Physics & Math Puzzles

Rubik's Phantom

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From Amazon: BUY NOW: Rubik's Phantom

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Rubik’s Phantom: is the 3X3 cube not challenging enough for you? Here’s one where the colors are activated by the heat of your hands (or better- a light bulb) and fade back to dark as you try to solve. A thermochromic twist to this most famous of puzzles. The heating and cooling was sped up by a factor of three here to keep it interesting.

Pickagram Puzzle

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From Art of Play: BUY NOW: PIckagram Puzzle

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Pickagram: an innovative update on the classic Tangram puzzle- magnets added! With pieces that cling together with a satisfying snap, the 2D puzzle formations become 3D abstract sculptures that can stand on their own. From the mind of designer and architect Gilryong Song, with inspiration from the golden ratio in its proportions and angles.

Magic Octogon Paradox

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From Shire Post Mint: BUY NOW: Magic Octagon Coin

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Magic Octagon Paradox: flip the coin and the arrows on each side point in opposite directions- however, after a small shift, the same coin has these two arrows pointing in the same direction! A brain teaser that can be explained via geometry, symmetry, rotations, reflections, and how our intuitions often fail us upon first attempts. See my post two weeks back for another fun way to present this challenge. These beautiful copper coins are minted in collaboration with my friends at @shirepostmint and are available now. 


Flippe Puzzle Ball

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From Etsy: BUY NOW: Flippe Puzzle Ball

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Flippe Ball Puzzle: this ball is a puzzle that explodes and flies apart when spun. The puzzle is made of three identical pieces and a ball bearing which mysteriously locks the pieces together only to release them after a period of spinning. The main challenge is to fully explain why this spontaneous disassembly occurs. A slow motion “instant replay” of it coming apart reveals how conservation of momentum has each of the three equal mass pieces fly away on equally spaced trajectories (120°) with the ball bearing remaining stationary at the center and falling straight down. A product of puzzle master George Bell.