Get the levitating/rotating platform here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Levitron Revolution
From eBay: BUY NOW Levitron Maglev Platform
Versions of the floating rings illusion can be found at the Exploratorium, at the Carnegie Science Center,
and is also famously featured in the 1981 Superman movie:
Levitron Revolution: well engineered control system uses an adjustable electromagnet and and a Hall effect sensor to levitate an 8cm diameter neodymium magnet platform 5 cm in mid-air. The feedback loop allows fine tuning of the magnetic field to exactly balance the pull of gravity. The platform also rotates, perfect for this floating rings illusion sculpture I constructed.
Available from the US Post Office and here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Thermochromic Eclipse Stamps
Thermocromic Eclipse Postage Stamps: In commemoration of the total solar eclipse next Monday the US Post Office has released their first ever stamp featuring thermocromic ink. Thermotropic liquid crystals go from opaque to transparent during a phase change from a crystal to liquid state. Here the warmth of the hand reveals the face of the moon in front of the solar corona. The first physics toy stamp!
Get a MaBoRun here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW MaBoRun Mini Marble Run
MaBoRun Mini III: rolling marbles doing tricks as potential energy of gravity is converted to kinetic energy. In this mini-marble run a battery powered scissor linkage translates the rotation of the motor into linear motion to lift the marbles to the top.
From Amazon: BUY NOW Daruma Otoshi Toy
Daruma Otoshi (Dropping Priest): Traditional Japanese physics toy. Use the hammer to knock out pieces, but without tipping over the stack. Newton's 1st Law as seen in slow motion- a mass at rest tends to stay at rest.
Many versions of this type of convection candle are available:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Spinning Kinetic Candles
Also on eBay:
From eBay: BUY NOW Spinning Convection Candles
Spinning Snowflakes Convection Candle: a simple heat engine- rotational motion resulting from the convection of hot air due to the candle flame of a tea light. All moving parts 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 snowflakes.
Fun balance toy sculptures are available on Amazon:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Balance Sculpture Toys
Vintage Kinetic Art: Eames era kinetic sculpture seemingly defies gravity as it glides in a graceful circle. The gold plastic sphere plus wire structure is designed such that its center of mass is few centimeters below the point of contact with its base. When the sculpture is tipped or spun, the center of mass swings under the pivot point in this stable equilibrium condition- no magnets needed to create this physics magic.
Available here in many colors and sizes:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Lava Lamp in Time-lapse: 15 minutes compressed into 15 seconds gives a different perspective on the processes involved in this classic physics toy from the 1960's. Mesmerizing physics of convective heat flow, Archimedes principle, and immiscible liquids. Manufactured by Mathmos and invented in 1963 by Edward Walker of Dorset England, the Lava Lamp is still popular today and is available in a wide range of colors.
Many animations to choose from:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Cinspinner Animation
From eBay: BUY NOW Cinespinner Animation
CineSpinner: motion animation from Moiré pattern effects of constructive and deconstructive interference. Affordable kinetic art by Scanimation creator, artist, and author Rufus Butler Seder.
Four versions to choose from!
From Amazon: BUY NOW Kaleidograph
Kaleidograph: hand held manipulable mathematical art. Stack, rotate, and flip two or more of these 12 double sided die cut cards into billions of possible arrangements! (30 shown here) A toy that integrates the math of combinatorics with the beauty of symmetry.
Get samples of Satin Spar here
From eBay: BUY NOW TV Rock: Satin Spar
Get samples of Ulexite here
From eBay: BUY NOW TV Rock: Ulexite
TV Rock: special crystalline form of the mineral gypsum acts as a natural fiber optic image conduit. 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. Not to be confused with ulexite, a mineral of boron with similar TV rock properties.
Available here- four versions of 360° Books to choose from:
Amazon: BUY NOW 360° Books
360° Book: Earth and Moon by Yosuke Oono- whimsical art for the science and sci-fi enthusiast. Love the UFO abducting the cow!
This vintage item is out of production. Here are some similar times based on whirlpool vorteces:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Vortex Lamps
"Pet Tornado": whirlpool powered by a magnetic stirrer (like those in a chemistry lab). The knob on the side has settings F1 through F5 ? One of my sillier toys- but vortices are just so cool.
From Art of Play: BUY NOW LessMore Bowls
Learn more about this illusion and its history on the Wikipedia page: Jastrow Illusion
LessMore Bowls: (non-physics post) these serving dishes by @artofplay are a 3D version of the famous Jastrow Illusion, where the lower curve always appears larger than the top one. Note that even after we verify the bowls are the same size, our perception still misleads- a reminder that we need science to transcend the limits of our senses.
High precision manufacturing and beautifully packaged-- Get the original here:
From the KS campaign: BUY NOW Moondrop Fidget
Moondrop: using magnets and Lenz's Law to imitate free fall times on the Moon and Mars. The key to this device is the presence of neodymium magnets in the central aluminum column. When a non-magnetic metal ring moves down, the magnetic field in the center produces an electric current in the ring. The ring then temporarily becomes an electromagnet that exerts some repulsion against the center magnets slowing the ring down. The Earthdrop (blue) has the magnets removed from the column to provide comparison. Another unique and scientific fidget toy!
The astonishing art of Raven Copeland, aka the madglasser: Buy a marble here!
From Etsy: BUY NOW Vortex Marble artwork of Raven Copeland
Magic Vortex Marble: glass art intersects with the physics of optics in another spectacular piece from lampworking master Raven Copeland aka @madglasser -The clear glass face of the marble acts as a convex lens giving the illusion that the spiral goes deeper than the diameter of the marble. A Gibson opal seems suspended in space above the unique vortex- see the @madglasserInstagram stream for more from his Magic Marble series. The vortex depth illusion in these is even stronger in person!