Magnetic Toys

Magnetic Chaotic Pendulum

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Magnetic Chaotic Pendulum: this beautifully designed “perpetual pendulum” has been in my collection since 1990. The ufo shaped bob has a magnet embedded in it and the base has a battery and simple coil circuit that gives the bob a tiny push each time it swings through the center. An array of 5 permanent magnets are also hidden in the wood base (wait for reveal with magnetic viewing film) and these magnets produce the chaotic motion- not random, but very sensitive to slight differences in initial launch conditions. A clever design feature connects the pendulum to the top mount with yet another magnet, and this sharp contact point greatly reduces friction such that a fresh 9V battery in the base will keep the pendulum in motion for a couple months.