Physics on Etsy!

Vintage Hologram Glasses

These vintage novalty glasses can still be found here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hologram Novelty Sunglasses 

Spooky Hologram Eyeball Glasses: this pair of vintage novelty Halloween spectacles feature true photopolymer holograms which create some of the best 3D images- these spherical eyeballs look as though they are hovering right behind each lens! Unlike photographs, holograms are recordings of the interference pattern of light waves, and incredibly what you see is created by information encoded in a layer thinner than a piece of paper. 

Single Tube Nixie Clock

This single tube version is an affordable alternative to showcase the vintage aesthetic of the Nixie neon glow:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Single Tube Nixie Clock Base (buy the tube in the next link)
From eBay: BUY NOW: IN14 Nixie Tube

Get the diffraction grating here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Diffraction Grating 

Get a beautifully made full four digit clock here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Nixie Tube Clocks 

Single Tube Nixie Clock: This minimalist clock uses a standard 5V USB connection and modern electronics to power a single Russian made ИH-14A Nixie tube- here the display shows the time 12:36 flashed in sequence. Long before there were 7 segment LED displays there was the Nixie- cold cathode tubes with a wire mesh and 10 cathodes shaped in the form of numerals 0-9 that illuminate through neon glow discharge at 170Volts. A diffraction grating reveals the brightest emission lines of the neon spectrum including: violet, green, bright yellow, and a bunch of orange/red lines characteristic of this noble has. The “Numeric Indicator eXperimental 1” or NIX 1 was introduced in 1955 by Burroughs Corporation and manufactured until the 1990s.

Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses

Get these designs and many more here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses (full set)
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses

Get the tree and lights here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Tree Decoration, Set of LED lights

Holiday Specs: every point-source of light gets a holographic image overlaid: stars, snowmen, trees, candy canes, and snowflakes. Some images are even animated! — swipe to see tiny angels flutter their wings around a point of light. The "lenses" in these glasses are actually transmission holograms but with the image located at the farthest point in the depth of field. Made by American Paper Optics 3d with many more images available.


"Magic Octagon" Challenge

Make your own with these nice wooden octagons:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Laser Cut Octagons 

“Magic Octagon” Challenge: a puzzle of successive rotations. Which way will the orange arrow point after left and right rotations of the blue arrow? No trickery here- just the math of geometry, symmetry, rotations, and reflections and how our intuitions often fail us upon first attempts. Swipe twice for second challenge. From the mind of David Masunaga by way of Dan Meyer.

Tapered Mirror Kaleidoscopes 

These precision kaleidoscopes are crafted from front surface mirrors and other specialty materials, many with innovative design and construction techniques:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Kaleidoscopes by Marc Tickle

See more kaleidoscopes in my collection.

Tapered Mirror Kaleidoscopes: hidden within these colorful tubes are tapered mirrors, 2 rolling glass spheres, and 1 dichroic glass reflector. These elements combine to produce the dynamic and magical images seen through the view window as the device is slightly tilted back and forth and brought in and out of a bright light source. The first design uses 3 mirrors to create the hexagonal symmetries, the second design uses 4 mirrors to produce the infinite cylinder effect. These unique teleidoscope designs are but two of many creations by artist Marc Tickle. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor. 

Tapered 4-Mirror Kaleidoscope

These precision kaleidoscopes are crafted from front surface mirrors and other specialty materials, many with innovative design and construction techniques:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Kaleidoscopes by Marc Tickle

Tapered 4-Mirror Kaleidoscope: not CGI- these images are produced by mirrors and light! Hidden within this colorful tube are 4 mirrors, 2 rolling glass spheres, and 1 dichroic glass reflector. These elements combine to produce the dynamic and magical images seen through the view window as the device is slightly tilted back and forth and brought in and out of a bright light source. Entitled “Dichroic Disco” this piece is but one of many amazing creations by artist Marc Tickle, taking kaleidoscope design to the next level. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.

Precision Machined Haptic Fidget

Get this device here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Precision Fidget Devices

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. 

Dodecagon to Square Puzzle

Get these and other well made disection puzzles here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Square Dissection Puzzles

These puzzles are expertly laser cut and sold by GamesEfce. I spray-painted the pieces of mine to better show the shapes and relationships for the video. 

Square to Dodecagon Dissection Puzzle: a square can be cut (dissected) into polygons and then reassembled into other regular polygons. Amazingly the 12-sided regular polygon can be cut into these six specific pieces that can then fit a square. Swipe to see the minimum cuts dissections for a hexagon, pentagon, and triangle.


Polarized Light Cell Kaleidoscope

Click here for affordable, precision made scopes with angled mirrors: Kaleidoscope Symmetries Explored

Similar Kaleidoscopes available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope 
From Etsy: Fluid Flow Kaleidoscope

See more kaleidoscopes in my collection: Kaleidoscopes

Polarized Light Cell Kaleidoscope: the amazing colors you see from the object cell of this 3 mirror kaleidoscope are generated by manipulating the polarization of light- the object in the clear wand is a strip of clear cellophane in oil which has the property of optical rotation. These property allows for an incredible range of color formation when placed between two linear polarization filters (swipe for demonstration). A creation of kaleidoscope artist Ron Kuhns.

Impossible Frame in Bottle

Each constructed by hand, each a work of art-  get a personalized bottle here:

From The Bottleologist website: BUY NOW: Impossible Bottle with Frame

From his Etsy store: BUY NOW: Impossible Bottles

Impossible Frame in Bottle: another seemingly impossible object in my collection from craftsman/artist Grant Wicks AKA the Bottleologist. A framed photo complete with all hardware somehow assembled within a Fannys Bay Whisky bottle- a uniquely square bottle. More- the photo is a recursive Droste Effect image of the bottle itself. The puzzle aspect is to consider how the bottle was produced (I personally have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist). I can tell you with high certainty that the bottle was never cut or altered in anyway, and it was not somehow formed around the frame. 

Flippe Puzzle Ball

Get this puzzle ball here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Flippe Puzzle Ball

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. Swipe to see a slow motion boomerang loop of it coming apart- and how conservation of momentum has the three equal mass pieces on equally spaced trajectories (120°) with the ball bearing remaining stationary at the center. A product of puzzle master George Bell.

Camphor Propulsion Boat

These vintage toys often available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Camphor Craft Boats

From eBay: Search NOW: Champhor Craft Boats

Camphor Craft Miniature Self Propelling Toy Sailing Ship: this vintage toy boat is propelled by a difference in surface tension. Fluids will flow away from regions of lower surface tension (Marangoni Effect) and as the camphor mixes with the water at the stern of the boat a gradient of surface tension is created pushing the boat forward. Made in Cornwall England-swipe to see this 1960’s vintage toy in its original packaging. 

5 Shuttle Trammel of Archimedes

Get similar devices here: 

See/buy a 3-Shuttle version here: 
From Curiosity Box: BUY NOW: 3 shuttle device

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Trammel of Archimedes

From eBay: BUY NOW: Trammel of Archimedes

See this great video by the Mathologer for more details: Secrets of the Nothing Grinder 

5 Shuttle Trammel of Archimedes: similar to yesterday’s post- but more math is revealed as extra shuttles are added. As the shuttles take turns completing their straight line journeys, the end of the crank arm traces an ellipse- and each of the five shuttle points define points on a smaller circle that rolls within the perimeter of the device. This version was crafted from fine maple, cherry, and oak by artisan Neal Olsen. 

Convection Turbine Candle with Elephants 

Get similar candles here (many themes to choose from):

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Spinning tea-light candle

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Spinning tea-light candle

Convection Turbine Candle: pachyderms on parade via this whimsical tea-light candle holder which is actually a simple turbine heat engine where rotational motion results from the convection of hot air from the candle flame. All moving parts are of thin stainless steel with some assembly required. Energy transfer: chemical bonds- to heat- to kinetic energy of the rising air- to rotational kinetic energy of the turbine and elephants. 

Two Marble Puzzle

Great versions of the puzzle avaliable:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Two Marble Puzzle, or get this set of puzzles
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Two Marble Puzzles

Similar 4 marble version of this puzzle available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Four Marble Puzzle  

Two Marble Puzzle: physics brain teaser- move both marbles to their top locations on each side simultaneously. The solution to this puzzle relies on some fun basic physics principles- can you figure out which ones? Swipe to reveal solution. Found this well made version of this classic physics puzzle at a gift shop in San Francisco (note Golden Gate Bridge motif).

Matsuyama's Paradox

Get this and other amazing math puzzles here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Missing Square Puzzle

Matsuyama’s Paradox: dissect a large square in to four equal quadrilaterals, rotate and reassemble- to find a small square is missing! Where did the additional area come from? Fun math involved in the design of this puzzle, which illustrates how the concept of area can often challenge our intuitions. Swipe to compare the two assemblies. A precision crafted puzzle by Jeux Efcé game shop. Wikipedia has good details: Missing square puzzle