This classroom demo in avaqilable here: WINSCO Piezo Demo
Here is a fun kit that uses a piezo ignghter to make small explosions:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Piezo Popper Kit
Piezoelectric PZT Cell: encased in acrylic is a cylinder of ceramic PZT material which when suddenly compressed generates more than 30kV allowing a spark to jump across a 1cm gap. This vintage 1970s demonstration (still available) uses a lever and cam mechanism to compress the piezo ceramic which is connected via conductors to the spark gap. The piezoelectric effect is the ability of certain materials to generate electric charge when deformed under mechanical stress. Lead (Pb) Zirconate Titanate (PZT) is the world’s most widely used for making sparks- you probably own a piece in your lighter wands or on your barbecue or stove where a spring mechanism is used to strike the piezo cell.
This item is a vintage art piece from the 1970s and unfortunately I do not know the artist. Similar devices currently on the market include the Ooze tube:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: Ooze Tube
Bubble in Viscous Fluid: vintage kinetic art piece from the 1970s- the rising bubble contorts around three ring shaped obstructions with peculiar motion. I love how this construction emphasizes the flow pattern of the air bubble. Another example of the surprising physics to be found in fluid motion.
Get a set here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: Happy/Sad Balls
Happy/Sad Spheres: one ball bounces the other stops dead. The bouncy ball is made of neoprene rubber and exhibits high elasticity. The "sad" ball is made of polynorbornene and converts almost all kinetic energy into heat and sound- approximating/demonstrating the case of a completely inelastic collision. Polynorbrene is used in vehicle bumpers, for soundproofing, vibration damping, and other applications where recoil motion is unwanted.
Similar devices available here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Mirascope
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mirascope
Mirascope: two parabolic mirrors create a 3D image above the actual object. A repost of one of my favorite physics toys ever. The image of the dice made here is not a hologram and is produced solely by reflection of light rays between special concave mirrors. Discovered circa 1969 by Landry and Elings at UC Santa Barbara.
From Mindsets: BUY NOW
Affordable samples and kits here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: Energy Wire
Similar produces featuring Nitinol Memory Wire:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Nitinol Memory Wire Kits
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 and thermostats in car engines. This amazing property is related to a solid state phase transition similar to that of Nitinol wire called a Martensitic transformation.
Choose your color and get one here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
Hyperboloid Pencil Holder
don't forget a set of pencils:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Colored Pencil Sets
Better yet- get some thermochromic color changing pencils!
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW
Pencil Hyperboloid: a perfect gift for any math teacher- the precisely oriented holes in this base direct 16 pencils to reveal a hyperboloid, the 3D surface traced by revolving a diagonal(skew) line, the outline of which is the conic section of the hyperbola. A doubly ruled surface for any desktop!
The heat pipe kit includes the pipe and a copper rod:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Heat Pipe Demo Kit
Get a heat pipe here (various sizes and shapes):
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Heat Pipe
Here is the liquid crystal sheet used in the video (range 20-25C):
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW liquid crystal thermometer sheet
Heat Pipe: a device that transfers heat with great efficiency- as demonstrated by this fantastic kit from @educational_innovations . Here a liquid crystal goes from green (room temp) to black (near freezing) showing the heat transfer to a piece of ice through a heat pipe (top) and a similar sized piece of solid copper rod (bottom). As you can see the heat pipe cools much faster than the copper rod even though copper is an excellent conductor of heat. The heat pipe is a thin shell of copper that surrounds a tube of sponge like material filled with some water vapor and sealed with a low pressure inside. The heat is transferred from one end to the other by the phase transition of water- at the warm end water in the sponge evaporates into vapor absorbing heat energy, the vapor travels down the hollow core to the cold end where it condenses into liquid releasing heat energy. The water is wicked by the sponge to the warm end and the process repeats. Heat pipes like this one pull heat away from the CPUs in modern computers preventing them from melting. The amazing heat transfer ability is clearly felt in the fingertips if one places the copper rod and heat pipe into a glass of ice water-the heat pipe immediately gets cold!
Amazon lists acrylic tubing at a reasonable price: get a 2 foot long tube with an inner diameter of 1.5 inches for about $17 US. This will accommodate a large marble for the demonstration.
From Amazon: BUY NOW Acrylic Tubing
For a 1.5 inch inner diameter (3.8 cm) tube you will need a 10 inch (25.4 cm) wide sheet to complete a cylinder inside the tube.
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Polarizing Film
Polarizing Filter Black Wall Illusion: two sheets of polarizing film (with polarization axes oriented at 90 degrees to each other) create this illusion inside an acrylic tube. Physics magic!
Available from these fine sources:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Dropper Popper
From Amazon: BUY NOW Drop and Pop Toys
Drop & Pop: stored elastic energy. The elastic potential energy of the inverted rubber is released upon impact sending the half-sphere to hit the ceiling. Upon impact the popper reconfigures back to its original shape in the blink of an eye, shown here recorded at approximately 480fps.
Get an easy to assemble kit here (or just buy the replacement wire to build your own like in the video):
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Simplest Motor Kit
Electric Motor Build: One of the most important inventions consists of only three basic components as shown here: coil, magnet, and a battery with lead wire posts. The wire of the spinning coil has an insulating coating on it- and this coating is carefully scrapped off one side of the thin wire on each end. When current passes through the coil it becomes an electromagnet and the permanent magnet repels it making it spin- as it turns the current goes on and off depending on if the copper wire posts are in contact with the bare wire side (current on) or the part of the wire with the insulating coating intact (current off). When the current is off momentum keeps the rotation going until the next push. The physics of converting electric energy to rotational kinetic energy- and a fun DIY project!
This device came in my Curiosity Box subscrition. A great way to start collecting your own physics toys (and other brain food):
From the Vsauce team: BUY NOW: The Curiosity Box (New box will ship soon- get a great deal now)
Get similar (two shuttle) devices here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
Trammel of Archimedes
3-Shuttle Trammel of Archimedes: as the shuttles take turns completing their straight line journeys, the end of the crank arm traces an ellipse. This precision 3-shuttle version by the VSauce team came in my @thecuriositybox - made with high quality molded plastic parts that produce very smooth movement- a wonderful addition to my collection! Sometimes sold as a “do nothing machine” or “nothing grinder”, far from doing nothing this simple and crucially important mechanism demonstrates how rotational motion can be converted into translational oscillatory motion- such as how a piston can drive an engine’s crankshaft.
Get a PhoTOP from these fine vendors (comes with laser pointer!):
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW PhoTOP
Another amazing spinning device by Prof. Ken Brecher! Get his other spinning tops here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: PhiTOP, PiTOP, eTOP, iTOP, DeltaCELT
The PhoTOP: phosphorescent glow illuminates the intricate path of a 405nm laser pointer beam on a balanced spinning disk. Let the disk set alone for a few minutes to allow the traces to fade- and repeat again and again to experiment making new patterns.
Get a similar and fun DIY kit here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Electrostatics Kit
Electrostatic Interactions: a triboelectric effect toy from the 1990s. The styrofoam spheres are given an acquired net negative charge by shaking the PET plastic container, and the foam beads are then attracted to the container wall but repel each other. (The foam balls pick up electrons when they strike the container walls.) A segment of PVC pipe also acquires a negative charge when rubbed with a paper towel, and here the foam spheres jump a centimeter or more when the pipe segment is brought near. In contrast, a segment of acrylic tube can acquire a positive charge, and will instead attract the styrofoam pellets as it is brought near the container. A demonstration of the invisible electric fields that are part of our everyday world.
Get this affordable and fun kit here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Mystery Marbles Puzzle Kit
Mystery Marbles Puzzle: a physics brain teaser (now available as a kit) what's going on here? Three glass marbles can move but stay separated in this liquid filled tube no matter the orientation- why do they not touch? Swipe for reveal of components.
See also: Poly-acrylamide Polymer Vanishing Act
Get a set here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Newton's Yoyo
Newton Yo Yo: Newton's 3rd Law states that action force equals opposite reaction force- the the green and yellow spheres have equal mass, so the forces of the collision provide accelerations that are equal and opposite such that the spheres trade places.
Get one from these fine sources:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Floating Ring Magnet Set
From Amazon: BUY NOW Floating Ring Magnet Set
Magnetic Levitation in 1D: a stack of dipole magnets. Note how the spacing between any two magnets is proportional to weight of how many magnets there are above the gap. Gravity vs Magnetism.
Get one here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Viewer Cube
From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Field Viewer
Magnetic Field Viewer: visualizing the invisible- tiny iron filings suspended in viscous oil gracefully chain up along the magnetic field lines of the ferromagnet, revealing its dipole configuration.