Physics on Etsy!

Feather Kaleidoscope

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

Available from this art gallery: Paretti Kaleidoscopes

Fine art kaleidoscopes also avaibable here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes

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. 

Teleidoscope with Reflective Diffraction Disk

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.

Hybrid Kaleidoscope

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”.



It's now possible to obtain a fulgurite sample at a resonable price. Many sellers on Etsy offer a wide selection of specimens:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fulgurite Frozen Lightning 

Fulgurite: glass formation from when lightning strikes sand. One of only four ways to produce natural glass- volcanos, earthquakes (pseudotachylite from fault zones), meteor impacts (tektites and impactites), and lightning strikes (fulgurites). This fulgurite tube was collected from the Egyptian Saharan desert.

Non-Circular Gears

Get these wonderful laser cut sets here (I only added some bright spray paint): 

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Non-Circular Gears

Non-Circular Gear Trains: a survey of a few designs using gears with some interesting shapes that can produce variations in rotation speeds. Swipe to view: two oblong gears, four squircle gears, and two logarithmic spiral gears. Just a small sample of the infinite possible shape combinations and arrangements of non-circular gear sets. With thanks to the Jeux Efce shop for sending me these wonderful laser cut gears and mounts. 

3D Print Planetary Gearset

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):
From Thingverse:
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. 

Infinity Mirror Tea-Light Candle

Get similar canlde holders here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Infintiy Tea-Light

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Infintiy Tea-Light 

Infinity Mirror Tea-Light Candle:  a candle holder with two sets of parallel partially mirrored panes of glass produce, through the physics of reflection and refraction, the illusion of multiple candle flames spanning out in two dimensions. A rotating platform helps access the full scope and geometry of the multiple reflections. 

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

Acrylic Wine Bottle Balance

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. 

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.

Golden Ferrofluid

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.

The eTOP

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. 


Vintage Super Eggs of Piet Hein can be found on eBay: 
From eBay: BUY NOW 
Superellipsoid by Piet Hein 

Get one in brass from this shop: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW 
Brass Super Egg 

Superellipsoid: the "super egg" is a mathematical creation of Danish scientist and artist Piet Hein (also the inventor of the Soma cube puzzle). The equation of the superellipse is that of a regular ellipse, but raising both sides to the power of 2.5 instead of 2- the resulting curve had a flattened end that allows the superellipsoid to stand upright. The superelljpse has found use in architecture and design. This super egg is made of stainless steel.


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. 

Glass Spirals Kinetic Ornament 

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! 



Get a smaple of labbradorite here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Polished Labradorite 

Labradorescence: the unique luster given off by the mineral labradorite that appears as a glow emanating from below the surface of the polished rock. This iridescence is due to the Schiller effect, crystals that grow in very thin layers producing colors from the diffraction of reflected light. Labradorite is a feldspar mineral first identified in Labrador Canada.

Aquarius Fountain Lamp

These fountains are individually made by the artist hence they are priced as art reflecting the labor involved: 
From Etsy store of Stephen Co : BUY NOW 
Aquarius Fountain Lamp

Aquarius Fountain Lamp: an oscillating stream of water is illuminated by strobe lights to reveal underlying structures and forms typically hidden from our vision. With the help of programmable micro-controllers, strips of addressable RBG LEDs are made to flash in sequences that make the water stream appear to move upwards, change colors, and split into multiple braided streams. Art meets physics and clever technology in this wonderful creation by computer engineer Stephen Co. With sincere appreciation to Stephen @northerncircuits for sending me one of his hand crafted high tech fountains.

Chelyabinsk Meteorite

Own a piece of asteroid- specimens like the one in the video are quite affordable:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Chelyabinsk Meteorite Sample

Reccomended reading: Wikipedia- Chelyabinsk Superbolide Event

Chelyabinsk Meteorite: on this date eight years ago this piece of rock was in space. This meteorite was part of an asteroid that exploded over Russia in February 2013 as it entered the Earth's atmosphere at 19 km per second (41000mph). An object moving that fast in the atmosphere experiences pressure pushing back many millions of times more than normal, and at an altitude of 30km (97000ft) the asteroid detonated releasing the equivalent of 500 kilotons of TNT. This sample is a few grams of chondrite LL5 meteorite with fusion crust- a small chunk of former asteroid!