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Nixie Tubes and Clock

The Nixie Tube Clock in the video is of amazing craftsmanship- real hardwood with brass accents and solid construction. Get one from this excellent shop: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Nixie Tube Clocks 

Nixie Tube: long before there were 7 segment LED displays there was the Nixie- cold cathode tubes with a wire mesh and 10 cathodes shaped in the form of numerals 0-9 that illuminate through neon glow discharge. The “Numeric Indicator eXperimental 1” or NIX 1 was introduced in 1955 by Burroughs Corporation and manufactured until the 1990s. This clock uses modern electronics to power Russian versions called the ИH-19A where the numbers are stacked so the front symbols obscure each lighted cathode minimally: from back to front 1320984756. 

Simple Stirling Engine

Get this amazing model engine here:

From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Simple Stilring Engine

See other featured DYI devices here: EngineDIY Models

Simple Stirling Engine: Perhaps the simplest piston engine ever devised- a single piston powered by a tiny alcohol lamp. Glass components allow a view of the internal workings of this design, and the interesting startup behavior from oscillation to full rotation. Heat engines produce mechanical motion from a difference in temperature- here the piston side is near room temperature (the central aluminum post is an excellent conductor and acts as a heat sink as the gas flows through), and the test tube is kept at high temperature via the flame, with metal fibers to help conduct the heat into the air (this component is called the regenerator). Swipe to see the elegant assembly of this model, and swipe again to see the engine power down. This external combustion design is attributed to Scottish engineer Robert Stirling back in 1816.

Uplift 2.0

This amazing device now available here: 

From ArtofPlay: BUY NOW: Uplift 2.0

Uplift 2.0: light powered kinetic sculpture with mesmerizing apparent translational motion due to rotation of a spiral element under glass and mounted on precision bearings. The rotation is propelled silently by a simple and elegant bidirectional motor- a disk shaped copper coil which interacts with an array of six neodymium magnets and powered by a single solar cell. The included hand held magnet allows one to select the direction of flow. A stunning creation for any windowsill by artist and inventor Tom Lawton. 

1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova

Available for all the planets and several versions of Earth: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: all types 

From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: 1790 Terrestrial

From eBay: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: all types 

Octopus Stand available here:
From pyrofarms: BUY NOW
OctoStand in Metal

1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova: rotating counterweighted globe sealed within a clear liquid filled acrylic sphere. The rotation in a Mova globe is powered by light that shines through the semi-transparent map image on to solar cells within the globe which drive a motor. But what does the motor push against to maintain the rotation? Believe it or not it uses magnets to push against the Earth's magnetic field like a compass needle. Wonderful physics of all kinds in the design of this clever device. The featured map is a faithful recreation of a globe famous for its accuracy at the time by Giovanni María Cassini and highlights the voyages of James Cook.


Liquid Xenon Ampule

Available here:

From Luciteria Science: BUY NOW: Liquid Xenon Ampule

Liquid Xenon Rapid Phase Change: this small sealed vial contains pure xenon gas at very high pressure- 65 atmospheres! When cooled to 16C (61F) the xenon gas undergoes a rapid phase change to liquid as seen here when the ampule is immersed in an ice water bath. The video is shown in real time and the liquid xenon returns to gas within a few seconds and the process can be repeated indefinitely. The vial is made of fused quartz and kept small (3cm long) to be able to contain the high pressure environment which allows for such a high condensation temp (usually much colder at -108C).


Skew Dice (d6 and d12)

Get these skew dice here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Skew d6 set
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Skew d12 set

Click here for other amazing dice.

Skew Dice (d6 and d12): these dice are skewed- but their odds aren’t! These unusually shaped dice are completely fair- roll them and the probability of outcomes are identical to a standard set of dice. The odd shapes of the skew d6s are a special type of polyhedra called asymmetric trigonal trapezohedra, and these d12s are tetrahedic pentagon dodecahedrons (swipe). These skew forms come in right and left handed versions(swipe twice) and these sets come with one of each mirror image. What allows these shapes to be fair like a cube has to do with their property of being isohedral, where each face of an object will map onto all other faces via a symmetry of the object. Manufactured by The Dice Lab team of Robert Fathauer and Henry Segerman.

Slow Motion Timer

Get this device here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Paradox Silver Slow Motion Timer

Slow Motion Timer: instead of sand and air, dense oil and metal beads trade places in this unique timer. The small metal spheres slowly descend slightly tethered to each other due to the effects of viscosity as the fluid flows. This liquid timer is carefully constructed so there are no air bubbles to interrupt the delicate motion, and includes molded lens shaped windows on each side. Although more a piece of kinetic art, this particular timer consistently takes 4 minutes and 24 seconds to complete (partly shown here sped up x10).

Spark Science

Cake decoration sparklers available here:

Fron Etsy: BUY NOW: Small Sparkler Fireworks

Spark Science: the bright flashes of light emitted from a common sparkler are tiny bits of burning iron metal which can be caught and collected with a simple piece of paper as a net. These tiny metal bits are hot (more than 1000 °C, 1800 °F) and become molten where surface tension then pulls them into spheres before they cool- seen here at 300x magnification. Although the sparks are very hot, they can’t burn paper (or skin) because they carry very little thermal energy due to their tiny mass- they cool very quickly. Fun firework physics!

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. 

@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! 

Micro Racer in a Glass

These micro racer cars are sold under many brand names, and most come with a clear sphere to demonstrate this centripetal acceleration phenomenon. 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Micro Racer + Sphere

From eBay: BUY NOW: Micro Racer + Sphere

Micro Racer in a Glass: This tiny battery powered car overcomes gravity through centripetal acceleration and slight friction with the glass surface. With sufficient velocity the surface normal force supplies the centripetal acceleration. The car’s battery last for many minutes and is USB rechargeable.


These dice are available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock Dice

RPSLK Dice: the famous Lizard Spock extension to the Rock, Paper, Scissors game expressed on 10 sided dice allowing the study of the non-associative nature of the game (Rock wins Scissors, and Scissors wins Paper, but Rock does not win Paper, etc.), and other interesting math. The original RPS game had three “weapons” and only three rules are needed to play the game. Adding Lizard-Spock makes for 5 gestures, but now 10 rules must be used, including “Spock vaporizes Rock”, “Lizard poisons Spock”, and my favorite “Paper disproves Spock” (swipe to see famous graphic). Interestingly, mathematical analysis shows a similar four weapon game with equal odds of winning is not possible. It was also found that the next possible game with 7 gestures would require 21 rules to play. The Lizard-Spock extension was invented by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla in 2005 and made famous on the sitcom Big Bang Theory. 

Sand Snowman Paperweight Toy

Similar sand toys available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Sand Paperweight Toys

Sand Holiday Paperweight Toy: physics of granular materials- matter with unique properties between those of solids and liquids- as demonstrated with this simple toy. Granular materials, such as the sand in this toy, flow but also stack with a characteristic “angle of repose” as can be seen here as pyramid like ridges that form over the images of Santa and winter wonder.


Neon Plasma Glass

Each glass is unique and comes with tesla coil base:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Neon Glow Glass by TeslaCoilPro

Neon Plasma Glass: these double walled glass mugs glow orange and blue from the excitation spectrum of neon gas at low pressure. The base contains a high frequency transformer (Tesla coil) that generates high voltage electric fields (but at very low current) from USB rechargeable batteries- which excites the neon to glow, and also serves as a coaster. The inner volume varies in thickness which leads to variations in heat and pressure which in turn produces different excitations (orange and blue) of the neon gas in patterns that dance and dazzle the eye. Stunningly beautiful kinetic art and tech by creator Zerg Dragonymous.

Tesseract Projection

Get this CNC machined math art here: 

From AltDynamic: BUYNOW: Hypercube/Tesseract

Tesseract Projection: a shadow of the 4-dimensional analogue to the cube, also called a hypercube or 8-cell. A tesseract(4D) is to a cube(3D) as a cube is to a square(2D). This piece of mathematical art is CNC machined from a solid piece of aluminum and anodized black- a representation, including perspective, of one possible shadow a hypercube could cast into 3D space. Multidimensional mathematics are often used in the formulations of physics, and visualizations such as this one help give insights. Another amazing creation from @altdynamic design studio.