kinetic Art

Simple Polarimeter and Polarization Art

This DIY device is part of the polarization kit that you will get from a MEL Physics subscription:

Subscribe to: MEL Physics (click to see the contents of this great kit). 

Simple Polarimeter and Polarization Art: another amazing experiment from the MEL Physics polarization science kit. Geometric patterns of overlapping cellophane tape with color revealed when viewed with linear polarizing filters- create your own polarization art! This kit provides two linear polarizing sheets that when oriented at 90 degrees creates this device that reveals rainbows hidden within the patterns of polarization in the light transmitted by various objects. In the first video the layers of cellophane rotate the polarization of some light frequencies more than others. In the second video the polarimeter colorfully reveals the trapped internal stresses created in many plastics from their formation process (typically cooling of a liquid in a mold). All items shown included in this kit (plus much more). 

The Colorizer

Get the Colorizer and lots of fun artwork here:

From ColorimetryLights.com: BUY NOW: The Colorizer

The Colorizer: Our perception of color depends not only on the pigments and dyes embedded in objects and artwork, but also on the frequency of the illuminating light. The Colorizer uses multiple LEDs to morph the intensity (and mix) of the emitted frequencies through various rhythmic patterns- which then animate any still image comprised from a bright color palette. Swipe for a few examples. A creation of Miles Warren of ColorimetryLights. Images: 1- Zebra (Loren Shaw) 2- Colorimetry logo 3- Pentomino Tiling 1.0 (R Hall) 4- AlienPattern (Brent Johnson)

Kinetic Sandscapes by KB

Sandscape art from Klaus Bösch available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Sandscapes by KB

Follow this link to learn more about Mr. Bösch's art (since 1988)

Kinetic Sandscape: by Klaus Bösch, aka “The Sandman”, the originator of the sand+water+bubble form of these kinetic art pieces. The phenomenon of spontaneous stratification is a striking feature of these Sandpictures. Typically pouring stuff together results in further mixing, yet here, when the sand mixture descends through a gap in the air bubbles, the resulting pile is ordered into sorted layers. The larger rounded dark grains separate from the smaller sharp-edged white grains forming the layers you see here. The darker grains alone would stack into a steeper pile (larger angle of repose) than the white which would form a less steep pile. The stratification process is a slow one in this device, here each transformation takes about 40 minutes or more- shown here using iPhone time lapse. 


Spacemen Ramp Walker

Get this vintage toy here:

From eBay: BUY NOW: Spacemen Ramp Walker

Ramp Walker Toy: dragged to the edge but never over. Patented in 1888, this toy exhibits complex motion with very simple construction, and uses physics to stop right at the edge. Note that as these space-suited explorers approach the edge, the direction of pull becomes straight down with no horizontal component to maintain forward motion.

Filpbook Astronomy

Find used copies of this book here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Dynamic Astronomy with Flipbook Animations

Flipbook Astronomy: often static images are insufficient to explain complex motion, and before there was YouTube, animations of astronomical concepts were hard to come by- except for this 1971 astronomy textbook! The author of this text included eight flipbook animations in the margins. Swipe to see three animations 1) what the Big Dipper will look like after 100,000 years “time lapse”, 2) the path of Jupiter in the sky over the course of one year, and 3) the motion of the Earth and Moon over a one month period as their center of mass orbits the Sun. An excellent textbook for its time: Dynamic Astronomy by Robert T Dixon, Prentice Hall. The psychophysics of flipbooks: when the image flash rate is above the flicker fusion frequency (approximately 16Hz) we perceive fluid motion- the basis for all movies and TV.