Physics Lamps & Lights

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LEDs as PV Cells

Need a UV laser pointer? Get 3 lasers (one of each color) for under $10: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW red+green+blue(UV) laser pointers

LEDs are really inexpensive these days- for $10 get this assortment of 350 LEDs to experiiment with:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: LED assortment 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

For well explained details of the physics see this amazing video by Steve Mould

LEDs as PV Cells: the physics of solar cells (photovoltaic cells) is the reverse process of LEDs (light emitting diodes). Shown here is a very simple circuit I soldered together- a blue LED and red LED connected. When a stream of energetic photons (from a 405nm violet laser pointer) is directed onto the blue diode it produces enough current to power and light the red diode! I saw this demo from fellow physicist @richardvandewege and had to reproduce it for my collection- check out his profile for more fantastic physics via creative demonstrations. 

Tenebrescence and Fluorescence of Hackmanite

Get a sample here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hackmanite Samples

You will also want a powerful UV flashlight:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: High Power UV Light

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Tenebrescence: a property of the mineral hackmanite which temporarily changes color when exposed to UV light- from pink/white to violet. Photochromism from a naturally occurring mineral! Similar physics to phosphorescence (glow in the dark) the purple color fades back to normal over about half an hour, and the mineral can be put into this excited state over and over again by the UV rays of the sun, or this high intensity UV flashlight. Also- hackmanite has a bright orange fluorescent glow under UV.

Map of the Universe: 2dFGRS

Get this laser etched scuplture here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: 2dFGRS Crystal Sculpture

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Map of the Universe: actual astrophysical data with 221,000 laser etched dots, each dot representing a galaxy of stars and revealing the largest scale structures of our universe. This glass cube contains a 3D mapping of galaxies using the data from the 2dF Galaxy Redshift Survey completed in 2003 which revealed the large scale clumping and voids of galaxies, the true structure of our universe out to about 2.5 billion lightyears. The 3.9 meter wide telescope took about 5 years to collect the spectra of each galaxy in two thin slices of the sky, representing about 4% of the total. The Sloan Digital Sky Survey has since expanded on this to about 40% of the sky now mapped to 12 billion lightyears. Hold and explore this mapped chunk of the universe in your own hands! 

Holographic Angel Specs

Get these this animated angel design and many more here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses 

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

See more designes here: Holospecs & Tree Lights

Holographic Angel Specs: put on these spectacles and fairy-like tiny angels will suddenly appear around every point source of light!- fluttering their wings as you tilt your head. The “lenses” in these glasses are actually transmission holograms but with the image located at the farthest point in the depth of field. Made by @americanpaperoptics3d with many more images available(see recent post), and some incorporate animation, like the wings on these angels.

Spooky Flourescent Mineral Sculpture

Find the sodalite bright orange fluorescent syenite here (some carved):
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Orange Glow Stones

You will also want an awesome UV flashlight like this one:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: High Power UV Light

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Spooky Natural Mineral Fluorescence: this mini jack-o-lantern is carved from a rock-specifically grey syenite, which includes grains of the mineral sodalite. When exposed to long wavelength UV light, the carving lights up due to these sodalite crystals which fluoresce emitting the bright orange wavelengths. 🎃

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Neon Flicker Flame Night Light

Similar old fashion flicker bulb lights available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Flicker Flame Neon Bulb 

Get this diffraction grating here to explore light source spectra:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: 500 line/mm diffraction grating

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Neon Flicker Flame Bulb: this charmingly designed night light evokes a theme of an old fashioned gas street lamp- however there is no flame, but instead the light is due to emission spectra from excited neon gas as a result of a discharge electric current from the 120V house mains. The flickering effect comes about because the current flow will increase the temperature near it, which raises the pressure and affects/raises the breakdown voltage near the current- so the glow from one area can only last as long as it takes to heat up and raise the breakdown voltage which then briefly kills the current in that area. In other physics, a diffraction grating shows that the gas is indeed neon, which only emits light at specific emission wavelengths- mostly reds with some bright yellow lines (and a clearly visible green line) at AC house voltages.

Yellow Laser Pointer 

Amazing application of high resolution far field holograms. The only available source I know of for projection holograms at this high resolution is this supplier of industrial samples 
From Diffractive Optical Element Sample 

Get this yellow 591nm laser pointer here:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Yellow Laser Pointer
Need the main colors of laser pointer? Incredibly, you can get 3 (one of each) for under $20 (including S&H): 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Red+Green+Purple Laser Pointer

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Yellow Laser Pointer: diode lasers with wavelengths of 589 nm (golden yellow) have recently become less expensive, and will produce stunning far-field transmission holographic images as seen here. The production of yellow frequencies from diode lasers is very complicated and involves two separate infrared laser diodes (1,064 nm and 1,342 nm) which are directed through a nonlinear optical crystal that sums these two IR frequency photons, through a quantum conversion process, into the desired 589 nm photons. So amazing that such tech can fit within the length of a pen and be powered by AAA batteries! 


Alexandrite Effect

Similar color change gemstones available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Synthetic Alexandrite
Explore propperties of minerals and gemstones with this fun jeweler's flashlight:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Jeweler's Appraisal Flashlight

Note: this site contains affiliate links for which I may be compensated

Alexandrite Effect: dramatic color change under different light sources- seen here first under halogen incandescent light and then under cool white LED (similar to sunlight), due to selective absorption of frequencies of visible light. These two faceted crystals are synthetic gems, Tourmalike and Tourmalike+, that dramatically exhibit this effect especially under the illumination of this jeweler’s appraisal lamp that allows one to select white light with different spectra (and also UV). This phenomenon is named for the famous (and expensive) alexandrite gemstone variety of the mineral chrysoberyl.