Physics Lamps & Lights

Viscous Flow Mixing Bulbs

Special discount for @physicsfun followers: use coupon code below! 
From EP DesignLab: BUY NOW 
EP Lights LED Bulb Art 

coupon code: PHYS2019 (10% off) 

Viscous Flow Mixing Bulbs: art from mixing high viscosity fluids. Each LED bulb from EP Designlab captures a unique pattern based on the physics of laminar flow folding resulting from the mixing of viscous fluids- in this case silicone resins. When the resins cure the pattern is captured and frozen in place ready to display as illuminated by an array of 5 LEDs in the standard E26 bulb base. With this process no two bulbs are alike, and all capture intricate mixing physics.

Viscous Flow Resin Lamps

From EP Designlab: BUY NOW: Block Design Resin Lamps
Batteries last 3hours + and each lamp comes with a charging cable
Special discount for @physicsfun followers on all EP Lights
use coupon code: PHYS2019 (10% off) 
on all  EP Lights LED Bulb Art 

Viscous Flow Resin Lamp: art from mixing high viscosity fluids. Each lamp from EP Designlab captures a unique pattern based on the physics of nondiffusive turbulence resulting from the mixing of viscous fluids- in this case silicone resins. When the resins cure the pattern is captured and frozen in place- and these blocks are ready to display with USB rechargeable LED illumination in the base. With this process no two lamps are alike, and all capture intricate mixing physics.

 


Tesla's Plasma Mug

This plasma mug was sold in the 1990s but can be found on eBay often:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Plasma Mug

An improved and beautiful version sold here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Plasma Mug

Tesla’s Plasma Mug: this double walled glass mug glows orange from the excitation spectrum of neon gas at low pressure. The base contains a high frequency transformer that generates high voltage electric fields (but at very low current) from 8 AA batteries- which excites the neon to glow, and also serves as a coaster. This crazy item was produced by Can You Imagine Toys in the 1990s- perhaps Tesla himself would have served a good beer in this mug! 

Fiber Optic Galaxy Lamp

These lamps can often be found on eBay: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Fiber Optic Lamps

Fiber Optic Galaxy Lamp: a vintage 1970s fiber optic lamp with a chrome “UFO” base. Note the beautiful spherical symmetry of the fiber spray- they don’t make them like this anymore! The fiber bundle is illuminated by a lamp in the base and the color shifting patterns are generated by a rotating color wheel placed between the light source and the fiber optic bundle. Fun physics at a thrift store price.

Element 10: Neon 

Luciteria (highly recommended) sells this cube and 80 other elements in many formats- start your collection today! 

From Luciteria: BUY NOW: Lucite Cube Element 10 Neon

Need a mini Tesla Coil? Click here for details: Mini Tesla Coil 

Element 10, Neon: a pure sample of the famous noble gas in a glass ampule encased within a lucite cube. But how can we know that the glass tube is actually filled with neon gas? If the sample is brought near the 50,000 Volt high frequency electric field of a miniature Tesla coil, the gas will glow with the characteristic orange light from the electron energy transitions specific only to neon. Note that the glow deceases as the sample is moved away from the coil in proportion to the electric field intensity- and that there is an excitation threshold, the gas needs a higher intensity (closer to coil) to initiate the glow discharge but will still glow when moved further away. 


Plasma Globe

Plasma globes are now available in many sizes and levels of quality. Here is a source for reasonably priced quality globes: 
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Plasma Globe 

From Amazon: BUY NOW Plasma Globes 

Plasma Globe: low pressure noble gasses exhibit glow discharge from high voltage, creating plasma filaments that rise upward due to heating- shown here in slow motion. A small high frequency coil at center creates the high voltage potential between the center electrode and the metal coated glass globe. Current flow through the thin gas produces the colorful emission spectra from the gasses

Variable Hue Lamp

This fairly inexpensive hue lamp is made by IKEA and is available here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
DIODER Variable Color Lamp 


Explore the physics of light and color with this excellent kit: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Thames & Kosmos Optical Science Kit

Variable Hue Lamp: Seeing color is both about the source of illumination and the reflective and absorptive properties of the observed object. These colorful images look drastically different as this illumination source cylces through a wide range of hues via variable mixtures of red, green, and blue wavelengths. A demonstration that explores some of the complexities underlying the physics and psychophysics of color vision. 

Diffractive Optical Element

Amazing application of high resolution far field holograms. The only available source I know of for projection holograms at this high resolution is this supplier of industrial samples 
From MaterialSampleShop.com: Diffractive Optical Element Sample 

Need a laser pointer? Incredibly, you can get 3 (one of each color) for under $20 (including S&H): 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer

Diffractive Optical Element: images produced by constructive and deconstructive interference of coherent laser light. The patches of microstructure on the surface of this transparent plastic are far field holograms- transmission holograms, but with the image at infinity. Side by side images from two different laser wavelengths (red 635 nm, green 520 nm) shows clearly the red image is larger than the green since diffraction angle is proportional the wavelength. So much physics here!


Dresden Glass Bead Star Tea Light

These gometirc candle holders are available from the artist's store here:

From glasperlenstern.de: BUY NOW: Glass Bead Star Tea Light

Dresden Glass Bead Star: concentric designs of spherical glass beads produce geometric symmetries of shadow and refracted light from a tea light candle which serves as a point source of illumination. This “Glasperlen Stern” candle holder is one of many configurations offered from Dresden artist Andreas Schildhauer, each with glass set into porcelain from Freiberg.

In-Feed Google 2

Pharaoh Hollow Mask Illusion

Similar vintage items are often found on eBay: 
From eBay: Search NOW Hollow Mask Illusion Lamp 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hollow Mask Illusion Lamp
Also available: Einstein! 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Einstein Illusion 

Wikipedia has the details on the Hollow Mask Illusion 

Pharaoh Hollow Mask Illusion: this ceramic lamp features a concave image lighted from the bottom, which appears as a regular convex image via this vintage version of the hollow face illusion. An amazing feature of such an inverted image mask is that King Tut appears animated, and seems to always be looking in the direction of the viewer. Spooky physics and psychophysics for Halloween! 


Halloween Neon Glow Bulb 

Similar neon discharge glow bulbs can still be found:

From eBay: BUY NOW: Neon Glow Bulbs
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Neon Glow Bulbs
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Neon Glow Bulbs

Halloween Neon Glow Bulb: the pumpkins, with a high voltage between them, glow orange with light from the emission spectrum of the excited neon atoms of the low pressure gas within the bulb. The ghost glows from a coating of phosphor which is stimulated to emit green light by ultraviolet (and invisible) photons. Excited neon atoms emit photons both in the visible (mostly orange and yellow wavelengths), and also in the UV wavelengths, and these ultraviolet photons are absorbed by the phosphorescent coating on the ghost plate which then emit the absorbed energy as green light. Amazing physics in a light bulb! 

Neon Flicker Flame Skull Bulb

Often these are sold on eBay:
From eBay: Search NOW Flicker Skull Bulbs 

and these old fashion flicker bulbs look great with the diffration glasses:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Flicker Flame Neon Bulb 

The diffraction effect glasses used here is this kind: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Diffraction Glasses

Neon Flicker Flame Skull Bulb: no flame but instead emission spectra from excited neon gas due to the presence of a discharge electric current. The breakdown voltage of a gas (the minimum voltage needed for a current to flow) depends on the pressure of the gas in the bulb. The flickering effect comes about because the current flow will increase the temperature near it, which raises the pressure and affects the breakdown voltage near the current- so the glow from one area can only last as long as it takes to heat up and raise the breakdown voltage which kills the current in that area. In other physics, a diffraction grating shows that neon only emits light in specific wavelengths- mostly reds and yellows at AC house voltages.

Fluorescent Ooze Tube with 405nm Laser

Click these links for ooze tube sources (green works best).
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW 
Ooze Tube 

From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Ooze Tube 

Get an inexpensive 405nm laser pointer here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
(405 nm) Laser pointer 

Fluorescent Ooze Tube with Laser: stunning visual effects from a 405 nm laser pointer interacting with the viscous polyisobutene fluid in this ooze tube timer toy. The fluorescent dye converts this particular laser light frequncy to green light as the fluid stretches into thin ropes that act as light pipes while bubbles reflect and fan the beam. Perhaps the next generation Lava Lamp? 

 


Star Wars Mouse Ears

Get a set of high tech ears here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Star Wars Mickey Ears

From eBay: BUY NOW Star Wars Mickey Ears

Mickey Mouse Physics: the Millennium Falcon battles TIE fighters in a three panel animation printed on layers of optical acrylic. Red, green, and blue LEDs switch on and off lighting the layers sequentially in a loop producing the animated scene from Star Wars. Light from the LED attached to a specific layer undergoes multiple internal reflections as it passes through the clear plastic illuminating mostly that layer- the same principle employed in fiber optic cables. Disney + Lucasfilm = mouse ears of the future! 

KaleidoFlow Fluid Display Cell: The Glorb

KaleidoFlow fluid and associated devices available here:

From Laminar Sciences Corp: BUY NOW: KaleidoFlow Rheoscopic Fluid

KaleidoFlow Fluid Cell: the phenomenon of streaming birefringence colorfully reveals the temporary sheer stresses induced in a liquid by a moving plastic sphere. The “Glorb” device design features a cylindrical cell with polarizing filters as the top and bottom windows and filled with this special rheoscopic fluid and a plastic bead. This assembly then slides into a base with white LEDs to supply backlighting. Many thanks to Laminar Sciences Corp for supplying this beautiful display cell and bottles of KaleidoFlow fluid for experimentation.