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
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.
Available on Etsy: BUY NOW Gold Ferrofluid Cell
Golden Ferrofluid: colloidal ferromagnetic liquid in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension. Curious behavior results from the interplay between magnetic force and surface tension. I'm still investigating the gold coloring and the specific makeup of the clear suspension fluid- both trade secrets it seems. The gold color appears to be a thin coating at the boundary between the ferrofluid and the suspension liquid.
Get this "impossible" jar and other amazing things from this shop:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Impossible Jar & Golf Ball
Impossible Jar with Golf Ball: a regular off the shelf golf ball somehow trapped within a standard glass jar. Neither the ball nor the jar were cut or glued in the fabrication process. The puzzle aspect is to consider how this object was produced (again, I have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist). This incredible piece was made by craftsman and artist Nathan Nickerson, and comes with the golf tee display stand (a nice touch!)
This set of 3D printed scutoids available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Scutoid container set
Scutoids: a recently recognized form of geometric solids discovered in 2018. Scutoids have a different polygon on each end, and when packed together maximize stability and minimize energy when forming a boundary layer- such as the membranes around organs in living tissue. These 5-6 scutoids have pentagons on one end and hexagons on the other. Discovered by a collaboration of biologists and mathematicians in 2018, this set is sold by Recep Mutlu of 3DPrintBase.
Get similar devices here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
Trammel of Archimedes
From eBay: BUY NOW
Trammel of Archimedes
Trammel of Archimedes: as the shuttles take turns completing their straight line journeys, the end of the crank arm traces an ellipse. Sometimes sold as a “do nothing machine” or “nothing grinder”, far from doing nothing this simple and crucially important mechanism demonstrates how rotational motion can be converted into translational oscillatory motion- such as how a piston can drive an engine’s crankshaft. This version was crafted from fine maple, cherry, and oak by artisan Neal Olsen.
Get this nice set of regular polyhedra dice here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Polyhedra Dice Set
Less expensive sets of standard plastic dice here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Polyhedra Dice Set
Platonic Solids Dice Set: The five famous convex regular polyhedra in the form of fair dice. This set is cast in metal with clean edges and makes for a great way to own these symmetrical objects that have fascinated thinkers ever since the ancient Greeks wrote about them circa 360 BC. Only these five forms meet these criteria (in 3D space) for each face: must be equal in size, be equal in number of sides, each side of equal length, identical in angle were any two sides meet, and have the same number of sides meet at each vertex point of the solid. 2000 years later the famous mathematician Euler determined that for these 5 shapes V-E+F=2, the number of corners (vertices), minus the number of edges, plus the number of faces, will always equal 2.
precision aligned high quality front surface mirrors:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Precision Teleidoscopes
Fine art kaleidoscopes avaibable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes
Wine-Themed Kaleidoscope: precision construction using surface coated mirrors set at an angle of exactly 72 degrees creates the beautiful symmetry of a five point mandala in this artisan kaleidoscope. The viewing cell is filled with shiny and colorful wine themed trinkets- grapes, vines, and other items found in and around a winery. Swipe to see more of the intricacies of the patterns produced by turning the viewing cell. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.
Periodic Table with 83 element samples:
From Etsy store ProtoshopLLC : BUY NOW
Heritage Periodic Table
See also: The Collector's Edition with 85 samples
Please note: there are fradulent versions of this with only pictures embedded in the acyrlic being sold on facebook. The link above is the only place to get the actual version.
The Heritage Periodic Table Display: a comprehensive collection of the chemical elements that can fit in the hand. Embedded in acrylic are actual samples of 83 of the 118 elements- including pure bubbles of the gaseous elements- represented by 75 high purity samples and 7 compounds. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the world changing periodic system of Dmitri Mendeleev (published in 1869). This table and collection is the creative work of Tim and Cory Marriott of Engineered Labs Protoshop LLC
High quality kaleidocsopes available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes
@physicsfun features a wide vatiety of kaleidoscopes (click to explore)
Hybrid Kaleidoscope: the beautiful symmetry of multiple reflections in a unique design- part teleidoscope (image from spherical lens) and part kaleidoscope (image from colorful objects in viewing cell). Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor. This vintage find is labeled “C. Bennett Scopes for AKAG 1984”.
Similar 3D prints available as fidget toys here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Gear Spinner Fidget Toy
Or print it yourself! (.stl files are available here):
Emmett Lalish Download: Gear Bearing
Refined version featured here by Don Stewart Download: Honeycomb Gear Bearing
3D Print Planetary Gearset: amazingly this gear set is printed assembled, with interlocking herringbone teeth. The gears will not come apart, in fact this design can only be accomplished by 3D printing the gears interlocked with each other. Designed and first printed by Emmett Lalish in 2013, and this version with refined precision and honeycomb by Don Stewart.
Well engineered brass spinning toys by SiriusEnigmas
From Etsy: BUY NOW: The PiTOP
The PiTOP: this beautiful brass cylinder has a radius of 1 inch, a height of 1/π inches, and displays the first 109 digits of π on its face. Spin this disk (best with sound on) and it will demonstrate some very interesting physics involving energy transfer and conservation of angular momentum. The edges of the cylinder are rounded and engineered to exhibit an optimum motion of a “spolling” coin, a motion that combines spinning and rolling (closeup shown in 240fps). As the disk’s angle of inclination decreases the speed of the rolling increases dramatically until the contact point with the mirror is moving in excess of 200mph. From the mind of physicist Ken Brecher, inventor of the PhiTOP. Note also that with the specified height, that the volume of this cylinder is exactly 1 cubic inch!
CineSpinner animation kinetic art availabe here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: CineSpinner Santa
From Etsy: BUY NOW: CineSpinner (many animations)
CineSpinner Hula Santa: ole St. Nick showing off his hooping skills in this barrier-grid type animation using Moiré pattern effects of constructive and deconstructive interference. One of many CineSpinner type kinetic animation loops by Scanimation creator, artist, and author Rufus Butler Seder.
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!
Get this and other beautifully crafted math themed tops here:
Fropm Etsy: BUY NOW: The eTOP
The eTOP: an ellipsoid based on the famous Euler’s constant e, diameter 2” and thickness 2/e”- spinning magnets from the magnetic stirrer induce electric currents to flow in the copper eTOP- these currents then create their own magnetic field which opposes the magnets underneath and pushes the eTOP to spin, producing interesting motion and sound. Credit to astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, the creator of the eTOP, PhiTOP, and this unique means of using Lenz’s Law to spin it up. This top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off of magnetic stirrer.
Very nice wooden mini-teleidoscopes are affordably priced here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mini Teleidoscope
From Etsy: BUY NOW Mini Teleidoscope
Diffraction spin disks are getting harder to find. Here are some sources:
From eBay: BUY NOW Diffraction Spin Disk
and here: From Flynn Sci: BUY NOW Atom Disk
Teleidoscope with Reflective Diffraction Disk: a teleidoscope is like a kaleidoscope but with a lens on the end, such that the kaleidoscopic image is formed by whatever is put in front of it. Here a well crafted wooden teleidoscope is directed towards a spinning sheet metal disk with patterns of reflective diffraction gratings- seen here under a 40 watt incandescent bulb.
This type of kaleidoscope is hard to find and mostly made by artists. Here are two examples currently avaliable:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Chorus Line Kaleidoscope
From KaleidoscopeShop.com: BUY NOW: Chorus Line Kaleidoscope
Click here for affordable, precision made scopes with angled mirrors: Kaleidoscope Symmetries Explored
Chorus Line Kaleidoscope: an interesting and uncommon kaleidoscope design where two mirrors are placed with surfaces parallel to each other- resulting in a side by side strip of alternating images. Here the camera is attached to the view port and the entire tube is rotated to produce the changing patterns. The kaleidoscope was invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), and has become an entire field of artistic endeavor.
Get a similar affordable Zoetrope from these sources:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Zoetrope
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Zoetrope
Zoetrope: the physics and psychophysics of motion animation- still images flashed in rapid succession produces the illusion of motion through persistence of vision. The slits are crucial to creating the illusion by blacking out the visual stimulus for a short duration- without these pauses only a blur is perceived. When the image flash rate is above the flicker fusion frequency (approximately 16Hz) we perceive fluid motion- the basis for all movies and TV.
Sometime available from these sources:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Glass Spiral Ornaments
Glass Spirals Kinetic Ornament: a thread of glass is shaped into connected helixes in this holiday decoration- one clockwise the other counterclockwise. When spinning the rotational motion creates translational motion both upwards and downwards along the vertical direction. Mesmerizing holiday decor!