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Physics Toy Store

for @physicsfun Instagram followers

"Where did you get all these things?" This question is often asked in the comments of my IG posts. My goal is to share the real magic of science and physics and to this end I will update this page with suggestions on where to get some of these toys, kinetic art pieces, and scientific curiosities for yourself. Purchasing items from the links on this page will help support my IG page of science and wonder. Thanks!

The Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy:
Special Offer! Click the link in Side Bar for details------------------------------------->



Space Wheel Kinetic Art

Often available on eBay

From eBay: BUY NOW Space Wheel



spYke Ferrofluid Display Cell

spYke Ferrofluid Display Cell: another spectacular display cell by @czferro featuring a colloidal ferromagnetic liquid in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension. The orange background highlights the curious spiking behavior of the black ferrofluid- a result of the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension between the liquids. 🌟Special thanks to @czferro of Concept Zero design studio for this beautiful display! ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for info on where to get this and other amazing ferrofluid displays. #ferrofluid #fluiddynamics #magnets #magneticfield #magnetism #colloidal #physics #physicstoy #science #surfacetension #neodymium #conceptzero #scienceisawesome #electromagnetism

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Get one here:

Available on Etsy: BUY NOW spYke Ferrofluid Display
See more from the amazing collection of Concept Zero below!



Colored Ferrofluids

Colored Ferrofluid Display Cells: spectacular metallic blue, gold, and black display cells by @czferro - colloidal ferromagnetic liquids in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension. Curious behavior results from the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension. The gold and blue coloring appears to be from a thin coating at the boundary between the ferrofluid and the suspension liquid. Still exploring the details of the coloring and the specific makeup of the clear suspension fluid - both trade secrets it seems. 🌟Special thanks to @czferro of Concept Zero design studio for these beautiful displays! ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for info on where to get these and other amazing ferrofluid displays. #ferrofluid #fluiddynamics #magnets #magneticfield #magnetism #colloidal #physics #physicstoy #science #surfacetension #neodymium #conceptzero #goldferrofluid #scienceisawesome #electromagnetism

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See the amazing collection of ferrofluid displays and art at the Concept Zero webpage
Also available on Etsy: BUY NOW Concept Zero Ferrofluid Displays



High Voltage Fractal in Wood

High Voltage Fractal in Wood: a Lichtenberg fractal created by a high voltage electrical current flow across a piece of wood. Since wood is an insulator a light coating of conducting water (for instance a solution of baking soda or salt) is first applied to the surface. Metal electrodes are then attached at each end of the wood piece and a dangerous source of high voltage is applied (such as a microwave oven transformer or neon light transformer). This beautiful piece was crafted by Matt Dombroski @EngravedGrain. ➡️Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #Litchenberg #frozenlightning #fractal #electron #physics #physicstoy #mathtoy #mathstoy #electromagnetism #science #lightning #highvoltage #scienceisawesome #electricity #arc #electricarc #fractalart #beamtree #fractalsculpture

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Get one here:

From Etsy store EngravedGrain: BUY NOW High Voltage Fractal

The process:

High Voltage Wood Burn: my attempt to make a Lichtenberg fractal by applying a high voltage electrical current across a piece of wood. Inspired by the fractal in my previous post, I realized I had all the equipment needed in my garage including a neon sign high voltage transformer. Here is the burning process using 7500 V at 20 mA. I turned the power off right before the two sides connected to get the fern-like look. The wood is slightly wetted with baking soda dissolved in tap water. ‼️WARNING high voltage can kill- do not use a transformer like this unless you are fully trained in electrical high voltage safety. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on how to obtain a fractal like this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #Litchenberg #frozenlightning #fractal #electron #physics #physicstoy #mathtoy #mathstoy #electromagnetism #science #lightning #highvoltage #scienceisawesome #electricity #arc #electricarc #fractalart #beamtree #fractalsculpture

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Toroflux

Here is an affordable version of this device:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Flow Ring

The original version is available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Toroflux

Why does it look like a bubble when moving fast? Wikipedia has the details: when the object exceeds a certain speed the flicker fusion frequency of our vision produces the bubble illusion.

The physics of the toroflux is wonderfully illustrated and explained in this article by Daniel Walsh.



Centripetal Spheres

Just thread a rubber band through two of these drilled steel balls and you are ready to go!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Drilled Spheres



Memory Spring

Memory Spring: some special alloys of brass can be made to have a shape memory triggered by temperature. These springs quickly change their length from 1 cm to 2.5cm when heated above 90 C (done here with hot water) and just as quickly shrink back to original size when cooled (immersed in cold water). Useful in many applications, especially things like automatic fire sprinkler valves. This amazing property is probably due to a solid state phase transition similar to that of Nitinol wire called a martensitic transformation. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #memorywire #physics #physicstoy #phasetransition #martensitic #memoryalloy #nitinol #alloy #thermodynamics #statisticalmechanics #thermostat #science #scienceisawesome

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Available here:

From Mindsets: Memory Springs

Similar produces featuring Nitinol Memory Wire:

From Amazon: Nitinol Memory Wire Kits



Strandbeest Model Kit by Theo Jansen

Strandbeest Mini: A fully working model of artist Theo Jansen's Strandbeest kinetic sculpture which features Jansen's linkage- a unique leg mechanism which converts rotary motion of a crackshaft into smooth walking motion. Jansen's creations are usually a couple meters high and walk the beaches of the Netherlands powered by the wind. This version comes as a model kit that snaps together with no glue- a really fun project! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to get this device and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #jansen #theojansen #strandbeest #wind #windpower #linkage #jansenslinkage #physics #physicstoy #noncirculargear #sungear #geartrain #science #kineticsculpture #kineticart #art #torque #scienceisawesome

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Get one here! Make sure to get the Jr. Scientist version of this kit for best results.

From Amazon: BUY NOW Strandbeest Model Kit


Read about Theo Jansen and his novel leg linkage mechanism for the Strandbeests via these Wiki pages.



Strobe Coin Spinning Top

Strobe Coin Spinning Top: beautiful coin tops made of solid copper and silver display a remarkable spinning strobe pattern when viewed on video from a smartphone. Incredible art/physics from @shirepostmint that takes advantage of aliasing and the wagon-wheel effect. The black enamel pattern on the top of the coin is specifically designed to interact with the frame rate of the video process to produce the intricate motions of the concentric circle patterns seen here, and on the back of the coin a starburst pattern provides similarly interesting effects. These coins can be spun on both sides with spin times reaching 12 minutes! The contact points are super hard spheres of silicon nitride black ceramic (Si3N4) providing a low friction bearing. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to buy these and other amazing items featured here in @physicsfun #physicstoy #executivetoy #coin #cointop #strobetop #pockettip #spinningtop #angularmomentum #physics #rpm #aliasing #wagonwheeleffect #science #scienceisawesome

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A creation of the Shire Post Mint

From the Etsy Shop: BUY NOW Spin Strobe Coins



Mirror Anamorphic Cup & Saucer

Many designs to choose from:


From eBay: BUY NOW Anamorphic Cup & Saucer



Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy

The Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy: @Geelongshopcom now offers a new Desktop Toy version of their Ironman famous double pendulum for just $89 US. Use this code to get free world wide shipping (coupon code = FUNSHIPPING) on all purchases of The Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy on @Geelongshopcom. This kinetic art device is the ultimate physics toy, and was featured in the movie Iron Man II (sitting on the desk of Pepper Potts). The physics magic of this device displays the essence of chaotic motion with coupled pendulums- the placement of the rods' axes of rotation are engineered to exhibit the widest range of interesting motion. Four AA batteries and a simple kicker circuit in the base gives a push to a magnet in the end of the large rod keeping the system in motion for over a year! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physics #physicstoy #pendulum #coupledpendulums #coupledharmonicoscillator #harmonic #physicalpendulum #chaos #chaostheory #nonlinear #nonlineardynamics #strangeattractor #science #kinetic #kineticart #swingingsticks #theswingingsticks #ironman #pepperpotts #scienceisawesome

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Special offer for @physicsfun followers:
free worldwide shipping


The craftsmanship of this product is superb- the best kinetic sculpture of its kind available- and only $89.00 US.
@GeelongShopcom has kindly offered to share a special coupon code with all of my Instagram followers. The code given below will provide free worldwide shipping on any purchases of The Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy version from their website:
From GeelongShop.com: The Swinging Sticks Desktop Toy
Use this Coupon code: FUNSHIPPING



Star Wars Mirror Illusion

These vintage fast food toys can be found on eBay:

From eBay: BUY NOW Star Wars Illusion Cube



Magnetic Top and Snake

Available in a variety of styles:

From eBay: BUY NOW Magnetic Top and Snake

From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Top and Snake



Cartesian Diver

Cartesian Diver: increasing pressure on the water compresses the air bubble in the small plastic vial (here in the shape of an octopus' head) filling it further with water and making the diver sink. Pascal's principle states that any change in pressure on an enclosed fluid (such as squeezing the plastic bottle) is transmitted evenly to every part of the fluid- the physics of hydraulic brakes! The physics here is great- but the biology is questionable: it's not clear why an octopus would need mask and snorkel! (Its tentacles look cool though...) ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many more of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #hydraulics #physics #physicstoy #fluidstatics #ReneDescartes #cartesiandiver #Archimedesprinciple #pascalslaw #BlaisePascal #buoyancy #science #scienceisawesome

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Get one here!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Cartesian Divers



Oil Drop Timer

Available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Drop Timer



RIZE Spinning Ferrofluid Display

RIZE Spinning Ferrofluid Display: by @mtrdesigns - a colloidal ferromagnetic liquid forms a spiked helix around the threads of a steel bolt in this kinetic sculpture. The bolt contains ferromagnetic iron which channels the field from the strong neodymium magnet in the base and focuses it into the spiral configuration. The curious spiking behavior results from the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension between the liquids.🌟Special thanks to Matt of MTR Designs studio for this beautiful interactive display! ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for info on where to get this and other amazing ferrofluid displays. #ferrofluid #RIZE #fluiddynamics #magnets #magneticfield #magnetism #colloidal #physics #physicstoy #science #surfacetension #neodymium #scienceisawesome #electromagnetism

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Ferrofluid available in a variety of colors!

From MTR Designs studio: BUY NOW RIZE Ferrofluid Interactive Scuplture



Magnetic Suspension Pencil Topper

Made by HogWild Toys

From Amazon: BUY NOW Skydiving Pencil Topper
From HogWild Toys and Gifts: BUY NOW Skydiving Pencil Topper



Well Balanced Cabernet

Many styles available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW Balance Wine Racks
This stainless steel version is only $12.92

From Amazon: BUY NOW Balance Wine Racks



Dual Axis Sand Pendulum

Dual Axis Sand Pendulum: the kinetic energy trades back and forth between swinging toward the support arm and then swinging perpendicular to that path tracing Lissajous figures in the sand. The sand slowly dissipates the energy and the traced figures get smaller so the next one fits inside the last. Coupled oscillations like this can occur when multiple modes of motion (degrees of freedom) are available to the system. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #kinetic #kineticenergy #kineticart #coupledoscillator #oscillator #pendulum #sand #sandpendulum #physics #physicstoy #desktoy #science #lissajous #scienceisawesome #periodicmotion

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Available in many styles and colors:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Sand Pendulum

From eBay: BUY NOW Sand Pendulum



Dudeney's Dissection

Get this version here:

From Grand Illusions Ltd: Dudeney's Dissection
A nice wood version is available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW Dudeney's Dissection

See both Wikipedia and Wolfram MathWorld for more details on the history and math of this geometrical oddity.



The d120

120 Sided Fair Dice: mathematically this die has the maximum possible number of sides with equal area. Two mathematicians, Robert Fathauer and Henry Segerman, realized that oddly named regular polyhedron (disdyakis triacontahedron) had the needed geometry to make a 120 sided fair die. Like the familiar 6 sided die, the d120 has the following properties: every side must have equal area and the numbers on parallel sides (top and bottom) must sum to the same number. The inventors admit that they do not have any suggested use for these dice- they made them purely because mathematically it was possible to do so! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many items featured here are on @physicsfun #mathtoy #mathstoy #physics #physicstoy #geometry #mathfun #polyhedron #d120 #dice #probability #disdyakistriacontahedron #dicelab #mathartfun #science #scienceisawesome

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Get one here! Four colors to choose from.

From Amazon: BUY NOW 120 sided dice


Pop-Pop Boat:

Get one here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Pop-Pop Boat

From Amazon: BUY NOW Pop-Pop Boats

Wikipedia has the details on the physics and history of this little steamboat toy



Diamagnetic Racetrack

Diamagnetic levitation kits are available here: the racetrack magnets are a bit pricey though!

From eBay: BUY NOW Diamagnetic Levitation Kit



Optical Trick Portraits Circa 1593

If you are ever in Florence be sure to visit the Galileo Museum and see the original- as well as a collection of Galileo's telescopes and experiments.

Visit: Museo Galileo



Paper Spring Kinetic Art

Similar vintage items like this one are sometimes found on eBay and Etsy:

From eBay: BUY NOW paper slinky kinetic art

From Etsy: BUY NOW paper slinky kinetic art



Bouncing Ball at the Exploratorium

Bouncing Ball @exploratorium : a steel ball bounces more than 230 times (counted using slow motion video) before coming to rest in this exhibit demonstrating the physics of a high coefficient of restitution. The bottom plate is amorphous steel and attached firmly to a massive block of concrete to enable the ball to retain as much kinetic energy as possible after each collision. 🌟 With special thanks to the Exploratorium! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for more info and where to find many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #exploratorium #kineticenergy #physics #collision #conservationofmomentum #coefficientofrestitution #physicstoy #kineticart #bounce #bouncingball #elastisity #science #scienceisawesome

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The exhibit features a very massive block of concrete to provide inertia to the base:

Wikipedia has the details on the physics of bouncing objects.
And the Exploratorium "snack" on the application of this physics to sports: Bouncing Baseballs.

Visit the Exploratorium


Splat Pig

Splat Pig Ball: water filled ball made of an extremely elastic and sticky (tacky) soft polymer. This toy can regain its initial shape after extraordinary deformation- as caught in 240 fps slow motion (see the replay). The exact chemical makeup of these splat toys seems to be a trade secret but involves the following main constituents: polymerizing styrene, butadiene napthenic oil, calcium carbonate, and hydrogenated polyterpene resin as a tackifier that allows the temporary adhesion to the surface. Similar polymers are used in toys such as wall tumblers and sticky hands. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #splat #splatpig #splatball #physics #physicstoy #elasticity #polymer #hookeslaw #tacky #tackifier #wallwalker #240fps #chemistry #chemtoy #collision #inelasticcollision #science #scienceisawesome

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Available in many colors and shapes:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Splat Pig



Pentominoes

Get this set here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW Hardwood Pentominoes

Many versions available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Pentominoes



Ring Catch Chain Trick

Get this set here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Ring and Chain Set

The physics of this trick in great detail with more slow motion: Ring Falling into a Chain: No Magic — Just Physics



Magic Sake Cup:

These are hard to find--
also beware that some versions of this cup (Dragonware) contain images many would consider "adult content"!

I recommend making one with a shot glass and a marble as described in this fun collection of DIY science experiments by Martin Gardner:


From Amazon: BUY NOW Science Fun by Martin Gardner



Silica Aerogel

Samples available here:

From eBay: BUY NOW Silica Aerogel Sample



"Magic" Wallet:

These have become popular recently:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Magic Wallet


From eBay: BUY NOW Magic Wallet



Magnetic Field Viewer

Get one here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Viewer Cube



MaBoRun Mini II

Get one here!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Marble Runs


The spiral form of a lever: Wikipedia on Archimedes' Screw and the modern application in Auger Conveyors



MaBoRun Mini

Get one here!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Marble Runs



"Top Secret" Mystery Top:

"Top Secret": this top will stay spinning for more than a week- because it is actually a motor! The top is a dipole magnet (as revealed by Magneview film) and the base has an electromagnet that gives the dipole a push when the top comes near the center. An ingeniously simple circuit consisting of only a battery, a coil, and a transistor, is activated when the spinning magnet nears the coil turning on the electromagnet to give a boost to the spin of the magnetic top. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #top #mysterytop #electromagnetism #physics #physicstoy #induction #inducedfield #transistor #electricmotor #motor #coil #inductor #ingenious #desktoy #awesome #science #Bfield #magnaview #magneview #magnaviewfilm #scienceisawesome

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Here is the 1974 patent showing the very simple circuit of this device. The spinning dipole (the top itself) induces a current in one of the coils, and this current is fed to the base of the transistor turning the electromagnet on when the top is near.


This physics toy top is available here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Mystery Spinning Top

The amazing green magnetic viewing film is also available:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Viewing Film



Oil Drop Cascade from the Exploratorium gift shop


Visit the Exploratorium

Similar items available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Liquid Timers



UV Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope

UV Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope: original glitter wand kaleidoscope made by Illusions back in the 1990s. Intricate geometry from multiple reflections coupled with the viscous fluid motion of the glitter produces this psychedelic kinetic art. Under the illumination of a UV light this version takes it to the next level featuring fluorescent pieces and phosphorescent stars in the fluid of the wand. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile to find where to get kaleidoscopes like this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #Kaleidoscope #kaleidoscopic #physics #reflect #glitterwand #physicstoy #psychedelic #kineticart #glitterstick #science #mirror #symmetry #math #mathtoy #geometry #glitterstick #UV #ultraviolet #blacklight #glowinthedark #scienceisawesome

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Many versions of this kaleidoscope are available:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope


From eBay: Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope



Trichroic Beam Splitter


Another amazing product by the Mr. Sci Science Toy Factory


From Mr. Sci Science Toy Factory: Trichroic Prism



Anti-Counterfeit Physics:

Anti-Counterfeit Physics: Canadian banknotes integrate a number of security devices including foil rainbow holograms and far field holograms. The bill is not paper but instead a thin film polymer, and some transparent windows are built in- including one shaped like a maple leaf. If a laser is directed through the leaf window the denomination of the note (in this case $5) can be projected onto a wall. Looking through the leaf window at a point of bright light also reveals the holographic image. This note is from the Frontier Series released in 2011. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for more info, and where to obtain the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #canada #bankofcanada #SirWilfredLaurier #holidayspecs #holospecs #transmissionhologram #hologram #holographic #physics #physicstoy #diffraction #laser #optics #diffractiveopticalelement #science #constructiveinterference #encoding #scienceisawesome

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Learn more about this series of banknotes and the interesting security features on Wikipedia: Frontier Series

If you don't live in Canada, you can get these bills on eBay:
From eBay: Canada $5 Polymer Bank Note

See the next videos and links for more interesting hologram physics.



Diffractive Optical Element Sample

Diffractive Optical Element: images 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. Side by side images from two different laser wavelengths (red 635 nm, green 520 nm) shows clearly the red image is larger than the green since diffraction angle is proportional the wavelength. So much physics here! This sample demonstrates the highest resolution I've ever seen for this kind of hologram- amazing. ➡️ Follow the link from my profile for info on where to obtain this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #holidayspecs #holospecs #transmissionhologram #hologram #holographic #earth #physics #physicstoy #diffraction #laser #optics #diffractiveopticalelement #science #constructiveinterference #encoding #scienceisawesome

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Amazing application of high resolution far field holograms. The only available source I know of for projection 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 similar technology.



Wild Eyes Holographic Glasses (part II)

Far Field Hologram Glasses (part II): 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). Made by American Paper Optics LLC, many other images are available, but the sharks are my favorite. ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile to get a pair of these glasses- 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: BUY NOW 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: BUY NOW Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer



Wild Eyes Holographic Glasses (part I)

Wild Eyes Holographic Glasses: put on these goggles and on top of every point-source of light will appear an animated holographic image of sharks swimming. (Here I used a Maglite flashlight with the cap removed.) The "lenses" in these glasses are actually transmission holograms but with the image located at the farthest point in the depth of field. In this version there are three holographic images in a trifocal glasses arrangement- tilting one's head brings the animation to life! Made by American Paper Optics LLC, many other images are available and look even more amazing in person as it is hard to capture the experience with a camera. ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun 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: BUY NOW 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: BUY NOW Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer


Magnetic Equilibrium Toy

Made from inexpensive ceramic magnets available here:

from Amazon: BUY NOW Ring Magnets
from Amazon: BUY NOW Small Disk Magnets



The Chembongo

The Chembongo: expertly crafted from African Blackwood this device prefers to only spin clockwise! If spun counter clockwise, a complicated combination of friction, precession, and instability induced vibrations transforms the rotational energy into into rattling (energy of oscillations) and then into rotational energy in the opposite direction! This behavior is related to the asymmetric shape of the bottom of this kind of rattleback, it's somewhat propeller shaped with an "S" curve along the bottom ridge. 🌟 Thanks to artist Jack Mankiewicz for this beautiful addition to my collection. ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for info on where to get a rattleback and learn more about its physics. #chembongo #rattleback #celt #physics #physicstoy #rotation #instability #kineticenergy #torque #friction #angularmomentum #precession #science #scienceisawesome #kineticart

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Produced in limited supplies by artist Jack Mankiewicz. See more of his work at Chembongo.com

From Amazon: BUY NOW Chembongo

Learn more about rattlebacks and their physics in the videos and links below.


Acrylic Rattleback

Acrylic Rattleback: prefers to spin counter clockwise. If spun clockwise, a complicated combination of friction, precession, and instability induced vibrations transforms the rotational energy into into rattling (energy of oscillations) and then into rotational energy in the opposite direction! This behavior is related to the asymmetric shape of the bottom of this kind of rattleback, it's somewhat propeller shaped with an "S" curve along the bottom ridge. ➡️ Follow the link in my @physicsfun profile for info on where to get a rattleback and learn more about its physics. #rattleback #celt #physics #physicstoy #rotation #instability #kineticenergy #torque #friction #angularmomentum #precession #science #scienceisawesome #kineticart

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These acrylic versions work great and are inexpensive:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Rattlebacks


From Amazon: BUY NOW Rattlebacks

For further details on the curious physics and behavior this amazing physics toy, please see my short blog post on the rattleback.


Switch Pitch Ball

Switch Pitch Ball: this spherical assembly changes color by turning inside out when tossed into the air. Advertisements for this toy incorrectly claim air drag is involved in the transformation. The ball is made of multiple components hinged together. In launching the ball from the hand an upward acceleration results in a torque that pivots each component around its center of mass, causing the rotation of these components in an organized way leading to the transformation. Imagine tossing a stick straight up. If the stick is perfectly vertical upon launch it will move straight up- but if it is initially slanted at all it will also begin to rotate upon launch. Similar physics underlies the motion of each component of the ball- shown here in 240 fps slow motion (with new LED illumination to prevent flicker!) The Switch Pitch is produced by the makers of the Hoberman Sphere. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this device and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #kineticart #kineticenergy #torque #physics #physicstoy #angularmomentum #centerofmass #symmetry #HobermanSphere #sphere #switchpitchball #science #scienceisawesome

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Get one from these fine sources:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Switch Pitch



From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Switch Pitch



Water Spinner (Part II) at the Exploratorium

Water Spinner- Part II @exploratorium : a pair of shock waves (from the initial impulse) travel along the parabolic surface of the contained liquid, creating temporary peaks and valleys as they constructively and deconstructively interfere. As seen here in 240 fps slow motion, the symmetric waves travel and reflect along the curved surface for the first few rotations until damped out via viscosity and friction. See last Friday's post for more details about this amazing exhibit. 🌟 With special thanks to the Exploratorium! ➡ Follow the link in my profile for more info about this exhibit at the Exploratorium- and where to find many of the items featured here on @physicsfun. #exploratorium #physics #physicsfun #physicstoy #centripetalacceleration #spincam #angularmomentum #parabola #parabolic #pascalsprinciple #hydrostatics #spinning #kineticart #science #scienceisawesome

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Water Spinner at the Exploratorium

Water Spinner @exploratorium : The parabolic surface of a contained liquid under the combination of centripetal acceleration and the pull of gravity. Centripetal acceleration increases proportional to the distance from the axis of rotation, so the liquid stacks highest far from the center. Also, a faster spin rate results in a deeper and steeper parabola- note how the surface flattens out as the exhibit comes to rest. Additional physics- symmetric waves (from the sharp initial impulse) travel and reflect along the curved surface for the first few rotations until damped out via viscosity and friction. A future post will highlight this initial wave phenomenon- stay tuned! 🌟 With special thanks to the Exploratorium! ➡ Follow the link in my profile for more info about this exhibit at the Exploratorium- and where to find many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun. #exploratorium #physics #physicsfun #physicstoy #centripetalacceleration #angularmomentum #parabola #parabolic #pascalsprinciple #hydrostatics #spinning #kineticart #science #scienceisawesome

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Read more about this exhibit here:

Exploratorium Science Snack: Water Spinner

Visit the Exploratorium

For those that want the math!
A youTube tutorial Spinning Water: The Mathematical Explanation



Mini Newton's Cradle


from Amazon: BUY NOW Miniature Newton's Cradle



Sound Activated Motion lamp

Sound Activated Motion Lamp: 1970s "Dancing Lights" fiber optic lamp. A fiber bundle is illuminated by a lamp in the base and the bundle spins with a velocity proportional to the intensity of nearby sound. The resulting patterns of light are due to a combination of the length of each fiber, centripetal acceleration, and oscillations due to the elasticity of the fibers. Music with wide dynamic range provides the best spectacle, in this case the guitar intro to "Bad Horsie" by Steve Vai. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy a vintage fiber optic lamp and many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #fiberoptic #internalreflection #optics #lightpipe #kineticart #physics #physicstoy #throwback #fiberoptic #dancinglights #vintage #fiberopticlamp #1970s #science #scienceisawesome

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Here is the packaging for this vintage device- complete with neon disco font.


See the next video and links for more amazing vintage fiber optic lamps.


Fiber Optic Cactus Lamp

Vintage fiber optic lamps like this one are available on eBay most of the time:

From eBay: BUY NOW Vintage Fiber Optic Flower



Viscoelastic "Melting Snowman"

Viscoelastic "Melting Snowman": non-newtonian flow is demonstrated by these blobs of viscoelastic silicon polymer (aka Silly Putty) in the shape of snowman- if force is applied over a short period of time the substance shows elastic properties (bounces like a superball), but if the force is applied slowly the substance flows like a viscous liquid (flattens under gravity over a few hours as shown here). Thus this snowman does not melt because it is already liquid, one that flows slowly though. Mostly sold as a toy, Silly Putty was discovered after mixing boric acid with silicone oil during World War II in an attempt to find a rubber substitute. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #viscoelastic #nonnewtonian #fluiddynamics #nonnewtonianfluid #physics #physicstoy #elastic #dilatant #dilatantmaterial #science #viscosity #coefficientofrestitution #scienceisawesome @educational_innovations #meltingsnowman #snowman

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Get the kit here!


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Melting Snowman Kit



Planetary Gear Train

Planetary Gear Train: with non-circular gears! This piece of kinetic art features a 6-sided Sun Gear, six 3-sided Planetary Gears, all held within the 12-sided space of the Annular Gear. The video captures three of the many interesting modes of these epicylic gear systems: 1) holding the sun gear fixed while rotating the annular gear allows the planetary gears to orbit, 2) pinning the planetary gears such that they can spin (but not orbit) allows the sun gear to go in the reverse direction of the annular gear, 3) holding one planetary gear fixed produces curious motion- note that although the other planetary gears move they do not spin about their axes! Situation 2) is how reverse gear is accomplished in the transmissions of many vehicles. Thanks to Logan Needham (@pillagethenburn) for the ingenuous display stand that allows full demonstration of this work of physics and engineering art. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for information on where to get this device and many others amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #epicyclic #epicyclicgearing #planetarygear #planetarygearset #epicycloid #physics #physicstoy #noncirculargear #sungear #geartrain #science #kineticart #art #lasercut #torque #scienceisawesome

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From Rail and Oak: the Esty shop of Logan Needham

From Etsy: BUY NOW Planetary Gear System



Mirror Illusion Bank:

Versions of this coin bank are available here:

From eBay: BUY NOW Art Bank Illusion
From Amazon: BUY NOW Art Bank Illusion



The ΦTop - Golden Version

The ΦTop - Golden Version: spinning things have surprising physics! This unique top is made of solid brass in the shape of a prolate elIipsoid- and the name of the top is derived from the following design requirement: the ratio of the semi minor (short) axis to the semi major (long) axis is made equal to the mathematical constant the golden ratio φ (phi). Invented by astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, this top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off and the glass surface has minimal friction allowing the top to spin for a long time- this video shows various stages of 8 minutes of total spin time. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this top and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #ellipsoid #oblateellipsoid #conicsections #tippetop #torque #angularmomentum #rotationalinertia #physics #physicstoy #flip #flipover #precession #spin #spinning #top #spinningtop #science #scienceisawesome

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This version of the ΦTop is made of solid brass and has a mass more than three times that of the aluminium version (see photo below), the difference in weight is substantial and obvious when handling these tops. The brass version will spin much longer due to its larger inertia.


Professor Brecher has a limited supply of these "golden" (brass) versions of this top available on Etsy

From Etsy: BUY NOW PhiTOP in Brass

See the video below for the aluminum version.


PhiTOP

The PhiTop: spinning things often have surprising physics! This unique top is made of solid aluminum in the shape of a prolate elIipsoid- and the name of the top is derived from the following design requirement: the ratio of the semi minor (short) axis to the semi major (long) axis is made equal to the mathematical constant the golden ratio φ (phi). Invented by astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, this top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippy-top. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #ellipsoid #oblateellipsoid #conicsections #tippetop #torque #angularmomentum #rotationalinertia #physics #physicstoy #flip #flipover #precession #spin #spinning #top #spinningtop #science #scienceisawesome

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Get one here!



From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW PhiTOP
From Amazon: BUY NOW PhiTOP


Mini Double Pendulum

Mini Double Pendulum: the intricate dance of chaotic motion from a simple assembly of two physical pendulums (one attached to the end of the other) with the energy of the system moving frenetically back and forth between the potential energy of gravity to the kinetic energy of motion. Chaotic motion (shown here in 240 fps slow motion) is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. The latest double pendulum in my collection of chaotic physics toys. Made by Doug Cvelbar, owner of minicastings.com. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physicstoy #chaos #chaoticmotion #chaostheory #kineticart #pendulum #doublependulum #physicalpendulum #strangeattractor #science #scienceisawesome

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These machine crafted metal works of art by Doug Cvelbar are currently available on eBay:

From eBay: BUY NOW Double Pendulum Desk Toy


Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation

Bismuth Diamagnetic Trap Levitation: neodymium cube magnet trapped between two pieces of strongly diamagnetic bismuth crystal. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the cube shaped magnet supplies the field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though so two large ceramic magnets are placed on each side and adjusted to help lift the cube magnet against gravity. Trapped in equilibrium by these magnetic fields, the slightest air currents can send the cube magnet dancing. Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get a device like this one and many of the items featured here on @physicsfun #diamagnetism #physics #physicstoy #neodymium #magneticfield #magnetism #levitation #maglev #science #pyrolyticgraphite #scienceisawesome @element83onetsy

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See more of Ernie's amazing creations here in his Etsy shop Element83

Special for @physicsfun followers! Save 15% with discount code: PHYSICSFUN
From Etsy: Magnetic Levitation Sculptures


Bismuth Crystal Pendent

See more of Ernie's amazing creations here in his Etsy shop Element83

Special for @physicsfun followers! Save 15% with discount code: PHYSICSFUN
From Etsy: Bismuth Jewelry




Click here for more:
Physics Toys,

UA-63736203-2

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