Physics on Etsy!

Colored Ferrofluid Display Cells

Available on Etsy: BUY NOW Motion Ferrofluid Sculpture 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Colored Ferrofluid Display Cells: spectacular metallic blue, gold, and black display cells by czferro - colloidal ferromagnetic liquids in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension. Curious behavior results from the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension. The gold and blue coloring appears to be from a thin coating at the boundary between the ferrofluid and the suspension liquid. Still exploring the details of the coloring and the specific makeup of the clear suspension fluid - both trade secrets it seems. 

Penrose Tiling Puzzle

This puzzle was produced and sold in the 1990s. 
Wikipedia has the details on Penrose Tilings and their inventor Sir Roger Penrose (Recently won Nobel Prize!) 
A nice basic version of Penrose Tilings is available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Penrose Tiles 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Penrose Tiling Puzzle: a challenging puzzle with pieces that come in only two shapes. Sir Roger Penrose- who just yesterday won the Nobel prize in physics for his contributions to General Relativity- also discovered tessellations (tilings) that are aperiodic even though the two tile types are regularly shaped polygons. If one tries to shift a part of a Penrose tiling, the shifted part will not align or match up with any other part of the same tiling- all the way out to infinity! This puzzle, entitled “Perplexing Poultry”, created and sold by Penrose himself, uses polygons modified into crazy looking birds such that the tiles can only connect in specific ways to ensure the non-repetitive nature of the Penrose tiling structure. Shown here is one way these two tile types will fill the plane.

Thaumatrope

Get a set here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Thaumatropes

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Wikipedia has some good details on the history and operation of the Thamatrope 

Thaumatrope: the physics and psychophysics of vision in this reproduction of a toy invented in 1824. Still images flashed in rapid succession produces the the combined image of bird + cage through persistence of vision. When the image flash rate is above the flicker fusion frequency (approximately 16Hz) we perceive fluid motion- the basis for all movies and TV. ?Thanks to @artofplay for sending me this nice reproduction!


Hexa Sphericon

Select metal versions, or less expensive 3D printed versions avaiable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Sphericons
Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Hexa-Sphericon: Sphericons are unique solids that roll in such a way that every point on their surface comes in contact with the plane- following the path shown here with white paper. Solids from the sphericon family all have one side and two edges. Each sphericon is based on a regular polygon, with the basic sphericon derived from a square, and here- a more interesting case with more complex rolling motion- from a hexagon. 

Feather Kaleidoscope

Amazing fine art kaleidoscopes also avaibable here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Feather Kaleidoscope: unique chamber filled with cut feathers provides the viewing material for this side-lit precision kaleidoscope by Carol Verde-Paretti. With every squeeze of the perfume atomizer bulb, a puff of air throws the feathers into a new arrangement leading to a seemingly infinite variety of stunning images on the five point mandala. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor. 

Pentominoes

Get this set here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Hardwood Pentominoes 

Many versions available here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Pentominoes 

The book by mathematician Solomon Golomb that started the polyonomo recreational math craze:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Polyominoes 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Pentominoes: The 12 possible arrangements of five identical squares joined edge to edge. Since 5x12=60, the pentominoes can tile a 6 x 10 rectangle with no gaps (2339 ways to do this- yet even finding one solution is a challenge). I love this beautiful set from artist/woodworker Ron Moore where each pentomino is made from a different kind of hard wood. 


Impossible Bottle Sculpture Puzzle

Mr. Evans makes a variety of amazing impossible bottle sculptures: 
From impossiblebottle.co.uk: Buy NOW Impossible Bottles by Philip Evans 

Nice Impossible bottles are often available on Etsy: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Impossible Bottles

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Impossible Bottle Sculpture Puzzle: seemingly impossible, but created with clever engineering, this “impossible” bottle contains a padlock and full deck of cards still in the wrapper (a cut out in the side of the box reveals that all the cards are inside). 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 objects. This bottle by Phil Evans is one of the best I’ve seen. 

Thermochromic Liquid Crystal Mood Necklace

Similar mood jewelry available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Liquid crystal jewelry

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Thermochromic Liquid Crystal “Mood” Necklace: heat from a hand brings out the temperature dependent color change of the liquid crystal. The molecules of the liquid crystal change orientation and spacing during the phase transition from liquid (warm) to crystal (cool). The molecular configuration shift allows for different diffraction effects producing the color shift. 


Surf's Up!

Kyle Auga-- kinetic sculptures: 
Check out Kyle's art here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Kyle's Kinetics 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Surf's Up!: Another gravity defying creation by Kyle Auga, this time a well-balanced stainless steel surfer that carves waves in the air for over 10 minutes on one push! The surfer has the curious motion of a 3D physical pendulum- a complex motion which can be broken down into oscillations along two dimensions and rotation about the point of contact. The stick figure plus counterweights and bar structure is designed such that its center of mass is few centimeters below the contact point when at rest. When the sculpture is tipped the center of mass swings under the pivot point in this stable equilibrium condition- no magnets needed to create this physics magic. 

10 Hex Puzzle

This and other beautiful and well made puzzles are available on Etsy: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW 10 Hex Puzzle 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Two great resources about these polyhexs: polyform puzzler page and puzzleworld page 

10 Hex Puzzle: this puzzle is comprised of pieces which are the set of all ways three and four hexagons can be joined with a common edge. There are 3 trihexs and 7 possible tetrahexs, and similar to pentominoes, these 10 polyhexs can assemble into a large hexagon. Amazingly there are exactly 12,290 solutions to this puzzle- but it’s still a challenge to find just one! 

Designer Kaleidoscope

Tom and Carol Paretti create some of the finest kaleidoscope art in the world: Paretti Kaleidoscopes 

Other Fine art kaleidoscopes avaibable here from this trusted seller:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes

More amazing kaliedocsopes from my collection here

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Designer Kaleidoscope: the beautiful symmetry of multiple reflections. Tiny glass beads and a collection of shiny objects provide the viewing material in this side-lit precision kaleidoscope by Carol Verde-Paretti. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.


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  

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

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).

Raketti Puzzle

Versions of this puzzle avaioable fron these sources: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Raketti Physics Puzzle 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Raketti Puzzle: a favorite physics brain teaser in my collection- the challenge is to remove the cone topped cylinder from the hole without touching the bottom container (no fair using sticky tape). It can be done in a matter of seconds! The solution to this puzzle (like others featured here) relies on some fun physics principles. 

Opticum 3 Font

Get your custom message engraved here: 
From Creative Crafthouse on Etsy: BUY NOW Custom Opticum Font Message Plaque 

 
This family of fonts is available here: Opticum 3 from Linotype 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Opticum 3 Font: This laser engraved message uses the Opticum 3 font designed by Erken Kagarov, where indirect lighting reveals the symbols hidden in a maze- created by simply typing out your message using this font. Amazing application of geometry and shadow! 


Ferrofluid Interactive Lava Lamp

Available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Ferrofluid Lava Lamp

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Ferrofluid Interactive Lava Lamp: special ferrofluid infused wax allows manipulation of the blobs of “lava” with a weak magnet, adding an interactive element to the already mesmerizing physics of convective heat flow, Archimedes principle, and immiscible liquids. Love the atomic rocket theme on this updated version of the 1960s classic physics toy. 

More here: Ferrofluid Interactive Sculptures

Well Balanced Cabernet

Similar wine racks available here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Balance Wine Rack 

Many well crafted versions avaulable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Wine Bottle Balance

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Well Balanced Cabernet: a carefully engineered acrylic version of this famous demonstration- the center of mass of the rack/wine bottle system is directly over the base providing unstable equilibrium for this balancing act. Suspended here is Hypothesis by Roots Run Deep, an excellent Napa cabernet sauvignon. 

Inverting Valentines Illusion

This 3D printed illusion available here: 
From Shapeways: BUY NOW Red Hearts Illusion Object 

Similar item here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Red Hearts Illusion

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Inverting Valentines Illusion: Love is a matter of perspective in this illusion that depends on viewing angle. A sweet take on the ambiguous object illusion invented by Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University.