Physics on Etsy!

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

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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. 

Camphor Propulsion Boat

These vintage toys often available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Camphor Craft Boats

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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. 

Spooky Flourescent Mineral Sculpture

Find the sodalite bright orange fluorescent syenite here (some carved):
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Orange Glow Stones

You will also want an awesome UV flashlight like this one:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: High Power UV Light

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Spooky Natural Mineral Fluorescence: this mini jack-o-lantern is carved from a rock-specifically grey syenite, which includes grains of the mineral sodalite. When exposed to long wavelength UV light, the carving lights up due to these sodalite crystals which fluoresce emitting the bright orange wavelengths. 🎃


Precision Machined Haptic Fidget

Get this device here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Precision Fidget Devices

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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. 

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

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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. 

Thermomotor Curie Point Engine

Available in limited supplies here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Thermomotor Candle Engine

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Thermomotor Carousel: this decorative and dynamic centerpiece is actually a Curie point heat engine! Two tea light candles continually chase two magnets around a magnetic ring in this truly unique design by @violet__revolution. When the portion of the magnetic ring over the flame heats up to a particular temperature (the Curie point) its magnetic field is temporarily lost until it cools, so the magnet near the candle is now pulled toward a cooler portion of the ring- which then heats up and the process continuously repeats creating the steady rotation. Swipe to see the full design (complete with a laser cut forest mantle) in operation. Many thanks to artist and inventor Darragh Hewat for this fantastic addition to my collection. 


Vintage Hologram Glasses

These vintage novalty glasses can still be found here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hologram Novelty Sunglasses 

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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. 

Fluorescein v. Laser Frequency

Need a laser pointer? Incredibly, you can get 3 (one of each color) for under $20 (including S&H): 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer

Make you own fluorescent solution with this powder: 
From STEMCell Science: BUY NOW: Fluorescein Powder

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Fluorescein v. Laser Frequency: exploring how this famous fluorescent dye reacts to three frequencies of laser pointer using this unique liquid filled paperweight. Under Green (532 nm) we see some mild yellow fluorescence as the beam transmits through the liquid, under Red (635 nm) the beam transmits with no reaction, but under near UV Blue (450 nm) the beam is completely absorbed near the liquid surface and re-emitted in bright green with a peak at 515nm. A fun home experiment to explore quantum physics phenomena with inexpensive apparatus.

Lithophane 3D Printed Moon

Get this beautiful night light here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Lithophane Moom Lamp

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Lithophane 3D Print Moon: a night light lamp with a strikingly detailed image of the lunar surface- but made only of white plastic. The lithophane technique goes back to the 1820s and produces gray tone images by shining light through a translucent substance, initially porcelain, or like this example, plastic. Regions where the plastic is thick absorb the light and appear dark gray, thinner regions look light gray. 3D printing allows a new method for producing this art form with amazing detail.


Electric Discharge Fractal

These amazing fractal scuptures available now in many styles each with LED base:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Lightning Fractal Sculpture 

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Lightning Fractal Sculpture

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Electric Discharge Fractal: the delicate branching structure seen here is a Lichtenberg type fractal created by electron current flow. An interesting aspect of this piece is that the acrylic was filled with electrons in two separate regions, resulting in this two layer pattern when the acrylic was discharged to ground with a flash and bang. Electrons typically will not flow through an insulator such as acrylic, but a high velocity beam of them from a linear accelerator (an expensive and complex apparatus) allows the electrons to tunnel deep into the plastic and build up a very large charge slowly. Such a large charge can then create a high enough voltage to create a breakdown arc which is hot enough to leave the fractal pattern. This sculpture comes with an LED base which illuminates the fractal with morphing colors. 

Four Mirror Kaleidoscope 

Other kaleidoscopes by this artist: Apres la Pluie

High quality kaleidocsopes available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes

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@physicsfun features a wide vatiety of kaleidoscopes (click to explore)

Four Mirror Kaleidoscope: this new addition to my collection is unique and strange for two reasons- instead of the usual hexagon pattern (3 mirrors) we have a square grid layout (4 mirrors), and on the end where the light comes through, an odd hologram of an eye as if the scope is looking back at you! Weird and wonderful from artist Dominic Stora of Après la Pluie gallery.

Magnetic Top & Snake

Available from my friends at Grand Illusions Ltd.: 
From Grand Illusions: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral & Snake 

Also on Etsy: BUY NOW: Magnetic Top with Spiral

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Magnetic Top & Snake: the magnetized tip connects to a metal cutout in the shape of a snake, but since the top is more massive, the metal snake is the object that moves creating this curious motion. This kinetic art toy takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy. Swipe to see the top interact with a spiral cutout.


Nautilus Spiral Gears

Get this inexpensive 3D printed set here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Nautilus Gear Set

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Nautilus Spiral Gears: an extreme example of non-circular gear sets. This set is based on the famous Fibonacci spiral and evokes the cross section of nautilus shell with internal chambers. If one gear of this set is turned at constant speed, the other will turn with an varying speed. A 3D print of Misha Tikh and the research of Balint et al. 

Phonotrope Spinning Gears

Get this and other amazing phonotrope spinners here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Phototrope Animation Spinners 

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Phonotrope Spinning Gears: one more amazing phonotrope from apyrodesign. When the rate of rotation matches the rate of the smartphone video process (wait for it) twelve animated gears appear to mesh and turn. The precision laser cut acrylic is specifically designed to interact with the video process, similar to the animation effect of a flip book, but in a repeating cycle like that of the phenakistiscope, the 1833 invention that started moving media animation that lead to the development of movies and video. 

Rolling Uphill Illusion

Availabel here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Uphill Ramp Illusion

or get the 3D print file here:
From Thingverse: Download Now: Uphill Illusion

Learn more: The amazing illusions of Kokichi Sugihara
See the many other Sugihara Illusions: in my collection

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Rolling Uphill Illusion: the ball bearings seemingly roll uphill as if attracted by magnets of some kind. What’s going on? Swipe for reveal as it is truly a matter of perspective. A wonderful take on an illusion invented by Kokichi Sugihara of Meiji University. 3D printed by my good friend @zathras5 (Roger Key) from a file designed by Julian Hardy. 


Vintage Blacklight Poster: Stars (M. C. Escher)

Fun vintage posters can be found here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Blacklight Poster Escher

Get this LED blacklight here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Blacklight for Posters

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Vintage Blacklight Poster: a stunning psychedelic era poster from 1969 glows brightly under an LED blacklight in this specially made frame. This amazing silkscreen uses fluorescent pigments (new tech in the 1960s) that absorb ultraviolet light and then re-emit the energy in visible photons. Design based on M. C. Escher’s black and white 1948 wood engraving print “Stars” featuring two chameleons within three connected octahedra.

 

 

Iridescent Inclusion in Quartz

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From Etsy: BUY NOW: Rainbow Inclusion Quartz Specimens 

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Iridescent Inclusion: this chunk of quartz has multiple “rainbow inclusions” that flicker brightly in and out of view depending on the angle between the illuminating light source and the eye. The amazing color banding emanates from very thin cracks in the crystal which allows light to be reflected from two surfaces that are only separated by 1/2 the wavelength of visible light (in the range of 500 nm), allowing light waves of various colors to undergo constructive and deconstructive interference, like that of oil on water. The thickness of the crack gets a tiny bit wider from one side to the other resulting in the banding of colors as light of different wavelengths cancel out or reinforce in intensity. The physics of thin film interference “frozen” within this freeform chunk of natural quartz.

Pikachu Phonotrope Spinner

Get similar amazing spinners here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Animation Spinners

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Phonotrope Spinner: When viewed through video from a smartphone an animated Pikachu springs into motion. The laser cut and printed acrylic is specifically designed to interact with the frame rate of the video process, similar to the animation effect of a flip book, but in a repeating cycle. The effect can also be seen without a camera by using a mirror and viewing through the spaces between the cutouts. Using a mirror like this turns the spinner into a phenakistiscope, the 1833 invention that started moving media animation that lead to the development of movies and video.