Magnetic Toys

Mag Flip Inverted Pendulum Fidget

Available from this fine vendor:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Mag Flip Desk Toy

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Mag Flip Inverted Pendulum Fidget: three embedded neodymium magnets provide tactile repulsive forces in this simple but intriguing system. Pressing down on one side increases the magnetic potential energy that will then send the pendulum into frantic motion until the kinetic energy is damped out after a series of oscillations. This fidget can also be used as a random coin flip with respect to which side it will land. 

 

Magnetic Soma Cube

Get this inexpensive SomaCube here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Magnetic Soma Cube

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Magnetic Soma Cube: a new fun variant of the famous math toy invented by Danish scientist and artist Piet Hein, who claimed that this puzzle came to him as he was listening to a lecture on Quantum Mechanics by Werner Heisenberg (yes- that Heisenberg). The seven pieces of this puzzle are all the ways 3 or 4 cubes can be joined such that the piece has at least one inside corner. In this version small magnets are encased in cleverly designed cavities such that they will always flip over to attract a counterpart in another puzzle piece, allowing the puzzle to stick together- or hang from the side of the refrigerator. Amazingly there are 240 ways to make the cube from these 7 pieces- still not that easy! 

Precision Machined Haptic Fidget

Get this device here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Precision Fidget Devices

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Precision Machined Haptic Fidget: four identical stainless steel components precision manufactured to 15µm tolerances via wire EDM (electrical discharge machined) and embedded with magnets to produce a stepped locking mechanism for a haptic sensory experience. The rainbow finish is due to a very thin layer of oxidized titanium produced by a process called physical vapor deposition (PVD) where a molecule thin coating is created under vacuum. So much interesting physics in the many production methods used to make this everyday carry fidget. 


Thermomotor Curie Point Engine

Available in limited supplies here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Thermomotor Candle Engine

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Thermomotor Carousel: this decorative and dynamic centerpiece is actually a Curie point heat engine! Two tea light candles continually chase two magnets around a magnetic ring in this truly unique design by @violet__revolution. When the portion of the magnetic ring over the flame heats up to a particular temperature (the Curie point) its magnetic field is temporarily lost until it cools, so the magnet near the candle is now pulled toward a cooler portion of the ring- which then heats up and the process continuously repeats creating the steady rotation. Swipe to see the full design (complete with a laser cut forest mantle) in operation. Many thanks to artist and inventor Darragh Hewat for this fantastic addition to my collection. 

Levitating Mini Moon Lamp

Get this fun lamp here (comes with both Mini-Moon and silver sphere magnet):

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Levitation Lamp

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Levitating Mini Moon Lamp: tapping the floating illuminated Moon turns this LED lamp off and on in this strange design. The Moon with embedded magnet floats a couple centimeters from the surface of the base when plugged in, and feels springy to the touch. Within the base is a control system with adjustable electromagnet coils in a feedback loop with Hall effect sensors which allow for fine tuning of a magnetic field to precisely balance the pull of gravity on the tiny Moon.

Lenz's Law with Feel Flux

Feel Flux-- available as a set, or individually (all come with the super powerful sphere magnet) here:

From feelflux.com: BUY NOWCopper Feel Flux

Get some magnetic viewing film here: 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Color Magnetic Viewing Film
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Regular Magnetic Viewing Film 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Lenz's Law: a strong Feel Flux neodymium magnet falls slowly down a thick walled copper tube as though passing through a viscous liquid. Since magnetic fields pass through copper, magneview film reveals the location of the falling dipole magnet. The moving magnetic field from the falling magnet produces electric currents in the copper- these currents then produce magnetic fields that have the opposite polarity to the initial field. So a falling magnet makes the copper pipe briefly into an electromagnet that then repels the falling magnet. Special thanks to the guys from Feel Flux who kindly sent me this awesome longer piece of the copper tube from which their amazing toy is produced. 


Magentic Dandelion 

Here is a very powerful NdFeB neodymium magnet that will work withlarger nails: 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Neodymium Disk Magnet

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Please use extreme caution when handeling strong magnets like this one. Small nails, paperclips, staples and other houlshold object made with iron will interact interestingly with the magnetic field. 

Magnetic Dandelion: through ferromagnetic interaction these iron rich nails temporarily become dipole magnets in the presence of an intense magnetic field from a neodymium super magnet. Here the neodymium disk magnet is set with its north pole pointing up, so the point of each nail becomes a south pole (repelling each other) and the head of each becomes a north pole. Imbued with these temporary induced fields, the nails will try to align themselves with the neodymium dipole’s field like compass needles, and the nails will interact with each other in interesting ways. 

Solenoid Magnetic Accelerator

Get this and similar devices here:

From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Steel Ball Cyclotron Accelerator

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Solenoid Magnetic Accelerator: six electromagnet coils push a steel ball to terminal velocity. Each coil is triggered to briefly energized only when an infrared led and sensor circuit detects the presence of the ball. The steel ball’s speed seems limited by the strength of the temporary magnetic field and the friction it encounters from the track. This ring configuration demonstrates proof of concept for a means of accelerating steel marbles and I hope to incorporate these coils in other marble run designs I will share in the future. Uses a 12V power supply. 

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Magnetic Top & Snake

Available from my friends at Grand Illusions Ltd.: 
From Grand Illusions: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral & Snake 

Also on Etsy: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Magnetic Top & Snake: the magnetized tip connects to a metal cutout in the shape of a snake, but since the top is more massive, the metal snake is the object that moves creating this curious motion. This kinetic art toy takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy. Swipe to see the top interact with a spiral cutout.

Horseshoe Magnet with Keeper

Similar and affordable magnets available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Horseshoe Magnet with Keeper

Get some viewing film here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Color Magnetic Viewing Film

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Horseshoe Magnet with Keeper: magnetic field lines connect North to South poles from one side of the U shaped magnet, through the air, to the other- and magnetic viewing film reveals the strong fields of this vintage magnet. However, when a bar of soft iron is attached, the magnetic field lines prefer to pass through the bar, and the field is then concentrated in the bar and significantly reduced in the surrounding air- basically shutting off the field around the magnet as seen by the viewing film. Such a bar is called a “keeper” which serves to contain the field and also persevere the strength of the magnet when not in use.

Color Gradient Magnetic Film

Get this new technology here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Color Magnetic Viewing Film

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Color Gradient Magnetic Film: making the invisible visible and revealing the hidden beauty of the physics in our everyday world. The field structure of six magnetic objects can be seen here. Staring with a simple dipole neodymium in the center and going clockwise from the top left: fridge magnet with stripe pattern, magnetic rotor of a small motor, ring of poles of a stator for a stepper motor, vintage ferrous classroom “dipole”, and a coded interlocking neodymium magnet. Microscopic cavities in this thin film are filled with suspended magnetic nanoparticles that interact with magnetic fields producing different colors from orange (low field strength) to dark blue (high field strength).


Electric Motor Build

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 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

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! 

Dancing Ferrofluid Device

Available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Venom Sound Dancing Ferrofluid Display

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Dancing Ferrofluid: a black magnetic fluid interacts with a variable strength electromagnet (like those found in speakers). A circuit supplies power to the electromagnet in proportion to the sound waves picked up by a microphone, the changing magnetic field- combined with the liquid surface tension of the colloidal ferromagnetic liquid- produces the captivating motion that keeps time with any music played. Featuring “12 String Thing”, composed and performed by my good friend T.D.Clark @tdclark67 

Levitation Lamp 

Get this fun lamp here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Levitation Lamp

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Levitation Lamp: tapping the floating spherical magnet turns this LED lamp off and on in this interesting design. The magnet floats a couple centimeters from the surface of the base when plugged in, and feels springy to the touch. Within the base is a control system with adjustable electromagnet coils in a feedback loop with Hall effect sensors which allow for fine tuning of a magnetic field to precisely balance the pull of gravity. 


Magnetic Fidget Physics

I got this fun device here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Haptic Magnet Toys

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Magnetic Fidget Physics: iron rich ball bearings temporarily become dipole magnets and repel each other- and when manipulated they keep their distance. In this design the ball bearings snap into place above one of the seven neodymium magnets embedded within the 3D printed disk.