is hot enough to leave the fractal pattern.

Bert Hickman makes beautiful and affordable "Captured Lightning" sculptures with this method. A selection of his sculptures are available here:

From eBay:Captured Lightning Lichtenberg



Warping "TV Rock"

Samples of TV Rock are available on on-line (see the links below the next video), but for samples that have this warping feature you will need to visit the rock shop that supplies most of the ulexite samples to the world:

Desert Discoveries in Boron California, just off Highway 58 between the cities of Barstow and Mojave.



Ulexite "TV Rock"

Samples of all sizes are available at reasonable prices. The "TV rock" effect looks even more amazing in person.

From eBay: TV Rock


From Amazon: TV Rock

If you ever find yourself driving on Highway 58 outside of Mojave in California, stop and take the tour of the largest open-pit mine in our state, just off the road and the museum is interesting: Rio Tinto Borax Mine



Happy Meal Physics

Happy Meal Physics: vintage KFC toy form the 1990s morning show Beakman's World. As the image of Beakman nears, the Liza figure spins and moves away. The base of the dancing girl is rounded and has inside a magnet oriented north straight up while the image of Beakman has a magnet with its north at a 45 degree angle. When brought together the magnet under the girl tilts towards 45 degrees but then the figure becomes unstable and rolls to restore balance. Anyone else remember this show? The rat guy was pretty funny. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for further details about the magnetic configuration and info on where to get many of these physics toys. #magnettoy #magneticfield #magnets #physics #physicstoy #torque #centerofmass #toy #fun #tilt #science #scienceisawesome #friction #vintagetoy #happymealtoy #BeakmansWorld

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Throwback to 1992-98 for this CBS morning show about science- Zaloom!
Beakman's World merchandise is available on eBay, including these "happy meal" toys

From eBay: Beakman's World

The physics of this toy is the same as this Seal and Ball toy:


Magneto Seal and Ball: Vintage Magnetic Toy

Here is a nice description of the how this toy works: Magnetic Seal Physics

As far as I know this toy is no longer in production, but a few similar versions are currently available on eBay

From eBay: Magneto Toys 1, Magneto Toys 2



Fluorescence and Birefringence in Calcite

Fluorescence and Birefringence in Calcite: two samples of calcite- each with different impurities that produce blue fluorescence for the small crystal and red fluorescence for the larger one under a 405nm violet laser. Also one can clearly see that the single laser beam takes two paths through the crystals- the speed of light in a calcite crystal depends on polarization because the refractive index is different depending on the polarization orientation of the light transmitted through it. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many other physics toys. #calcite #rockhound #birefringence #polarization #polarizer #electromagnetism #physics #physicstoy #optics #refraction #indexofrefraction #geophysics #geophysicstoy #mineralogy #icelandspar #beamsplitter #rhomboid #rhomboidal #science #fluorescence #UV #laserpointer #science #scienceisawesome

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A nice summary from Wikipedia: Calcite

For a good source to buy calcite crystals see the links supplied after the next video. Thanks!


Birefringence in Calcite

Birefringence in Calcite: the speed of light in a calcite crystal depends on polarization- the refractive index is different depending on the polarization orientation of the light transmitted through it. As a polarizing filter is rotated 90 degrees, one image appears and the other vanishes, showing that the polarization orientation of the light of the two images is indeed perpendicular. In addition the elegant rhombohedral nature of calcite crystals is obvious in this sample. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile to find where to buy this and many other physics toys. #calcite #rockhound #birefringence #polarization #polarizer #electromagnetism #physics #physicstoy #optics #refraction #indexofrefraction #geophysics #geology #mineralogy #icelandspar #beamsplitter #rhomboid #rhomboidal #science #geophysicstoy #scienceisawesome

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Get a piece of optical calcite and the polarizing filters you will want from Educational Innovations


From Educational Innovations: Optical Calcite


From Educational Innovations: Polarizing Film



Electric Motor: Simplest Form

Electric Motor: in its simplest form- coil, magnet, and battery. The wire of the coil has an insulating coating- and this coating is carefully scrapped off one side on each end. When current passes through the coil it becomes an electromagnet and the permanent magnet repels it making it spin- as it turns the currents goes on and off depending if the copper posts are in contact with the bare wire (current on) or the still insulated wire (current off). I have motors with fewer parts- but they operate on more complex principles. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to get this motor and many other physics toys. #electromagnet #emf #electricmotor #physics #physicstoy #electriccurrent #science #worldssimplestmotor #windings #coils #electromagnetism #Bfield #ampereslaw #scienceisawesome #flux

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From Educational Innovations: Simplest Motor



Transit of Mercury 2016

2016 Transit of Mercury: the tiny silhouette of the innermost planet Mercury seen against the disc of the Sun. The magnified image Is projected using a 4 inch reflecting telescope outfitted with a repurposed lens from an old 35mm slide projector. Note the presence of a small Sun spot which is much larger than Mercury! Transits of Mercury happen about 13 times a century- the next two will happen in 2019 and then not again until 2032. This telescope was constructed by my father in 1957 and has seen a few transits. A favorite "physics toy" 😬 ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for more info. #Mercury #transitofmercury #mercurytransit #telescope #reflectortelescope #newtonianreflector #physics #physicstoy #physicsfun #science #scienceisawesome #astronomy #astrophysics

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Wikipedia has the details: Transits of Mercury



Polarizing Filter Black Wall Illusion

Amazon lists acrylic tubing at a reasonable price: get a 2 foot long tube with an inner diameter of 1.5 inches for about $17 US. This will accommodate a large marble for the demonstration.

From Amazon: Acrylic Tubing

For a 1.5 inch inner diameter (3.8 cm) tube you will need a 10 inch (25.4 cm) wide sheet to complete a cylinder inside the tube.


From Educational Innovations: Polarizing Film



Oil Drop Timer: With Dolphins

Oil Drop Timer: immiscible fluids of different densities stay separate under gravity with the lightest density on top. The density of the plastic dolphins is greater than the density of the top fluid but less than the density of the bottom fluid, so they stay at the boundary in equilibrium. The dolphins have a metal weight in their tails so that the buoyant force will keep them upright even as the liquids trade places (2 minutes shown in time-lapse). Archimedes' Principal at work here at multiple levels. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to get this and many other physics toys. #physics #physicstoy #physicsfun #archimedes #archimedesprinciple #bouyantforce #liquidmotion #fluiddynamics #science #scienceisawesome #immiscible #density

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Available here

From Amazon: Liquid Motion with Dolphins



MagneView Film: tracking magnets



Thermochromic Constellation Mug


Available from


From Educational Innovations: Constellation Mug, and also: Dinosaur Mug



Diffractive Optical Element Part II

Diffractive Optical Element Part II: side by side images from two different laser wavelengths (red 635 nm, green 520 nm) produced by constructive and deconstructive interference of coherent laser light. The patches of microstructure on the surface of this transparent plastic are far field holograms- transmission holograms, but with the image at infinity. The red image is larger than the green since diffraction angle is proportional the wavelength. So much physics here! ➡️ Follow the link from my profile for info on where to obtain this and many other physics toys. #holidayspecs #holospex #wildeyes #holospecs #transmissionhologram #hologram #holographic #shark #physics #physicstoy #diffraction #diffractiveopticalelement #constructiveinterference #science #virtualimage #encoding #scienceisawesome

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Diffractive Optical Element Sample

Amazing application of high resolution far field holograms. The only available source for projections holograms at this high resolution is this supplier of industrial samples

From MaterialSampleShop.com: Diffractive Optical Element Sample

This physics of this device is closely related to that of far field holography- see the following two posts for further examples of fun physics toys available using this technology.



Far Field Hologram Applications

Far Field Hologram Applications: holographic glasses can also be used to project an image using the beam of a laser- the exact same technology used to make the "projection caps" on inexpensive laser pointers. The "lenses" in these glasses are actually transmission holograms, but with the image at maximum depth of field so that the image forms around all point sources of light (such as the Maglite flashlight bulb used here). Made by American Paper Optics LLC, many other images are available, but the sharks are my favorite. ➡️ Follow the link from my profile to get a pair of these googles- also comes in T-Rex, Dolphin, Bat, Crocodile, and 7 other animals. #holidayspecs #holospex #wildeyes #holospecs #transmissionhologram #hologram #holographic #shark #physics #physicstoy #diffraction #constructiveinterference #science #virtualimage #encoding #scienceisawesome

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Made by American Paper Optics Inc. all versions of these holographic glasses can be found here:

from Amazon: Wild Eyes 3D Glasses

Here is an excellent description of the physics and principles of operation of these far-field holograms by the manufacturer HoloSpex, Inc. Interestingly, this is the same physics used to make the laser projection caps (see next video below).

Need a laser pointer? Incredibly, you can get 3 (one of each color) for under $10 (including S&H):

From eBay: Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer


Projection Laser Pointer


Here is the exact type from the video:

These can still be found on eBay (and also inexpensive)- such as these: Red Projection Pointers or from this search: Projection Pointers


Reaction Rocket

Reaction Rocket: projectile launch via momentum transfer in slow motion. The superball/straw base bounces off the table top and then immediately collides with the bottom of the rocket sending it off with a velocity slightly less than 3 times the velocity of the rising ball (true if the ball is more than three times the mass of the rocket). Newton's third law in action! Note that the rocket rises much higher than the drop height (up to 9 times higher). ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many other physics toys. #elastic #elasticcollision #collision #physics #physicstoy #newtons3rdlaw #inelastic #restitution #coefficientofrestitution #superball #momentum #conservationofmomentum #science #scienceisawesome #projectile #astroblaster

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The essence of a great physics toy: simple design showing comlex physics


From Educational Innovations: Reaction Rocket



Asymmetric Spinning Top: Books are Tops

This vintage top is available from the Top Museum (yes there is such a place!)

From The Top Museum: Book Top (Scroll down a bit)

Here are other versions of these kind of center-or-mass tops:



Asymmetric Spinning Tops


Available on eBay

From eBay: Asymmetric Tops



Spectral Decoder CD Art: Bright Eyes Cassadaga

Spectral Decoder CD Art: hidden images are revealed through ingenious and intricate Moiré pattern interference on the CD Cassadaga by the band Bright Eyes. Carefully align and slide the included transparent sheet of horizontal prisms (similar to a Fresnel lens) and the secret images pop into view giving insights and artistic renderings of the songs on this release. The Spectral Decoder process is patented and manufactured by 3D Images Ltd. of London. The accompanying music is the opening bars from the 8th track of this CD "Middleman". ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this CD and many other physics toys. #moire #moirepattern #constructiveinterference #interference #physics #physicstoy #math #mathtoy #mathstoy #FocalDecoder #fesnellens #art #mathart #science #scienceisawesome #physicsfun #BrightEyes #cassadaga

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Interesting band and incredible physics toy CD art:

From Amazon: Cassadaga



Fused Optical Fiber Magnifier

These taper magnifiers are special application devices and are typically very expensive. Here is a source to get one under $50 (but only a few left in stock)

From Plastecs.com: Fiber Optic Taper



Digital Sundial

Invented in 1994 and designed and built in Germany, the microlouver masks are precision engineered to give 10 minute accuracy to the digital sundial. Learn more about the inventors and how to buy a digital sundial for your specific latitude here:

From Digital Sundials International: Digital Sundial



Rolling Pendulum Acrobat

Rolling Pendulum Acrobat: vintage "Action and Motion" kinetic sculpture manufactured in 1978 by Otagiri. The center of mass of the stick figure is very close to the horizontal bar (axis of rotation) so the figure rotates with minimal resistance. The parallel bars are slightly concave so the rotation slows down as it climbs and then reverses to roll back towards the center- transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy and back again to potential. The process repeats until friction dissipates the kinetic energy and the system comes to rest. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get sculptures like this one and many other physics toys. #balancetoy #physics #physicstoy #rollingpendulum #desktop #actionandmotion #otagiri #equilibrium #centerofmass #kineticart #kineticsculpture #science #throwback #1978 #stickfigure

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Action and Motion series by Otagiri circa 1978: Acrobat with original box

Kinetic Art by Otagiri can often be found on eBay. Vintage from the 1970s, these sculptures utilize the physics of low center of mass (and associated stable equilibria), pendulum motion, and angular momentum.

From eBay: Otagiri Kinetic Art

Kyle's Kinetics offers state of the art stainless steel kinetic art on Etsy: Kyle's Kinetics
Check out an example of his recent work in the video below:



Balance & Poise

Balance & Poise: low center of mass kinetic art sculpture featuring a graceful girl in a yoga pose- a perfect physics toy graduation gift for my daughter who will start graduate school to study astrophysics next Fall! (So proud!) This delightful creation by Kyle Auga @kyleskinetics has the curious motion of a 3D physical pendulum- a complex motion which can be broken down into oscillations along two dimensions and rotation about the point of contact. Crafted from stainless steel, the stick figure plus counterweights and bar structure is designed such that its center of mass is few centimeters below the contact point when at rest. When the sculpture is tipped the center of mass swings under the pivot point in this stable equilibrium condition- no magnets needed to create this physics magic. Kyle has many other amazing works of balancing art ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for more info and links to Kyle's Kinetics. #KylesKinetics #kineticart #centerofmass #lowcenterofmass #balancetoy #physicstoy #physicsart #physics #stableequilibrium #equilibrium #oscillations #physicalpendulum #pendulum #torque #restoringforce #desktoy #science #scienceisawesome #newtonssecondlaw #centerofgravity

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Kyle Auga creates incredible kinetic sculptures- all of them use physics to showcase the unexpected nature of nature.

Check out Kyle's art on Etsy: Kyle's Kinetics
Contact Kyle through Etsy or IG.




Click here for more:

Physics Toys,



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