Physics on Etsy!

Fluorescent Corundum (Ruby) in Matrix

Get ruby in matrix stones and jewelry here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Ruby Glow Stones

You will also want an awesome UV flashlight like this one:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: High Power UV Light

Corundum (Ruby) in Matrix: the pink/red mineral inclusions in this polished sphere of fuchsite are ruby crystals. Ruby fluoresces in bright red light when exposed to long wave UV light (such as a black light), creating the illusion that the sphere is lit from within. The same fluorescent property of synthetic ruby allowed creation of the first lasers.

Iron Meteorite Guitar Pick

Hard to find but currently avaiable from this source:
BUY NOW: Meteorite Guitar Pick

Sometimes found on Etsy:
From Etsy: Search NOW: Meteorite Guitar Pick

Cosmic Guitar Pick: carved from a piece of Gibeon meteorite and etched with mild acid to show the special nickel-iron crystalline structures that are only found in iron meteorites. These Widmanstatten patterns from nickel-iron cannot be produced in the lab or in any factory- the structure only forms if the metals cool at a rate of 100 degrees per million years! 2 billion+ year old heavy metal from the core of an ancient asteroid! 🎸🀘

Diasterism in Rose Quartz

Rose quartz stars come in a variety of sizes and clarity. Available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Rose Quartz Stars

Diasterism in Rose Quartz: illuminate this polished quartz sphere from behind to reveal a six point star with a center that moves with the light source. The rayed star is form of chatoyancy, where the light is scattered by microscopic parallel crystal fibers that grew within the quartz. This is similar to tiger eye chatoyancy, but here the fibers grew along the three different directions of the main crystal symmetry. Such asterisms are more commonly seen in sapphire and ruby gemstones, but can be found in much larger specimens of rose quartz like this one.

Big Dipper 3D Sculpture

Get this amazing and informative sculpture here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Big Dipper 3D Sculpture

Asterism in a Box: Swarovski pearls, suspended by nylon lines in a specific spatial orientation, represent seven well known stars in the Northern night sky. The pearls in this sculpture show the actual 3D configuration of the stars that make up the Big Dipper! Only from one particular point of view- that of our sun- do they look like the "dipper", and this sculpture shows what this cluster of stars would look like from other “near by” star systems in our galaxy. Note that large pearl in the bottom right represents the star Dubhe, a blue giant some 326 times brighter than the sun and the farthest of the Dipper stars at 123 lightyears away. The rest of the stars range in distance from 58 to 101 lightyears, as measured from Hipparcos satellite telescope mission data. From artist Caroline Bowen of Hypotenuse Studios. 

Kinetic Magnets Illusion

These large and high quality illusion spinners are magnetic- decorate your frig or other suitable metal surface! Many colors and designs to choose from. 

Get one here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Kinetic Magnets Illusion Spinner

Kinetic Magnet Illusion Disk: explore amazing phenomena from the physics and psychophysics of vision- give this disk a spin and the imparted angular momentum (along with precision bearings) allows for sustained rotation and a changing visual experience. The spiral design converts rotational motion to radial motion inward and outward, and the dots on the image seem to dance and blur as the flicker fusion frequency threshold of our vision is exceeded. Looks amazing in person, and on video additional effects can be made depending on selected frame rate. One of many designs available from artist Dmity Shytko.

Pocket Scintillator Kinetic Art

Logan sometimes has items for sale here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: PocketScintillators

Pocket Scintillator Card: three sheets of seemingly random arrays of translucent colored pixels produce words and images when stacked- shift the stack of sheets and a second images appears! Innovative kinetic optical art by inventor, artist, software developer Logan Kerby @thanksplease who kindly sent me these cards encoded with @physicsfun themes.

Hydrophobic Water Maze

Wonderfully well crafted and available from this shop :
From Etsy store TheSmallestWorkshop:

BUY NOW Hydrophobic Water Maze

Hydrophobic Water Maze: a superhydrophobic coating allows this dynamic puzzle to use a drop of water as the "pinball", which can split into multiple smaller drops and recombine along the way. The wood surface is treated with silica nano-coating that makes water roll off- a condition sometimes referred to as the Lotus effect because leaves of the Lotus plant have this property.

Am-241 in Wilson Cloud Chamber

I found this vintage apparatus on eBay. Here is a similar device made for classroom demonstrations (a bit pricey though): 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Wilson Cloud Chamber 

Diffusion cloud chambers that use dry ice are more affordable: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW 
Diffusion Cloud Chamber 

Wikipedia has nice descriptions of Am-241 and the history and operation of Wilson Cloud Chambers 

Am-241 in Wilson Cloud Chamber: the typically invisible ionization tracks of alpha particles emitted from a radioactive source are revealed in this miniature expansion type cloud chamber. When an americium nuclei disintegrates it ejects a high speed cluster of protons and neutrons (2 of each) called an alpha particle which then plows through the air creating a trail of ions, tearing electrons off any nearby molecules it passes by. A rapid decrease of pressure (releasing the squeeze bulb) drops the temperature in this chamber allowing cloud formation. Alcohol droplets prefer to condense on ionized molecules/atoms and so reveal the tracks. Amazingly the synthetic element americium-241 is found in common smoke detectors, where a few micrograms will emit thousands of alphas per second. Of course please use great caution if you choose to mess around with any Am-241- it’s safe inside the smoke detector, much less so if removed. 

JSC 1 Lunar Soil Simulant

Currently avaiable simulated lunar regolith:
LMS-1 Lunar Mare Simulant developed by the Exolith Lab at University of Central Florida

From StemCell Science: BUY NOW:  Lunar Soil Simulant Sample

In the video: JSC-1 Lunar Soil Simulant- if you could scoop up a handful of the surface of the Moon, this is how it would look. Produced by NASA for engineering studies of future human activities on the Moon, the simulated regolith closely approximates the chemical, mineral, and grain size distribution found in actual lunar samples from the Apollo missions. Sourced from slightly porphyritic basalt ash sampled from craters near Flagstaff AZ and then processed. The LMS-1 Lunar Mare Simulant developed by the Exolith Lab is the latetest and most up to date version. 

JSC-MARS-1 Martian Soil Simulant

Currently avaiable simulated martian regolith:
MMS-2 Mars Regolith Simulant developed by the Exolith Lab at University of Central Florida

From STEMcell Science: BUY NOW:  Martian Soil Simulant Sample

JSC MARS-1 Martian Soil Simulent: what the rust colored dirt of the Red Planet would look like up close! Produced by NASA for engineering studies of future human activities on Mars, this simulated regolith closely approximates the chemical, mineral, and grain size distribution based on data from the Viking and Pathfinder landers. 


Tensegrity for the Desk

Get similar tensegrity sculptures here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Tensegrity Sculpture

Tensegrity for the Desk: an elegant, and stackable, desk toy version of this popular tensegrity configuration by maker/designer Micah Murdoch. Constructed from poplar wood, the design assembles easily with clever ball and socket connectors at the ends of the nylon support lines (3 long, 1 short). Stacking them seems to only increase the illusion of floating with the subtle way these structures defy gravity. Another fun configuration of tensegrity concept, invented by Kenneth Snelson and made famous by the architect Buckminster Fuller in 1949.

Ferrofluid Interactive Lava Lamp

Available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Ferrofluid Lava Lamp

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

@physicsfun Rattleback

Availble from STEMCell Science:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: @physicsfun Rattleback

Wood Rattleback: spin reversing toy where a complicated combination of friction, precession, and instability induced vibrations transforms the rotational energy into into rattling (energy of oscillations) and then back into rotational energy in the opposite direction. The induced rattling is primarily due to the asymmetric shape of the bottom, like that of a propeller. Note the toy reverses almost immediately when spun clockwise, however, as demonstrated on the 3rd spin, this design will also reverse if spun counterclockwise! The reversal in this mode takes place after a while and only a 1/4 turn or so, but is predicted by theory yet rarely seen. @physicsfun exclusive! 

Pentominoes 3 Color Challenge

@physicsfun exclusive design- available only from STEMCell Science:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: 3 Color Pentominoes Puzzle

Pentominoes 3 Color Challenge: fit all 12 pentominoes into a 6x10 rectangle such that no two identically colored pieces touch. Pentominoes are the set of all 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 (there are 2339 ways to do this- yet even finding one solution is quite difficult). Adding the 3 color challenge reduces the number of possible solutions to just this one shown here! Made from laser cut acrylic and wood- and now available for the first time in a limited production run.

Pencil Hyperboloid

Choose your color and get one here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW 
Hyperboloid Pencil Holder 

don't forget a set of pencils: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Colored Pencil Sets 

Better yet- get some thermochromic color changing pencils! 
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW 
Heat-Sensitive Pencils 

Pencil Hyperboloid: a perfect gift for any math teacher- the precisely oriented holes in this base direct 16 pencils to reveal a hyperboloid, the 3D surface traced by revolving a diagonal(skew) line, the outline of which is the conic section of the hyperbola. A doubly ruled surface for any desktop!

Tessellating Geckos

Laser cut geckos are available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Tessellating Geckos 

Tessellating Geckos: MC Escher inspired lizard cutouts interlock precisely to tile a surface with no overlaps or gaps. Laser cut from maple, walnut, and cherry wood by maker/artist Craig Caesar and inspired by MC Escher’s “Study of Regular Division of a Plane with Reptiles” 1939. G4G week: Martin Gardner wrote about the art and math of Escher in 1961- which helped create the popularity that his work has experienced ever since.

Moon Globe with Raised Relief

Get this incredible globe here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Terrainian Space Globes

Moon Globe with Raised Relief: explore our Moon in your own hands with this incredibly detailed lunar globe where all surface features have been rendered in 3D topographic relief- where the mountains and craters actually cast shadows. Note how the selenography of the far side is radically different from the familiar near side- with no flat maria plains- and craters stacked upon more craters. Humanity has only known what the far side looks like since 1959 when the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 took the first photos, and the Moon’s full map was completed via NASA’s Clementine orbiter in 1995- the data upon which this globe was made. Shown also are the six Apollo landing sites where humans have left footprints in the lunar regolith. This globe is made by Jeff Hobbs of Terrainian Space Globes by a process of precision CNC machining and cold casting techniques, complete with space-age look base stand.