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Lenticular Lithograph

Kinetic lenticular lithographs from Jeff Johnson available here:

From eBay: BUY NOW: Lenticular Lithographic Art

Lenticular Lithograph: amazing art from the 1990s by Jeff Johnson that uses an array of thin acrylic cylinders to produce this three image crossfade effect. As the viewer moves from one vantage point to another the geometric image morphs from among three designs. I obtained this artwork slightly damaged- it was missing some of the cylindrical lenses- but I was able to purchase the right size acrylic rod to make the needed repairs (swipe for details and added insight to how this lenticular effect is achieved). 

Dancing Ferrofluid Device

Available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Venom Sound Dancing Ferrofluid Display

Dancing Ferrofluid: a black magnetic fluid interacts with a variable strength electromagnet (like those found in speakers). A circuit supplies power to the electromagnet in proportion to the sound waves picked up by a microphone, the changing magnetic field- combined with the liquid surface tension of the colloidal ferromagnetic liquid- produces the captivating motion that keeps time with any music played. Featuring “12 String Thing”, composed and performed by my good friend T.D.Clark @tdclark67 

Levitation Lamp 

Get this fun lamp here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Levitation Lamp

Levitation Lamp: tapping the floating spherical magnet turns this LED lamp off and on in this interesting design. The magnet floats a couple centimeters from the surface of the base when plugged in, and feels springy to the touch. Within the base is a control system with adjustable electromagnet coils in a feedback loop with Hall effect sensors which allow for fine tuning of a magnetic field to precisely balance the pull of gravity. 


Bismuth Maglev Rod

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.

Thermochromic Liquid Crystal Mood Necklace

Similar mood jewelry available here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Liquid crystal jewelry 

Thermochromic Liquid Crystal “Mood” Necklace: heat from a hand brings out the temperature dependent color change of the liquid crystal. The molecules of the liquid crystal change orientation and spacing during the phase transition from liquid (warm) to crystal (cool). The molecular configuration shift allows for different diffraction effects producing the color shift. 


UFO Mirascope

Similar devices available here:

From Curiosity Box: BUY NOW: Mirascope with tiny Orange Octopus
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Mirascope 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mirascope 

UFO Mirascope: two parabolic mirrors create a 3D image above the actual object. The image of the tiny alien made here is not a hologram and is produced solely by reflection of light rays between special concave mirrors. Love the space saucer theme on this version. The mirascope design principle was discovered circa 1969 by Landry and Elings at UC Santa Barbara.

Non-Circular Gears

Get these wonderful laser cut sets here (I only added some bright spray paint): 

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Non-Circular Gears

Non-Circular Gear Trains: a survey of a few designs using gears with some interesting shapes that can produce variations in rotation speeds. Swipe to view: two oblong gears, four squircle gears, and two logarithmic spiral gears. Just a small sample of the infinite possible shape combinations and arrangements of non-circular gear sets. With thanks to the Jeux Efce shop for sending me these wonderful laser cut gears and mounts. 

Gyroscopically Stabilized Rail Runner

Get this inexpensive toy here:

From eBay: BUY NOW: Gyroscope Rail Toy

Gyroscopically Stabilized Rail Runner: this toy remains upright on a single wheel as it travels along any thin rail or tightrope. A flywheel with considerable mass is ramped up to high RPMs via a small motor powered by two AA batteries (a stand is provided for this initial process to complete). Once operating speed is obtained the device will keep its orientation due to conservation of angular momentum, allowing it to seemingly magically balance on one point. The motor also turns the drive wheel which propels the device along any thin guide rail. 


In-Feed Google

Drinking Dino Heat Engine

This dinosaur themed heat engine available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Drinking T-rex Desk Toy

Get also: the related Drinking Bird Heat Engine 

Drinking Dino Heat Engine: So what physics presents did you get this year? I got this Dippy Dino heat engine- where cooling by evaporation at the head leads to lower pressure in the top bulb such that the dichloromethane fluid (colored green) rises up the neck making the T-Rex top heavy and the dino tips over dipping its face in the water and letting the fluid return to the bottom bulb. The process repeats as long as the top stays wet. A fun and silly variation on the famous drinking bird physics toy- and the T-Rex was a closely related ancestor to the dinosaurs that live today- birds! 


Heritage Periodic Table: Collector's Edition

The Collector's Edition Periodic Table with 85 element samples: 
From Etsy store ProtoshopLLC : BUY NOW 
Heritage Periodic Table

The Heritage Periodic Table: Collector’s Edition- a comprehensive collection of the chemical elements that can fit in the hand. Embedded in acrylic are actual samples of 85 of the 118 elements- including pure gasses and reactive alkali metals in glass ampules- and represented by 80 high purity samples (including a Gold nugget and liquid Mercury) and 5 compounds. Radium is included in the form of an antique watch hand, and the bead of Mercury rolls back and forth within its glass container. This spectacular table and collection is the creative work of Tim and Cory Marriott of Engineered Labs Protoshop LLC

The PiTOP

Well engineered brass spinning toys by SiriusEnigmas

From Etsy: BUY NOW: The PiTOP

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. Note also that with the specified height, that the volume of this cylinder is exactly 1 cubic inch! 

Sun Sculpture: Magnetic Field Lines of the Solar Corona

This wonderful 3D rendering of the Sun available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Sun Sculpture

See more 3D laser astronomy/astrophysics sculptures here

Solar Sculpture: the paths of 5000 magnetic field lines etched into optical quality glass map the complex flow of plasma in the Sun’s outermost atmosphere replicating how the solar corona appeared on Oct 21, 2000. This sculpture is based on a sophisticated computer model from a group of research scientists at the Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, and the rendering contains 300,000 etched points to create the image. A map of our wonderful and complex star that can be held in the palm of your hand.

 


Maxwell's Dynamical Top: Historical Replica

Get this accurate and beautiful 1/2 scale replica here:

From Machined Marvels: BUY NOW: Maxwell's Dynamical Top

Maxwell’s Dynamical Top: one of my favorite demonstrations of the strange properties of rotating bodies- shown here with a 1/2 scale but exacting replica of the famous “Dynamical Top” created and demonstrated by the great physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1857. When this brass bell shaped top is spinning an interesting stability can occur- push on the pointed stem and the top will push back, forcing the stem against that object, and friction will cause the stem to roll along and trace the edge of the object. Note- magnets are NOT involved here. The key to this design is to make the contact point/tip of the top at its own center of mass, then any frictional force in contact with the stem will produce a torque about the contact point at a right angle to the direction of friction that creates the stabilizing force (students of physics may recognize application of the right hand rule here). This beautiful historical replica is now available from machinist and creator Jim Peever @machinedmarvels- and as far as I know the only other replicas of this device where made in the 1880’s!

Zigzaging Balance Wine Rack

The 3D print file for this amazing device is available here:
From Thingverse: Balance Wine Rack by Kenneth79

Similar balance wine racks available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Balance Wine Rack

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 cabernet sauvignon from the North Coast.

Nixie Tube Clock V2

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.