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One Ring Mirascope

This vintage item often available here:
From eBay: Search NOW: LotR Mirascope

Similar devices available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mirascope 
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Mirascope: Lord of the Rings edition. Two parabolic mirrors in a clamshell arrangement- an image of an object on the bottom mirror is projected into the hole on the top mirror. Here the object is The One Ring with the fellowship is depicted on the side. A LotR themed physics toy made in 2001 by the Noble Collection.

Star Wars Specular Hologram on Vinyl

Get the soundtrack by John Williams (which comes with two wonderful examples of Tristan Duke's holography artwork) here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW The Force Awakens Soundtrack + Holograms 

Click on this link for another amazing work by Mr. Duke

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Star Wars Specular Hologram on Vinyl: the two LP soundtrack from The Force Awakens featuring two amazing "scratch holograms" of a Tie fighter and the Millennium Falcon- the video barely captures the fullness of the 3D effect as the spaceships seem to hover above the surface of the record. These holograms were hand etched on the metal masters by artist Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science. The etched grooves reflect a point source of light as sharp glints and the groves are arranged so that each eye sees a slightly different pattern such that, via stereopsis, the shiny points appear to float above or below the surface.

Star Specular Hologram on Vinyl: 2112

Get tihs amazing vinyl remaster here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: RUSH 2112 vinyl wirh Hologram

See other holograms and physicsfun on vinyl here

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Star Specular Hologram on Vinyl: the 2015 reissue of the album 2112 by Rush features this “scratch hologram” of a the famous pentagram of the cover image. The hologram is yet another etched by artist Tristan Duke of Infinity Light Science- and this is the 4th vinyl album I’ve found with his work (trying to collect them all!) The etched grooves reflect a point source of light as sharp glints and the groves are arranged so that each eye sees a slightly different pattern such that, via stereopsis, the shiny points appear to float above or below the surface. 


Kluster Magnetic Challenge Game

Get this fun magnetic game here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Kluster Magnet Game

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Kluster Magnetic Challenge Game: explore mysterious action at distance via magnetic fields with this fun game setup. Note how the polished barium-strontium ferrite ceramic magnets repel each other when properly oriented, but once one flips over the unstable equilibrium gives way to the north/south attraction, and they quickly snap together. The game is played by taking turns placing the magnets within the boundary of the cord without any jumping together- the first to place all their magnets in the loop without any “clustering” wins, if some do cluster you take those magnets and lose your turn. Comes with the cord and a nice velvet storage bag.

Handheld Tesla Coil

Get this spark generator here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Handheld Tesla Coil

See other inexpensive tesla coils in my collection

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Handheld Tesla Coil: each pull of the trigger discharges a large capacitor (seen through the clear window) with a loud pop and a tiny lightning bolt then streaks from the tip. In this variation of the famous air core double-tuned resonate transformer invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891, the 10 cm long sparks are made possible by a very high voltage, but are made fairly safe due to a very low current (mA)- the discharge feels like a light sting (but don’t touch the electrode- it gets hot). This battery powered version is friendly for demonstrations, such as exciting an ampule of neon gas to glow brightly during the high voltages discharges (some views in slow motion). 

Tuning Fork Resonace

Get this inexpensive demo here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Sypathetic Resonace Tuning Forks

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Sympathetic Resonance: mechanical energy is transmitted from one vibrating tuning fork to the other via sound- as revealed by a wood bead on a string. A beautiful example of resonance phenomena where tiny periodic accelerations (such as sound waves) can produce much larger scale accelerations and displacements if the frequency matches the natural frequency (or an overtone) of the structure. This set of tuning forks are manufactured to vibrate at the same frequency and are mounted on resonating cavities to direct the sound over a distance of a meter or so. A great demo of energy transfer for the classroom. 


Squaring Circles

This sculpture available as a 3D print:

From ShapeWays: BUY NOW: Square Circle Illusion

See other amazing geometric illusions here: Ambiguous Objects

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Squaring Circles: from one particular point of view these wireframe sculptures looks like a circles/squares, from another it’s a square/circle! From other viewing angles one can see that the underlying curves are four identical segments of a parabola conjoined. Further examples of how a single perspective can be misleading! Math sculptures available as a 3D print by Matt Enlow. 

Borromean Rings in Wood

Get this exact item here:
From Wolrd Market: BUY NOW: Wood Decor Borromean Knot

Similar affordable wood scupltures here:
From Aamzon: BUY NOW: Wood Decor Borromean Knots

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Borromean Rings in Wood: three closed loops are linked but no two of the three are linked- if one is broken the other two will not be connected in any way. Fun math, sold as home décor, found at my local Cost Plus World Market store. More math than physics for this item - but there is a bizarre quantum state (Efimov state) where three particles are bound and described by the same math knot theory as these rings. 

 

 

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

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

Get a similar 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.

 

 


Tenebrescence of Hackmanite

Get a sample here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hackmanite Samples

You will also want a powerful UV flashlight:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: High Power UV Light

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Tenebrescence: a property of the mineral hackmanite which temporarily changes color when exposed to UV light to a deep shade of violet- photochromism from a naturally occurring mineral! Similar physics to phosphorescence (glow in the dark) the purple color fades back to normal over about half an hour, and the mineral can be put into this excited state over and over again by the UV rays of the sun, or this high intensity UV flashlight. Also- hackmanite has a bright orange fluorescent glow under UV.

Orbitron Saturn Kinetic Art

This vintage device can be found here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW: Blacklight Scupture

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

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Saturn Blacklight Kinetic Art: when the speed of rotation is faster than the flicker fusion frequency of human vision a banded planet surrounded by flat rings appears in this vintage kinetic art piece from 1997. Now LED pixels are spun by similar motor mounts to create animated 3D images- before that tech existed this artist used fluorescent dyes and blacklight illumination to accomplish the 3D effect. Looks smooth in person- the camera frame rate produces the spokes in the disk which is also interesting. A creation of artist Mille Volte and sold as the Orbitron Saturn. 

In-Feed Google


TV Rock: Satin Spar

Get samples of Satin Spar here 
From Etsy: BUY NOW: TV Rock: Satin Spar

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Natural Fiber Optic Conduit: a special crystalline form of the mineral gypsum acts as a natural fiber optic image conduit in this square cut specimen with polished ends. Morocco seems to be the main source of this fibrous form, called satin spar gypsum, which exhibits pearl like luster and chatoyancy along two axes and transparency along the direction of the fibers. Each natural crystal microfiber extends the length of the rod and acts like a man made glass fiber where the index of refraction is just right to allow internal reflection to propagate light from one end to the other.

Iridescent Ferrofluid

Get this ferrofluid display here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Iridescent Ferrofluid 

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Iridescent Ferrofluid: the latest formulation of colloidal ferromagnetic liquid in a specially prepared water-alcohol suspension display cell. The interplay between magnetic force and surface tension allows for the strange shape shifting from rounded blobs to starfish like spikes. As with all ferrofluids on the market, the chemical formulation is kept a trade secret-- and the coloring on this version is spectacular!

Levitating Golden Snitch

Get this device here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Golden Snitch

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Levitating Golden Snitch: Harry Potter magic simulated by the real magic of physics. Well- the wings don’t move, but it does float above the base. Magnets are involved of course- a control system in the base, powered by AA batteries, uses adjustable electromagnets and a Hall effect magnetic field sensor to levitate the snitch, and it’s pretty stable too. 


Pyramidion Kaleidosphere Kaleidoscope

Get a similar affordable Kaleidoscope design here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Tapered Mirror Kaleido

See other Kaleidoscopes in my collection

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Pyramidion Kaleidosphere: a precision made acrylic kaleidoscope of 3 tapered mirrors which creates reflections that appear as a 3D curved surface, and with clear gaps in each side that appear upon reflection as a geodesic cage that surrounds the central image. Shining a light through these clear gaps (and the end sphere) creates the brilliant blue flashes and intricate patterns of light. Designed by artist Nick Moore and produced with extremely clean lines by BrilliantAdventures.com. The kaleidoscope itself was invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), and kaleidoscope innovation is still an evolving art form. 

 

Orbiform d4 Dice Set

Get this set here:

From TheDiceLab: BUY NOW: Orbiform d4 Dice

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Orbiform Dice Set: the shape of a standard d4 is the tetrahedron whereas this new dice set are in the form of Meissner tetrahedra, which are in turn based on the Reuleaux triangle. The shape of these dice have constant diameter, no matter their orientation, and will roll like spheres between two planes- note how the acrylic plate stays parallel to the table top.