Physics Lamps & Lights

The PhoTOP

Get a PhoTOP from these fine vendors (comes with laser pointer!):

From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW PhoTOP 

Another amazing spinning device by Prof. Ken Brecher! Get his other spinning tops here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: PhiTOP, PiTOP, eTOP, iTOP, DeltaCELT

The PhoTOP: phosphorescent glow illuminates the intricate path of a 405nm laser pointer beam on a balanced spinning disk. Let the disk set alone for a few minutes to allow the traces to fade- and repeat again and again to experiment making new patterns.

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.

Fiber Optic Spray Lamp

A wide variety of similar lamps can be found on eBay: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Fiber Optic Lamps

Fiber Optic Spray Lamp: a vintage fiber optic lamp sold by RadioShack back in the 1980s. 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. Physics of internal reflection and refractive index to channel light through a fiber.


Reflection and Refraction of a Cyan Laser Pointer

Get this beautiful new color of laser pointer here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW: 488nm Laser Pointer (Cyan)

Blocks of polished acrylic available here:
From eBay: BUY NOW: clear acrylic block

Reflection and Refraction of a Cyan Laser Pointer: a new affordable wavelength laser pointer that just came on the market- 488nm producing a beautiful hue of blue. The beam is made brightly visible as internal reflection constrains most of the laser light to propagate along the interior of this block of acrylic (similar to the physics of fiber optics).

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! 


Levitation Lamp 

Get this fun lamp here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Levitation Lamp

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. 

Fresnel Minor Lamp

See the gallery of work by the artist: 
Art Gallery: inquire about availability 
Sean Agustine March

Fresnel Minor Lamp: Microlayers of metals and metal oxides allow a slab of glass to transmit a different color than it reflects through thin-film optical phenomena such as interference and selective absorption. In this remarkable art piece, dichroic glass is combined with infinity mirror type multiple reflections creating this dazzling display of physics! Special thanks to @seanaugustinemarch for this amazing addition to my collection.

Shadow Stereographic Projection

These mathematical art objects are created by Henry Segerman and are available here: 
From Shapeways: BUY NOW Mathematical Art 

US Flag projection can be obtain here (Support MoMATH!);
From MoMATH: BUY NOW: US Flag Stereo Projection

Wikipedia has a nice introduction to the math and applications of stereographic projection

Shadow Stereographic Projection: 3D printed sculptures that cast geometric shadows. When illuminated by a point source of light (placed at the top pole of the sphere) the shadow cast by the rays of light represent a one to one mapping of the points on the sphere to points on the plane- creating 1) the US Flag, 2) a honeycomb of regular hexagons, and 3) a square grid. Stereographic projection is often used in representing the geography of the globe of our planet on to a flat map. Mathematical art by Henry Segerman.


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.

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! 

Lava Lightning Lamp

Similar itmes available here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW: Lighting Plasma Lamps

Lava Lightning Lamp: low pressure noble gasses glow due to discharge from high voltage and stimulate colored phosphors to emit yellow, blue, and red in this vintage device by Lava. A small high frequency coil at center creates the high voltage potential between the center electrode and the outer glass casing which is coated with a thin transparent film of metal. Current flow through the thin gas produces the glowing zigzagged path like that of lightning but more rounded. Shown here in 480 fps slow motion. Another of my vintage plasma lamps in 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

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.

Dancing Ferrofluid Device

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

Similar devices here:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Dancing Ferrofluid Display

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 


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.

 

Vintage VFD Tube Clock

Fully assembeld high quality clocks available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: VFD Tube Clock

Vintage VFD Tube Clock: before seven segment LEDs there were Vacuum Fluorescent Display tubes in which zinc oxide coatings emit green light when bombarded by electrons under high vacuum. A phosphor coated anode segment only illuminates if it and the grid (seen in close up) are both energized at positive potential. This clock features an eight digit IV-18 display tube manufactured in the 1990s and cofigured to power up via a USB cable - old tech meets modern electronics in an elegant acrylic case. 

Caustic Projection Optical Element

This optical element is a component of this affordable Laser show device:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Aurora Laser Show Projector

Get this beautiful new color of laser pointer here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW: 488nm Laser Pointer (Cyan)

Caustic Projection Optical Element: the intricate geometries of light due to refraction through various curved surfaces of transparent plastic. A 488 nm cyan laser pointer is refracted through an optical element with lumpy surface features which create this aurora/nebula effect. When light rays refract through a curved surface they concentrate into bright patches called caustics, often with cusp singularities (sharp points) and intricate threads of shadow.