Avaliable now on preorder from The Matter Collection:
From Kickstarter: Pledge Now: Mega Oloid
Mega Oloid: precision machined from solid aluminum this unique solid shape rolls in such a way that every point on its surface comes in contact with the plane. The basis of the oliod’s geometry is that of two connected circles, one perpendicular to the other such that the rim of each circle goes through the center of the other. The shapes you see here are the results of connecting the rims of these circles together with a family of straight lines that leads to the solid convex hull form. New math art from The Matter Collection’s current new Kickstarter campaign- order one today in aluminum, brass, or stainless steel.
Available here (in limited supply):
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Perpetual Marble Machine
Original listing on Etsy: Perpetual Marble Machine
Note: poorly designed knock-offs are being sold widely that are not at all the same device. If the price is less that $150 USD then it is not the same quality device and mechanism as shown here.
Perpetual Motion Simulator: this marble machine device does not break any laws of thermodynamics- but it sure looks like it! When I first saw videos of this piece of kinetic art I thought the effect was due to video editing, but in fact the base contains a power source and very clever mechanism (swipe twice for clue/partial reveal). An amazing piece of art by William Le expertly crafted from stainless steel wire, doussie hardwood, and undisclosed internal components.
Get similar crystals here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Rainbow Inclusion Quartz Specimens
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.
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.
Mini Tesla coil with wire end attachment- get one here:
From engineDIY: BUY NOW: Mini Tesla Coil
Long exposure image captured using this Slow Shutter app:
From App Store: BUY NOW: Slow Shutter Cam
Corona Discharge Trajectories: the ejected electron stream propels the end of a thin wire connected to a miniature Tesla coil. The corona discharge creates a glowing plasma at the end of the wire, but also imparts momenta that pushes the wire’s end into a final state circular orbit. The more interesting behavior occurs during the initial transient orbits which seem to be hypotrochoid type curves beautifully captured here using the Slow Shutter app. Please see seven posts back for details about this mini Tesla coil.
Get an affordable pre-bent light pipe demo here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Light Pipe Demo
Blue laser pointers (445nm) available here:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Blue Laser
but any color laser will work.
Make your own abstract light pipe sculpture, an inexpesive heat gun is the only needed tool:
Materials from eBay: BUY NOW: Acrylic Rod
Tool from Amazon: BUY NOW: Heat Gun
Light Pipe Sculpture: internal reflection constrains most of the laser light to propagate along the bent acrylic rod- the physics of fiber optics. This abstract sculpture was created by applying a heat gun to a 3/8” diameter acrylic rod. The laser pointer used here is blue at a wavelength of 445nm.
Get one from David Fowler's shop:
From PhysicsHack: BUY NOW: Advanced Gyro
Made with extraordinary craftsmanship and high quality materials, and sold at a very reasonable price!
See also this other device by Mr. Fowler: Vortex Dome
Hybrid Gyroscope Top: the Advanced Gyro is a new design by @physicshack which exhibits a interesting vertical stability phenomenon when placed on this unique stand with three ball bearings that serve to minimize friction and keep the gyro centered. The top defies gravity, due in part to its angular momentum, and its spin axis slowly rises to a stable vertical position from subtle rolling friction interactions with the ball bearings. No pull cord needed, this unique design spins up via friction with a working surface (thin cardboard works well) and applying a circular motion to bring the rotor up to 1000s of RPM. Machined from solid stainless steel this top weighs in at about half a kilo, providing inertia that produces long spin times. Thanks to inventor/designer David Fowler for sending me this fantastic gyro.
The dragon version sometimes available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Balance Dragon
Or get an extinct species here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Balancing Pteranodon
Balancing Dragon: weights in the wing tips create a center of mass below the dragon’s snout, making a system in stable equilibrium. Balanced here on the end of a bolt- no magnets used in this demo!
Get this and other amazing math puzzles here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Missing Square Puzzle
Matsuyama’s Paradox: dissect a large square in to four equal quadrilaterals, rotate and reassemble- to find a small square is missing! Where did the additional area come from? Fun math involved in the design of this puzzle, which illustrates how the concept of area can often challenge our intuitions. Swipe to compare the two assemblies. A precision crafted puzzle by Jeux Efcé game shop. Wikipedia has good details: Missing square puzzle.
From Grand Illusions LTD: BUY NOW: Magentic Tractor Demo
Magnetic Tractor: special configuration of permanent magnetic poles captures a dipole magnet without contact. Only works in 2D but cool nonetheless!
This DIY magneits sculpture can be assemebled with these parts. Bring a magnet into a craft shop to find some necklace chain that is non-magnetic.
From Amazon/eBay: BUY NOW: Quilting Hoop, Neodyumium Sphere Magnets
Magnetic Flux Gyroscope art and other amazing science inspired jewelry available here:
From Foxtail Jewelry: BUY NOW: Kinetic Magnetic Pendants
From Foxtail Jewelry: BUY NOW: Tabletop Magnetic Kinetic Art
Magnetic Suspension Sculpture: two neodymium magnets on chains suspended by their mutual magnetic attraction in this prototype kinetic sculpture (swipe to see scaled fine jewelry version by foxtailjewelry). These powerful magnets hold the chains taut with about a 2cm gap. Made from a quilting hoop where the magnets connect under their own force to steel nails soldered on to non-magnetic chain.
Get a set here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: Happy/Sad Balls
Happy/Sad Spheres: one ball bounces the other stops dead. The bouncy ball is made of neoprene rubber and exhibits high elasticity. The "sad" ball is made of polynorbornene and converts almost all kinetic energy into heat and sound- approximating/demonstrating the case of a completely inelastic collision. Polynorbrene is used in vehicle bumpers, for soundproofing, vibration damping, and other applications where recoil motion is unwanted.
A wide variety of similar lamps can be found on eBay:
From eBay: BUY NOW Fiber Optic Lamps
Fiber Optic Spray Lamp: a vintage fiber optic lamp sold by RadioShack back in the 1980s. The fiber bundle is illuminated by a lamp in the base and the color shifting patterns are generated by a rotating color wheel placed between the light source and the fiber optic bundle. Physics of internal reflection and refractive index to channel light through a fiber.
Amazingly this motor is available for less than $10 US.
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Brushless Motor/Generator with LED
Electric Motor/Generator: this inexpensive and common motor can also serve as a generator of AC electricity- here lightning an LED when the shaft of the rotor is spun by hand. Most electrical energy we use today is produced by moving a magnet near a coil of wire (known as Faraday’s law of induction) to produce an electric current. Removing the permanent magnet casing reveals this design to use 9 separate copper windings. I made a transparent second rotor with six neodymium magnets- and when these magnets are made to move near the windings the LED again lights with the flow of current. Swipe to see the beautiful magnetic field pattern of the rotor design using magneview film.
Get this particular sand kinetic art here:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Sandscape Kinetic Desk Toy
Click here for more amazing types of kinetic sand art.
Sandscape Spontaneous Stratification: a striking feature of this sand motion desk toy is the formation of striped layers. Typically pouring stuff together results in further mixing, yet here, when the sand mixture descends through a gap, the resulting pile is ordered into sorted layers. The larger rounded dark grains separate from the smaller sharp-edged white grains forming the layers you see here. The darker grains alone would stack into a steeper pile (larger angle of repose) than the white which would form a less steep pile.
Get a sample here:
From eBay: BUY NOW Optical Calcite Crystal
From Amazon: BUY NOW Optical Calcite Crystal
Get inexpensive polarizing filters here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Polarizing Filter Sheets
Need a UV laser pointer? Get 3 lasers (one of each color) for under $10 (including S&H):
From eBay: BUY NOW red+green+blue(UV) laser pointers
Fluorescence and Birefringence in Calcite: two samples of calcite- each with different impurities that produce blue fluorescence for the small crystal and red fluorescence for the larger one under a 405nm violet laser. Also one can clearly see that the single laser beam takes two paths through the crystals- the speed of light in a calcite crystal depends on polarization because the refractive index is different depending on the polarization orientation of the light transmitted through it (swipe for demonstration). As a polarizing filter is rotated 90 degrees, one image appears and the other vanishes, showing that the polarization orientation of the light of the two images is indeed perpendicular. In addition the elegant rhombohedral nature of calcite crystals is obvious in this sample.
This live steam engine is available here:
From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Hero's Engine
Hero’s Engine: the very first steam engine ever devised, the Aeolipile is a radial steam jet reaction turbine, an a invention attributed to Hero of Alexandria in the year 1 AD. Water within the spherical container is heated to produce steam which exits through nozzles directed at right angles to the radial direction, and by Newton’s third law these jets produce a torque about the rotation axis. There is no historical record of this engine being put to practical use in ancient times- except perhaps as the world’s first physics toy!