Well engineered brass spinning toys by SiriusEnigmas
From Etsy: BUY NOW: The PiTOP
From Etsy: BUY NOW: The PhiTOP
The PiTOP: this beautiful brass cylinder has a radius of 1 inch, a height of 1/π inches, and displays the first 109 digits of π on its face. Spin this disk (best with sound on) and it will demonstrate some very interesting physics involving energy transfer and conservation of angular momentum. The edges of the cylinder are rounded and engineered to exhibit an optimum motion of a “spolling” coin, a motion that combines spinning and rolling (closeup shown in 240fps). As the disk’s angle of inclination decreases the speed of the rolling increases dramatically until the contact point with the mirror is moving in excess of 200mph. From the mind of physicist Ken Brecher, inventor of the PhiTOP (swipe for video). Note also that with the specified height, that the volume of this cylinder is exactly 1 cubic inch!
Get this affordable physics tensegrity sculpture here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Tensegrity Sculpture
Tensegrity for the Desk: an elegant, and stackable, desk toy version of this popular tensegrity configuration by maker/designer Micah Murdoch. Constructed from poplar wood, the design assembles easily with clever ball and socket connectors at the ends of the nylon support lines (3 long, 1 short). Stacking them seems to only increase the illusion of floating with the subtle way these structures defy gravity. Another fun configuration of tensegrity concept, invented by Kenneth Snelson and made famous by the architect Buckminster Fuller in 1949.
Get this amazing and affordable science sculptue here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Bismuth Maglev Rod
Click here to see other diamagnetic toys and scuptures
Bismuth Maglev Rod: Small magnets are trapped, suspended and floating, within the notch of a rod cast from the diamagnetic metal bismuth. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the small floating magnet supplies the external field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though, so a powerful neodymium magnet sits above the gap on the top of the rod, and its height is adjusted to help lift the small magnet against gravity. Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon of Element83.
Get this well crafted puzzle from Creative Crafthouse here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Crossroads Four Marble Puzzle
From Etsy: BUY NOW Four Marble Puzzle
Four Marble Puzzle: physics brain teaser- move all four marbles to their corner locations simultaneously. Each slot slopes down towards the center such that the marbles tend to stay at the center- so, how would one get them to roll outward at the same time? The solution to this puzzle (like others featured here) relies on some fun basic physics principles. Answer below and swipe to reveal solution. A beautiful and well-made puzzle from Creative Crafthouse.
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.
Get this vortex pendant here: affordable and expertly crafted!
From Etsy (Ocean Dunes Glass Art):
BUY NOW: Vortext Pendant
More of this artform here: Vortex Marbles
Vortex Pendant Marble: A radiant spiraling illusion as a necklace by artist Karmen Trebolo- where glass art intersects with the physics of optics such that the clear glass face on these spheres acts as a convex lens giving the illusion that the spiral goes deeper than the diameter of the glass. Different kinds of dichroic glass (doped with thin layers of metals and oxides) is mixed in to the borosilicate sphere to create the intense colors. The vortex illusion lampwork art form was invented by Kevin O’Grady circa 1994- swipe to see one of his marbles that bears his signature mark on the back.
Periodic Table with 83 element samples:
From Etsy store ProtoshopLLC : BUY NOW
Heritage Periodic Table
See also: The Collector's Edition with 85 samples
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
Professor Brecher has a limited supply of these "golden" (brass) versions of this top available on Etsy
From Etsy: BUY NOW PhiTOP in Brass
Aluminum version available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW phiTOP
The ΦTop - Golden Version: spinning things have surprising physics! This unique top is made of solid brass in the shape of a prolate elIipsoid- and the name of the top is derived from the following design requirement: the ratio of the semi minor (short) axis to the semi major (long) axis is made equal to the mathematical constant the golden ratio φ (phi). Invented by astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, this top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off and the glass surface has minimal friction allowing the top to spin for a long time- this video shows various stages of 8 minutes of total spin time.
Only available from these aritist/craftsmen:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Impossible Bolt & Nuts
Impossible Bolt: one nut threads on clockwise as normal- the other threads on counterclockwise on the same bolt! Not impossible- but carefully engineered and machined. Swipe for partial hint on mechanism. This puzzling curiosity was inverted by Scott Eliott and machined in solid brass by puzzle crafters Steve Nicholls and Ali Morris of TwoBrassMonkeys.
Get this puzzle here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Missing Edge Puzzle Card
Missing Edge Piece Puzzle: fun math involved in the design of this puzzle, which illustrates how the concept of area can challenge our intuitions. Swipe to see the similar and amazing Matsuyama’s Paradox puzzle. A precision crafted puzzle by Jeux Efcé game shop.
Sold individually, or as a set, here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Plasma Glassware and Excitation Base
Neon Plasma Glassware: serve up a platter of plasma! These double walled glass mugs glow orange and blue from the excitation spectrum of neon gas at low pressure. The base contains a high frequency transformer (Tesla coil) that generates high voltage electric fields (but at very low current) which excites the neon to glow, and also serves as a display platter. The inner volume of each glass varies in thickness which leads to variations in heat and pressure which in turn produces different excitations (orange and blue) of the neon gas in patterns that dance and dazzle the eye. An upcoming video will show these filled with beverages. Stunningly beautiful kinetic art and tech by creator Zerg Dragonymous.
From Etsy: BUY NOW Ferrofluid Lava Lamp
Ferrofluid Interactive Lava Lamp: special ferrofluid infused wax allows manipulation of the blobs of “lava” with a weak magnet, adding an interactive element to the already mesmerizing physics of convective heat flow, Archimedes principle, and immiscible liquids. Love the atomic rocket theme on this updated version of the 1960s classic physics toy.
Get this and other beautifully crafted math themed tops here:
Fropm Etsy: BUY NOW: The eTOP
The eTOP: an ellipsoid based on the famous Euler’s constant e, diameter 2” and thickness 2/e”- spinning magnets from the magnetic stirrer induce electric currents to flow in the copper eTOP- these currents then create their own magnetic field which opposes the magnets underneath and pushes the eTOP to spin, producing interesting motion and sound. Credit to astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, the creator of the eTOP, PhiTOP, and this unique means of using Lenz’s Law to spin it up. This top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top. The concave mirror keeps the top from wandering off of magnetic stirrer.
This 3D print available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Zigzag Balance Wine Rack
or print it yourself:
From Thingverse: Balance Wine Rack by Kenneth79
Zigzagging Balance Wine Rack: a carefully engineered 3D print version of this famous demonstration- the center of mass of the rack/wine bottle system is directly over the base providing unstable equilibrium for this balancing act. A 3D print design by Kenneth Hansen which looks metallic and fantastic in shiny PLA. Suspended here is Educated Guess by Roots Run Deep, an excellent Napa cabernet sauvignon.
A nice version is curretnly available from this Etsy craft store:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Impossible Nail
Impossible Nail: An eighteen-penny nail driven through the inner notches of a solid piece of wood. The wood was notched and the nail added- no glue used or cuts made, and the nail is solid and in one piece. Not impossible, but creating this does depend on the use of some amazing physical properties of wood. I won’t reveal the method here but a quick search on YouTube produces a few how-to videos showing the process.
Bismuth levitation available here:
From Etsy- Element 83: BUY NOW Magnetic Levitation Sculptures
featuring amazing Bismuth Crystals, Jewelry, and Maglev Kinetic Art
Circa 1981, Physicists transmute Bismuth to Gold: Particle accelerators make possible the ancient alchemist’s dream—but at a steep cost
The Alchemist: cast from diamagnetic Bismuth, a neodymium cube magnet levitates trapped between the hands of the ancient scholar. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the cube shaped magnet supplies the field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though so a cylindrical neodymium magnet hangs above the figure and is adjusted to help lift the cube magnet against gravity. Trapped in equilibrium by these magnetic fields, the slightest air currents can send the cube magnet dancing. Although alchemists never succeeded in transmuting lead to gold, in 1981 physicists used the particle accelerator at Berkeley to shoot Carbon nuclei at thin foils of Bismuth- the resulting collisions did produced a tiny amount of Gold atoms! So modern nuclear physics, applied to the element Bismuth, finally accomplished the aspirations of the alchemists. ?Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon.
Find this cube and other rainbow making creations by this artist here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Niji Cubes
Niji Cube: a stunning kinetic art object constructed from acrylic and thin layers of plastic diffraction grating. Just add a white light source to produce an explosion of vivid colors with these creations by artist Minato Takeo. Here the rainbow spectrum is produced not by refraction like that of a prism, but instead by diffraction, where light waves deconstructively and constuctively interfere. A wonderful object to place on a sunny windowsill or, as in this video, to cast the beam of a flashlight through in a darkened room.