All physicsfun toys

JSC-MARS-1 Martian Soil Simulant

Currently avaiable simulated martian regolith:
MMS-2 Mars Regolith Simulant developed by the Exolith Lab at University of Central Florida

From STEMcell Science: BUY NOW:  Martian Soil Simulant Sample

JSC MARS-1 Martian Soil Simulent: what the rust colored dirt of the Red Planet would look like up close! Produced by NASA for engineering studies of future human activities on Mars, this simulated regolith closely approximates the chemical, mineral, and grain size distribution based on data from the Viking and Pathfinder landers. 


MaBoRun Mini

Many styles to choose from- get a MaBoRun here: 

From eBay: BUY NOW: MaBoRun Mini

Similar devices here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW MaBoRun Marble Run 

MaBoRun Mini IV: rolling marbles doing tricks as potential energy of gravity is converted to kinetic energy. In this mini-marble run a battery powered auger conveyor (Archimedes' Screw) brings the marbles back to the top and conservation of angular momentum produces a simulation of decaying orbits as the marbles whirl down the the main funnel shaped feature. 

Tessellating Geckos

These laser cut hardwood geckos are available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Tessellating Geckos 

Tessellating Geckos: MC Escher inspired lizard cutouts interlock precisely to tile a surface with no overlaps or gaps. Laser cut from maple, walnut, and cherry wood by maker/artist Craig Caesar and inspired by MC Escher’s “Study of Regular Division of a Plane with Reptiles” 1939. G4G week: Martin Gardner wrote about the art and math of Escher in 1961- which helped create the popularity that his work has experienced ever since.

Wilberforce Pendulum

Classroom demonstration models are available here 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Wilberforce Pendulum Apparatus 

Wikipedia has a good introduction to the physics: Wilberfocre Pendulum 

Wilberforce Pendulum: the mass and spring properties of this device are tuned such that the kinetic energy transfers back and forth between bouncing and twisting in this special coupled harmonic oscillator system invented by physicist Lionel Wilberforce in 1896. If any system is free to oscillate in two or more ways, the energy can transfer between the different modes- note that the bouncing completely stops for a bit, and then the twisting briefly stops- and back and forth with a period of energy transfer at about 15 seconds between the bounce mode and the twist mode. Here the mass and rotational inertia (altered by moving the four small masses in and out) are adjusted so that the resonance frequency of twisting is equal to the resonance frequency of bouncing. This system will complete up to 5 cycles (from rotation only to bounce only and back) before the energy is dissipated.

Cherry Blossom Thermochromic Sake Cups

Similar cups available here- some change with hot water, some with cold:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Cherry Blossom Color Change Cup

Check out these other thermochomic physics toys

Cherry Blossom Sake Cups: Pour up some hot beverage and bare branches fill with pink flowers at the bottom of these ceramic color-changing physics cups. The color change employs leuco dyes, thermochromic chemicals that have two reversible forms, one colorless.

Fine Wood Tippe-Top

Handmade flip over tops available here: 
From Art of Play: BUY NOW Flip Over Tops

From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Tippe-Tops 

Fine Wood Tippe-Top: spinning things often have surprising physics! This lathe worked version of the famous flip-over top is made of ebony and wood from the pink ivory tree. Friction with the mirror provides a torque that acts on the existing angular momentum of the top to flip it over. The top will stay flipped until the spin rate slows down enough to where its center of mass pulls it back to the resting position.