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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------------------------------------->


NEW: @physicsfun Highlighted Physics Toy: The 50|50 Cube

a study in material density contrast: Now on KickStarter Learn More



Benton/Rainbow Hologram: TNG Enterprise edition

Benton Hologram: also called a rainbow hologram which are often embossed on foil as means of production. Commonly found on credit cards and forms of currency as a method of anti-counterfeit security, this hologram of the Starship Enterprise is an especially nice example of this hologram type with striking 3D effect. Here the motion is produced by moving the point source of illumination (a halogen lamp). Amazing what manipulation of light interference can create! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #hologram #bentonhologram #laser #physics #physicstoy #startrek #optics #interference #electromagnetism #diffraction #rainbowhologram #science #scienceisawesome

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These are available on eBay!

From Ebay: BUY NOW Star Trek Rainbow Hologram



Tea Candle Steam Engine

Get one from these fine sources:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Tea Candle Steam Engine
From Amazon: BUY NOW Tea Candle Steam Engine



Polaroid Glare Reduction

Polaroid Glare Reduction: this retail display illustrates the amazing property of light waves and Polaroid sunglasses. In this Oakley display a white surface is aligned by design so that the light from the white surface is reflected off an image of a surfer such that the glare is so extreme the photo is obscured- however all the glare light can be almost entirely eliminated with a polarizing filter oriented correctly. Light waves that are reflected leave the surface with a high percentage of the waves polarized parallel to the surface- if one wears sunglasses that have vertically oriented polarizing filters any reflected light off horizontal surfaces is mostly blocked. At a particular angle for a given surface material (called Brewster's angle) the reflected waves are 100% polarized. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #polarizer #polarizedlight #light #optics #physics #physicstoy #polaroid #glare #BrewstersAngle #FresnelsLaw #glarereduction #polaroidsunglasses #electromagnetism #science #refraction #reflection #linearpolarization #scienceisawesome

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These vintage displays are currently available on eBay: surfer, skier, or fisherman

From eBay: BUY NOW Polarizer Test Display



Magnetic Sand Hourglass

Get one from these fine sources:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Magnetic Sand Timer
From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Hourglass



Light Pipe

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Display Stand Light Pipe

Very inexpensive LASER pointers available here:

From eBay: BUY NOW Green Laser Pointer



Hand Boiler

Get one from these fine sources:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Hand Boiler
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hand Boilers



MaBoRun Mini III

Get a MaBoRun here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW MaBoRun Mini Marble Run



Iron Filings in Silicone Oil Suspension

Iron Filings in Silicone Oil Suspension: visualizing the invisible- the magnetic field lines around a horseshoe magnet. In the presence of a magnetic field, ferromagnetic materials (such as iron) temporarily become magnets. Here the iron filings become dipole magnets and link up and align like tiny compass needles to follow and reveal the magnetic field lines associated with the permanent magnet underneath. Viscous silicone oil temporarily keeps the iron particles suspended yet allows for rotation and repositioning under the influence of the magnetic field. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to obtain this device and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physics #magnetic #magnetism #magneticfield #physicstoy #dipole #dipolefield #demonstration #silicone #physicsdemo #horseshoemagnet #electromagnetism #science #scienceisawesome

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Get the set here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Viewer



Aqua Drop Puzzle

Three models/colors to choose from:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Aqua Drop Puzzles



Extreme Viscosity Kinetic Sculpture




Ooze Timer
Ooze Tube: viscous fluid timer toy. Some interesting physics phenomena are found in this kinetic art novelty item: the "liquid rope-coil effect" where the fluid thread coils and stacks as it lands on the pooling surface, and a curious periodicity in the rate of flow that is related to the formation of non-spherical bubbles as the air and fluid trade places (shown in time-lapse). The physics of the coiling effect is complex (see the link in my blog). Broadly speaking the coiling is due to the bottom of the fluid rope widening at the contact point with the surface, and as it widens the fluid slows down but not evenly. This uneven rate of flow produces a bend and the elasticity of the stream constrains the rope to a limited radius- hence a stack of coils. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #ropecoil #viscosity #fluiddynamics #fluidmechanics #physics #physicstoy #viscousbuckling #geophysics #helix #helicalcoil #liquidrope #liquidropecoileffect #ooze #oozetube #coileffect #kineticart #science #scienceisawesome
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Available in a variety of colors:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Ooze Timer

The physics of the liquid rope-coil effect is pretty complex. Here is a recent scientific paper on the topic with nice illustrations.

Journal of Fluid Mechanics: Multiple coexisting states of liquid rope coiling



Mirror Anamorphic Cup & Saucer

Get a set here:

From Nuku: BUY NOW Anamorphic Coffee and Tea

Some amazing anamorphic puzzles - these come with a cylindrical mirror to reveal a hidden image!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Cylindrical Mirror Anamorphic Puzzles



Chaotic Pendulum Kinetic Art: Skateboarder by Otagiri

These vintage pieces are often available on eBay- two for sale as of this post.

From Ebay: BUY NOW Vintage Otagiri Kinetic Art



Magni-Orb by Sven Petersen

Magni-Orb: kinetic art as oscillations about a magnetic equilibrium point. The base and sphere are carved from rosewood and have strong magnets embedded within them that produce an attraction. If the sphere is given some initial rotation it will exhibit complex orbits as the energy trades back and forth between potential energy and kinetic energy. The motion eventually damps out due to friction. A creation by Sven Petersen and imported by SAAP Denmark circa 1970. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #oscillations #equilibrium #stableequilibrium #physics #physicstoy #kineticart #art #SAAP #MagniOrb #rosewood #magnets #magnetism #magneticfield #magneticattraction #dipole #1970 #equillibriumpoint #science #scienceisawesome

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This vintage item is often available on eBay (1 available as of the date of this post)

From Ebay: BUY NOW Magni-Orb



Chain Fountain

Chain Fountain: as the chain flows out of the glass under the pull of gravity the beads don't simply roll over the edge but instead arc up upward like a fountain. As each link is pulled and tilted upward the adjacent link is tilted downward and pressed into the pile- by Newton's 3rd law the pile presses back pushing each bead upward into the air. A segment of the video is shown in slow motion where the fountain is at maximum height. This phenomena was recently discovered by Steve Mould (more to be seen at his YouTube channel) and the details of the physics is described in the Proceedings of the Royal Society by Biggins & Warner (2014). ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #chain #chainfountain #physics #physicstoy #gravity #siphon #polymer #newton #newtonsthirdlaw #force #flow #fluid #chainreaction #science #scienceisawesome #MouldEffect @festivalofthespokennerd

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The best effect (highest fountain) is obtained by using #10 size chain with a bead diameter of 3/16" (4.8mm). This spool has 100 feet of chain, the same length as used in the video.

From Amazon: BUY NOW #10 ball chain


Wikipedia has the details on the discovery of the chain fountain, and for those that want the physics here is the paper: Understanding the Chain Fountain from Proceedings of the Royal Society A, 2014


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


Shadow Stereographic Projection

Shadow Stereographic Projection: 3D printed sculptures that cast geometric shadows. When illuminated by a point source of light (placed at the top pole of the sphere) the shadow cast by the rays of light represent a one to one mapping of the points on the sphere to points on the plane- creating a square grid, and a honeycomb of regular hexagons. Stereographic projection is often used in representing the geography of the globe of our planet on to a flat map. Mathematical art by Henry Segerman. ➡ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get these and many more of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physics #physicstoy #physicsfun #math #mathtoy #mathstoy #mathematicalart #shadow #3dprinting #stereographicprojection #science #grid #honeycomb #scienceisawesome

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These mathematical art objects are created by Henry Segerman and available here:

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Stereographic Square Grid
From Shapeways: BUY NOW Stereographic Hex Grid


Wikipedia has a nice introduction to the math and applications of stereographic projection.



Nitinol Heat Engine

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Nitinol Wire Loop Heat Engine



Nitinol Memory Wire

Get a sample from these sources:

From Ebay: BUY NOW Nitinol Memory Wire shape sample


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Nitinol Memory Wire Spring


Kalliroscope by Paul Matisse

Kalliroscope: rheoscopic fluid reveals the convection currents generated by the heat emanating from fingertips. Invented and produced by Paul Matisse in the 1970s, suspended microscopic flat crystals of guanine reflect light and allow visualization of the fluid's motion. This rheoscopic fluid is special in that the guanine crystals are the same density as the tetrachloroethylene liquid so the crystals never settle to the bottom making the fluid reactive to showing the slightest movement. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for more info on where to get many of the curiosities featured here on @physicsfun #kalliroscope #matisse #kineticart #rheoscopicfluid #rheoscopic #Matisse #convection #kineticart #fluiddynamics #1970 #1970s #Calder #kineticsclupture #kalliroscope #physics #physicstoy #art #psychedelic #lavalamp #science #scienceisawesome #fluiddynamics #rheoscopic #physics #physicstoy #convection #convectioncurrent #science #perchloroethylene #tetrachloroethylene #1970

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These vintage items can sometimes be found on eBay:

From eBay: BUY NOW Kalliroscope
Make your own device with a bottle of rheoscopic fluid:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Rheoscopic Fluid



Volumes of Constant Width

Get a set of Reuleaux solids here:

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Volumes of Constant Width



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



Precession of a Gyroscope

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Gyroscopes
From eBay: BUY NOW Gyroscopes



Balance Bird

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Balance Bird



Newton's Yo-Yo


Get a set here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Newton's Yoyo
From Amazon: BUY NOW Newton's Yoyo/Clackers



Poly Density Puzzle

Poly Density Puzzle: a science brain teaser- white beads and blue beads "float" oddly separated beneath the surface of a clear liquid. If the contents are mixed by shaking the container, the white beads gather at the top and the blue sink to bottom! Adding to the mystery; after about 30 seconds the two layers of beads will have slowly moved back to the middle. What is your guess as to the physics behind this behavior? ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this puzzle (and the physics that explains it) along with many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physicstoy #physicspuzzle #density #densitycolumn #immiscible #immiscibleliquids #bouyancy #archimedes #archimedesprinciple #saltingout #physics #science #scienceisawesome #polydensity

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Get the kit here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Polydensity Bottle Kit


Thermochromic Eclipse Postage Stamps

Thermocromic Eclipse Postage Stamps: In commemoration of the total solar eclipse next Monday the US Post Office has released their first ever stamp featuring thermocromic ink. Thermotropic liquid crystals go from opaque to transparent during a phase change from a crystal to liquid state. Here the warmth of the hand reveals the face of the moon in front of the solar corona. The first physics toy stamp! ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #liquidcrystal #phasetransition #themotropic #thermometer #solareclipse #totaleclipse #corona #moon #stamp #usstamp #postagestamps #thermochromic #physics #physicstoy #phase #science #solidstate #souvenir #scienceisawesome

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Available from the US Post Office and here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Thermochromic Eclipse Stamps



50|50 Cube


From KickStarter: ORDER NOW 50|50 Cube


Diamagnetic Mini Hoverboard

Diamagnetic Mini Hoverboard: in this commercially available version a thin pyrolytic graphite sheet floats above a concave powerful neodymium magnet creating an environment with minimal friction- the thin sheet carrying a lightweight foam Hoverboard will swing back and forth for a couple minutes. By NeoLev- with a Back to the Future II theme! Diamagnetic substances develop temporary repulsive magnetic fields only when they are exposed to a magnetic field from another source. Graphite of this sort is the most diamagnetic substance known. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to buy this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #diamagnetism #NeoLev #physics #physicstoy #hover #hoverboard #BttF #magnetism #magneticfield #electromagnetism #levitation #maglev #pyrolytic #neodymium #science #scienceisawesome

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Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW NeoLev Hoverboard

See the next video for a DIY version...


Diamagnetic Micro-Hoverboard

If you want to make one of these you will need 1) some pyrolytic graphite (which can easily be sliced and carved):
From eBay: BUY NOW pyrolytic graphite
2) some neodymium magnets: See next video for info on the concentric magnet racetrack.
3) shrink and print this image on medium weight paper,

and 4) cut and assemble!

Pyrolytic Graphite is fun to experiment with on its own. Educational Innovations has this affordable starter kit:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Diamagnetic Levitation Kit



Diamagnetic Racetrack

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

From eBay: BUY NOW Diamagnetic Levitation Kit


The Alchemist: Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation Sculpture

The Alchemist: cast from diamagnetic Bismuth, a neodymium cube magnet levitates trapped between the hands of the ancient scholar. 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 a cylindrical neodymium magnet hangs above the figure and is 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. Although alchemists never succeeded in transmuting lead to gold, in 1981 physicists used the particle accelerator at Berkeley to shoot Carbon nuclei at thin foils of Bismuth- the resulting collisions did produced a tiny amount of Gold atoms! So the element Bismuth, with modern nuclear physics, finally accomplished the aspirations of the alchemists. 🌟Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this sculpture and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #diamagnetism #physics #physicstoy #neodymium #magneticfield #magnetism #levitation #maglev #science #bismuth #alchemy #alchemist #LBNL #GlennSeaborg #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: BUY NOW Magnetic Levitation Sculptures

Circa 1981, Physicists transmute Bismuth to Gold: Particle accelerators make possible the ancient alchemist’s dream—but at a steep cost



Surf's Up!

Surf's Up!: Another gravity defying creation by Kyle Auga @kyles_kinetics. This well-balanced stainless steel surfer will carve waves in the air for over 15 minutes on one push! The surfer 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. 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. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get Kyle's kinetic art and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #kineticart #KylesKinetics #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 here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Kyle's Kinetics
and from Kyles on-line store: BUY NOW kyleskinetics.com



Double Pendulum Chaos

Double Pendulum: 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 is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. This double pendulum was made by Doug Cvelbar (owner of minicastings.com) where bearings were used at the pivot points to minimize fiction so that the energy takes many minutes to dissipate. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physicstoy #chaos #chaoticmotion #chaostheory #kineticart #pendulum #doublependulum #physicalpendulum #strangeattractor #science #scienceisawesome

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See the next two videos and links for chaotic pendulums you can own!



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 $98.00 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


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



Balancing Bottles

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Balance Bottle Dock



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



Pentakis Geometric Kaleidoscope

This item is hard to find, but I believe it is in stock here:

From AHA in Zurich: BUY NOW Pentakis

More kaleidoscopes below!


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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These dynamic kaleidoscopes are still in production:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Kaleidoscope with Glitter Wand or from this selection including a smaller version: Liquid Motion Kaleidoscopes


Magneto Top: Tesla Zero

Tessa Zero: a top that generates electricity and lights LEDs when spun. This top contains a strong dipole magnet which becomes the rotor in this alternator set up. In accordance with Faraday's law, the rapidly changing magnetic field of the spinning top induces an AC current In the 1000 turn coil in the base. The intensity of the light emitted from the 3 LEDs in the base indicates how much current is being generated- and the base is composed of transparent plastic that serves as a light pipe to distribute the emitted light via internal reflection. Special thanks to Tobi Lee of @fireflylabs for sending me this fantastic top and base. ➡ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this top and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physics #magneto #alternator #spinningtops #desktoy #indiegogo #physicstoy #physicsfun #faraday #faradayslaw #tesla #magneticinduction #science #scienceisawesome

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Information via Indiegogo:

From Indiegogo: INFO Tesla Zero
ORDER NOW Tesla's Insight select "perks" to order the Tesla Zero

See the next video for more of Mr. Lee's creative work!


Magneto Top: Tesla's Insight

Magneto Top: a top that generates electricity and lights LEDs when spun. This top contains a strong dipole magnet which becomes the rotor in this alternator set up. A 1000 turn coil in the base can be adjusted so that the rapidly changing magnetic field of the top will induce an AC current in accordance with Faraday's law. The intensity of the light emitted from the LEDs in the base indicates how much current is being generated. Special thanks to Tobi Lee for sending me one of his Tessa's Insight tops. ➡ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this top and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physics #magneto #alternator #spinningtops #desktoy #indiegogo #physicstoy #physicsfun #faraday #faradayslaw #tesla #magneticinduction #science #scienceisawesome

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Available through Indiegogo here:

From Indiegogo: ORDER NOW Tesla's Insight


Pendulum Snake at the Exploratorium

Pendulum Snake @exploratorium: ten swinging spheres, the first has a frequency of 15 swings per 30 seconds, the second has 16 in the same time, the third has 17, up to the tenth with 25 swings per 30 seconds. If released at the same time and height the amazing patterns result as each independent pendulum goes in and out of phase with the rest. Note that for a pendulum the frequency of oscillation depends on the square root of its length. 🌟 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 #oscillation #pendulum #pendulumsnake #physicstoy #kineticart #frequency #phase #periodic #cycles #science #scienceisawesome

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This exhibit include labels for the exact period of each pendulum:

This Exploratorium "snack" describes how to build your own with simple supplies: Pendulum Snake

Visit the Exploratorium

Small versions you can buy are available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Pendulum Snake



Bottle, Hoop, and Nail Trick

Bottle, Hoop, and Nail Trick: with some practice a snap of the wrist removes the hoop and the nail falls straight into the bottle. Newton's 1st Law as seen in slow motion- a mass at rest tends to stay at rest. (Best to watch with sound/audio) Balancing the nail on the hoop ensures the nail is directly over the top of the bottle. The hoop is removed so quickly that it does not interact significantly with the sufficiently massive nail, and thus the nail remains over the mouth of the bottle so that gravity pulls it in. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #iPhoneSloMo #250fps #physics #physicstoy #isaacnewton #Newtonsfirstlaw #bottlehoopnail #impulse #inertia #lawofinertia #science #scienceisawesome #MartinGardner #impulse

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The hoop used is just the inner circle of an embroidery hoop. Get one for a couple dollars here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Wooden Hoop

The science writer Martin Gardner has published many books of physics tricks and simple but amazing science experiments like the one in this video. Highly recommended.


From Amazon: BUY NOW Martin Gardner's Science Magic: Tricks and Puzzles



Pythagorean Theorem Puzzle

Pythagorean Puzzle: a proof, in physical form, of one of the most famous equations concerning the sides of any right triangle. The area of a square with side c of the hypotenuse is indeed equal to the sum of the areas of the squares of side a and b. This kit also allows at least two other ways to prove this theorem named after the famous Greek mathematician from 500 BC. One of the most used formulas when calculating vectors in physics classes 😬 ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get this and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #math #mathtoy #triangle #square #polygon #pythagoras #pythagoreantheorem #trigonometry #dissection #geometry #tiling #mathpuzzle #physicstoy #science #scienceisawesome #mathstoy

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Available here:

From Creative Crafthouse: BUY NOW Pythagorean Puzzle



Stainless Steel Rattleback

Stainless Steel 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 profile for info on where to get a rattleback and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #rattleback #celt #physics #physicstoy #rotation #instability #kineticenergy #torque #friction #angularmomentum #precession #science #scienceisawesome #kineticart

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This metal version is available here:

From KJ Beckett: Metal Rattleback
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.



Scale Model Saturn with Ring System and Earth

Scale Saturn with Ring System and Earth: 3D printed accurate scale model of the Earth (diameter = 0.80 cm) and Saturn (diameter = 7.6 cm). The ring system is color printed on transparency film- note that the inner ring edge to the outermost ring measures 73000 kilometers and could fit almost 7 Earths side by side. The rings around the actual planet are very thin though, about 1 kilometer thick, so the transparency film is 250 times too thick to be to scale, and even just the thin 0.010 mm ink layer on the film is 20 times thicker that the actual rings would be at this scale! Made by artist/maker Jay Fisher using images from NASA. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile to get your own solar system and other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #Saturn #scale #scalemodel #solarsystem #physics #physicstoy #scienceisawesome #science #astronomy #astrophysics #jpl #nasa #ringsofsaturn #3dprinting #celestial #celestialrocks #earth

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Made by Jay Fisher and available here!

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Saturn

Or buy the Solar System!

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Scale Model Solar System



Scale Model Jupiter and Earth

Made by Jay Fisher and available here!

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Jupiter

Or buy the Solar System!

From Shapeways: BUY NOW Scale Model Solar System



Magnetic Poles of Refrigerator Magnets

Get some magnetic viewing film here:


From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Magnetic Viewing Film


From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Viewing Film



Feel Flux

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Feel Flux
From eBay: BUY NOW Feel Flux


Vintage Kinetic Sculpture by John Anderson

Physical Pendulum Kinetic Chaos: two lucite spheres are set to rotate freely along three perpendicular axes in this vintage 1974 kinetic sculpture by John Anderson. An interesting design feature is that one horizontal axis is offset from the other two leading to more intricate motions. Chaotic 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. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile for info on where to get many of the amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #physicstoy #chaos #chaoticmotion #chaostheory #kineticart #kineticsculpture #pendulum #physicalpendulum #physicalpendulum #strangeattractor #1974 #vintage #science #scienceisawesome

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Vintage art by John Anderson can often be found on eBay

From eBay: BUY NOW Kinetic Art by John Anderson


Primed Siphon
Available here:

From Shapeways: BUY NOW The Wave Siphon


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: BUY NOW 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: BUY NOW Bismuth Jewelry



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!



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.


Rattlesnake Eggs

Get a set here!

From Amazon: BUY NOW Buzzing Magnet Set



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



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




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



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



Kinetic Rubin Vase at the Exploratorium

Kinetic Rubin Vase @exploratorium: spin this ceramic version of the Rubin Vase illusion and the white background transforms to two people talking. Entitled "Talking Face to Vase" this kinetic art is a permanent installation at the Exploratorium museum in San Fransisco that features the physics and psychophysics of vision and perception. The vase demonstrates the figure-ground distinction made by the brain- is it a vase, or two faces in profile? 🌟 With special thanks to the Exploratorium. ➡️ Follow the link in my profile to get your own Rubin vase and many other amazing items featured here on @physicsfun #vase #perception #rubinvase #figueground #illusion #opticalillusion #physics #psychophysics #physicstoy #perception #flickerfusion #flickerfusionfrequency #science #scienceisawesome #exploratorium #sanfransisco

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More ambiguous foreground-background illusions at the Exploratorium:


Visit the Exploratorium



Rubin Vase

Get one here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Rubin Vase


Wikipedia has the details on the the most famous example of figure–ground perception: The faces–vase by psychologist Edgar Rubin



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


Space Wheel Kinetic Art

Often available on eBay

From eBay: BUY NOW Space Wheel



Mirror Anamorphic Cup & Saucer

Many designs to choose from:


From eBay: BUY NOW Anamorphic Cup & Saucer




Click here for more:
Physics Toys,

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