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The Galton Board: 3000 steel balls fall through 12 levels of branching paths and always end up matching a bell curve distribution. Each ball has a 50/50 chance of following each branch such that the balls are distributed at the bottom by the mathematical binomial distribution. One of my favorite finds of 2018! An elegantly designed modern version of the Galton Box invented by Sir Francis Galton(1894) to demonstrate the Central Limit Theorem - showing how random processes gather around the mean. In addition the number of balls in each bin can be predicted by Pascal's triangle (printed on the face over the pegs).
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From Amazon: BUY NOW Beam Down Star Trek Mug
Similar mugs here:
From eBay: BUY NOW Star Trek Heat Mugs
Thermochromic Beam Down Mug: Pour up some hot coffee and watch the crew of the USS Enterprise leave the ship and rematerialize on the planet surface with this color-changing physics mug. The color change employs leuco dyes, thermochromic chemicals that have two reversible forms, one colorless.
Get one from David Fowler's Etsy shop:
From PhysicsHack: BUY NOW: Vortex Dome Kalliroscope
Made with extraordinary craftsmanship and high quality materials, and sold at a very reasonable price!
Vortex Dome Kalliroscope: kinetic art with rheoscopic fluid in a rotating base. Visualizing the invisible- the Vortex Dome is the creation of engineer/inventor and @physicsfun featured artist David Fowler aka @physicshack who creates this modern rotating kalliroscope that generates complex and beautiful structures similar to those seen in the cloud bands of the gas giants of our solar system like Jupiter. The capsule is constructed of high quality glass on a heavy stainless steel base which glides on bearings for long spin times.
Get one here! Make sure to get the Jr. Scientist version of this kit for best results.
From Amazon: BUY NOW Strandbeest Model Kit
Read about Theo Jansen and his novel leg linkage mechanism for the Strandbeests via these Wiki pages.
Strandbeest Mini: A fully working model of artist Theo Jansen's Strandbeest kinetic sculpture which features Jansen's linkage- a unique leg mechanism which converts rotary motion of a crackshaft into smooth walking motion. Jansen's creations are usually a couple meters high and walk the beaches of the Netherlands powered by the wind. This version comes as a model kit that snaps together with no glue- a really fun project!
For the price, this is the best one on the market I think and beautiful to look at in copper- the music function does not do much, but it is a great little Tesla coil and it comes with three accessories for the top. Please be sure to employ all appropriate safety precautions when utilizing any electrical circuity!
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mini Tesla Coil
Tesla Coil: miniature low current version of the famous air core double-tuned resonate transformer invented by Nikola Tesla in 1891. The thick copper of the primary coil is set into three windings around the many windings of the tall secondary coil. This one uses a modern transistor circuit to excite the radio frequency oscillations that produce a voltage in excess of 50kV in the form of pulses that cycle about 100k times a second. This version is fed by a 24V DC power supply and is fairly safe due to a low current (mA)- but the circuitry does get hot and demands a huge heat sink with fan (the metal base can burn skin when operating). The coils comes with attachments- the spike produces a purple corona discharge as the voltage exceeds the breakdown voltage of air with current flowing into the air or arcing over to a grounded piece of metal. The corona discharge imparts momenta, and here the ends of a bent wire are set into rotation from the slight push of the escaping electrons.
Available for all the planets and several versions of Earth:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mova Globes: all types
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mova Globes: Jupiter
From eBay: BUY NOW Mova Globes: all types
From eBay: BUY NOW Mova Globe: Jupiter
Jupiter Globe by Mova: rotating counterweighted globe sealed within a clear liquid filled acrylic sphere. The rotation is powered by light that shines through the semi-transparent Jupiter globe 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.
Get one here- but like any source of flame- use with caution!
From eBay: BUY NOW Plasma Arc Lighter
From Amazon: BUY NOW Plasma Arc Lighter
Plasma Arc Lighter Physics: dual arcs of plasma exceed 1100 C (2000 F) on this flameless lighter. The breakdown voltage of air is about 3000 Volts per mm. Thus the circuit in the lighter must provide about 12,000 volts to produce this 4mm arc. The circuit is a simple one made possible by a transformer with very fine wire windings, a transistor, and a powerful lithium-ion battery (USB rechargeable). The circuit produces high frequency current oscillations in the coils that in turn produce the needed high voltage. Like having a Tesla coil in your pocket!
Get one here
From Amazon: BUY NOW Infinite Dungeon Corridor
Infinity Mirror Portal: fun take on the infinity mirror with a stone tunnel and flickering LED torches. Spooky fun physics of reflection and partially mirrored panes. ?
Get this inexpensive version that makes big sparks!
from Engine DIY: BUY NOW: Wimshurst Electrostatic Generator
Wimshurst Electrostatic Generator: this device uses two counter rotating disks of metal pads to separate charge via induction. The repulsion felt by electrons as the triangle plates pass by each other pushes charge to flow across two conducting rods, one on each side, which allows the charge to stack up. This excess charge is then stored in old fashioned cylindrical capacitors (Leyden Jars) until the resulting 30,000+ Volts is achieved to jump the air gap. This device goes back to 1883- invented by James Wimshurst
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From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Tea Candle Steam Engine
From Amazon: BUY NOW Tea Candle Steam Engine
Tea Candle Steam Engine: a functional piston steam engine complete with boiler and flywheel. Takes about 2 minutes to get going after the candle is lit. The invention that powered the industrial revolution on a desktop! Made by Wilesco.
Many models and colors to choose from, available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Heng Balance Lamp
Heng Balance Lamp: magnetic suspension sculpture and light- with two neodymium magnets on cords suspended by their mutual magnetic attraction. In this design by Zanwen Li, the bottom cord engages the light switch.
The Heritage Periodic Table Display
Periodic Table with 83 element samples:
From Etsy store ProtoshopLLC : BUY NOW
Heritage Periodic Table
Please note: there are fradulent versions of this with only pictures embedded in the acyrlic being sold on facebook. The link above is the only place to get the actual version.
The Heritage Periodic Table Display: a comprehensive collection of the chemical elements that can fit in the hand. Embedded in acrylic are actual samples of 83 of the 118 elements- including pure bubbles of the gaseous elements- represented by 75 high purity samples and 7 compounds. 2019 marks the 150th anniversary of the world changing periodic system of Dmitri Mendeleev (published in 1869). This table and collection is the creative work of Tim and Cory Marriott of Engineered Labs Protoshop LLC
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Hyperboliod Spinner: The HypnoGizmo
From eBay: BUY NOW
Hyperboloid Spinner: HypnoGizmo
Hyperboloid Spinner: the HypnoGizmo toy consists of a set of slanted straight nylon lines arranged to form the outline of a hyperboliod- the quadratic surface related to the revolution of hyperbola around its axis of symmetry. As the device rotates the beads slide along in succession on one of the straight paths leading to the complex visual display. So much fun math in this toy!
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From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Euler's Disk and Accessories
From Amazon: BUY NOW Euler's Disk
Wikipedia has an excellent introduction to the physics of Euler's Disk
Eulers Disk: (best with sound on) this toy exhibits the motion of a “sprolling” coin, a motion that combines spinning and rolling. Designed with a large mass and very smooth edge, this device takes close to 3 minutes to come to rest- and amazingly, the contact point between the disk and the mirror can reach a speed of more that 200 mph! This video catches the first and last parts of this 2 minute and 42 second run, with two cuts to 240fps slow motion to show the curious motion. Watch the end with the sound on!
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Vortex II Coin Bank
Vortex II Coin Bank: interplay of potential energy of gravity and conservation of angular momentum- a simulation of a decaying orbit. Fun with every coin saved!
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...
Star Wars Specular Hologram on Vinyl: A repost of my favorite Star Wars themed physics in celebration of The Last Jedi in theaters today—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, in person 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.
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 Clock V2: 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-12A where the numbers are stacked so the front symbols obscure each lighted cathode minimally: from back to front 162750483.