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Advanced Gyro Hybrid Spinning Top

Get one from David Fowler's shop: 
From PhysicsHack: BUY NOW: Advanced Gyro
Made with extraordinary craftsmanship and high quality materials, and sold at a very reasonable price! 

See also this other device by Mr. Fowler: Vortex Dome

Hybrid Gyroscope Top: the Advanced Gyro is a new design by @physicshack which exhibits a interesting vertical stability phenomenon when placed on this unique stand with three ball bearings that serve to minimize friction and keep the gyro centered. The top defies gravity, due in part to its angular momentum, and its spin axis slowly rises to a stable vertical position from subtle rolling friction interactions with the ball bearings. No pull cord needed, this unique design spins up via friction with a working surface (thin cardboard works well) and applying a circular motion to bring the rotor up to 1000s of RPM. Machined from solid stainless steel this top weighs in at about half a kilo, providing inertia that produces long spin times. Thanks to inventor/designer David Fowler for sending me this fantastic gyro. 

Pop Pop Boat

Get one here: 
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Pop-Pop Boat 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Pop-Pop Boats 

Wikipedia has the details on the physics and history of this little steamboat toy 

Pop-Pop Boat: birthday candle powered, super simple steam engine named after the sound it makes when operating. The engine is just a metal box, heated by the candle, with two pipes coming out of it. Steam builds up pushing water out with an explosive pop- which then creates a vacuum sucking more water in to repeat the process. Patented in 1915 these were very popular in the 1940's.


Hydrophobic Water Maze

Wonderfully well crafted and available from this shop :
From Etsy store TheSmallestWorkshop:

BUY NOW Hydrophobic Water Maze

Hydrophobic Water Maze: a superhydrophobic coating allows this dynamic puzzle to use a drop of water as the "pinball", which can split into multiple smaller drops and recombine along the way. The wood surface is treated with silica nano-coating that makes water roll off- a condition sometimes referred to as the Lotus effect because leaves of the Lotus plant have this property.

In-Feed Google

Electric Motor/Generator

Amazingly this motor is available for less than $10 US. 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Brushless Motor/Generator with LED

Electric Motor/Generator: this inexpensive and common motor can also serve as a generator of AC electricity- here lightning an LED when the shaft of the rotor is spun by hand. Most electrical energy we use today is produced by moving a magnet near a coil of wire (known as Faraday’s law of induction) to produce an electric current. Removing the permanent magnet casing reveals this design to use 9 separate copper windings. I made a transparent second rotor with six neodymium magnets- and when these magnets are made to move near the windings the LED again lights with the flow of current. Swipe to see the beautiful magnetic field pattern of the rotor design using magneview film.


1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova

Available for all the planets and several versions of Earth: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: all types 

From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: 1790 Terrestrial

From eBay: BUY NOW 
Mova Globes: all types 

Octopus Stand (in stock now!) available here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
OctoStand in Metal

1790 Terrestrial Globe by Mova: rotating counterweighted globe sealed within a clear liquid filled acrylic sphere. The rotation in a Mova globe is powered by light that shines through the semi-transparent map image 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. The featured map is a faithful recreation of a globe famous for its accuracy at the time by Giovanni María Cassini and highlights the voyages of James Cook.

 

Singularity V3: Vertical Nano Array Absorber

Gat a sample of Singularity V3 here:

From KickStarter: BUY NOW: Singularity V3

Vertical Nanotube Array Absorber: the Singularity V3 uses a nano-forest of carbon to absorb 99.9% of light incident perpendicular to its surface making this coating one of the darkest synthetic surfaces available. The surface of nanotubes is quite fragile so these samples come with an acrylic case with removable cover. Thanks to Singularity Designs for sending me this nice sample.

Phase Locking Folk Toy: Hooey Stick

Versions of the Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From eBay: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy

Phase Locking Folk Toy: rubbing the stick over the notches creates both vertical and horizontal vibrations- and leads to an elliptical motion of the nail in the center of a propeller, which begins to rotate due to friction with the nail. This toy is called a Gee-Haw Wimmy Diddle (see the Wikipedia page- I kid you not) or a Hooey Stick. Note that depending on how the stick is held, the propeller will spin clockwise or counterclockwise. 


Phase Locking Folk Toy 2.0

This plastic version of the toy is from the 1990s and I'm not sure of its orgin. However, it is not hard to construct these toys. 

See the regular version here: Phase Locking Folk Toy

A detailed physics analysis of this toy was publisehd in 2018 (open acess): Physics of the mechanical toy Gee-Haw Whammy Diddle

Versions of the regular Gee Haw Whimmy Diddle available from these sources:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy
From eBay: BUY NOW Hooey Stick Folk Toy

Phase Locking Folk Toy 2.0: this version of the “hooey stick” toy has two rotors- and often they will rotate in opposite directions! (Shown here in slow motion for clarity.) Just as with the regular version of this toy (see yesterday’s post) rubbing the stick over the notches creates vibrations- and can lead to an up and down motion of the shaft in the center of the rotors. The hole in each rotor is larger than the shaft, and when the shaft/notched stick is vibrating it only touches the rotor for a short time each cycle- if the timing is right the stick collides with the rotor such that friction gives it nudge with each vibration to set it spinning- and this can work either clockwise or counterclockwise. Sometimes they spin the same direction and sometimes opposite, which seems to depend on initial conditions and a bit of luck. 

Impossible Bottle with Corkscrew

Contact Davide here to obtain one of his amazing sculptures:

From impossiblemaker.ch: BUY NOW: Impossible Objects

Click here to see other items in my collection of Impossible Objects

Impossible Bottle with Corkscrew: this beautiful work of art by @dp.fumagalli was created with clever engineering and expert craftwork. I love everything about this sculpture- from the inverted corkscrew theme to the shape of the bottle- and the artist’s delightful logo (an optical illusion- swipe for details). The puzzle aspect is to consider how the bottle was produced (I personally have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist). I can tell you with high certainty that the bottle was never cut or altered in anyway, and everything in the bottle, somehow, went through its narrow neck. With special thanks to Davide Fumagalli (aka the Impossible Maker) for this wonderful addition to my collection.

Vibration Unthreading

Get inexpensive small motors and accesories for DIY projects here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW DC Motors Kit

A DIY project to see if just shaking a bolt at the right frequency could make a standard nut rotate and fall off. Similar physics to the phase locking propeller toy featured in my last post. Motivated by videos seen on Instagram where a brass bolt is placed in magnetic putty and the nut mysteriously rotates up and off- now convinced that vibration is how that effect is produced. Here a small DC motor spins an offset mass to produce the vibrations.


Dual Spiral Kinetic Art

Here are some available kinetic illusions that operate on the same principle: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Spiral Spinner Illusion 
From eBay: BUY NOW Spiral Spinner Illusion 

Dual Spiral Kinetic Art: hanging by fishing line, thick gauge steel wire is shaped into connected helixes- a pair twisting clockwise and a single coiled counterclockwise. When spinning the rotational motion creates translational motion both upwards and downwards along the vertical direction, and also the striking illusion that the quartz sphere is climbing or descending.

Novatrope

Get a Novatrope here:

From novatropes.com: BUY NOW: Novatropes

Novatrope: this electro-kinetic sculpture uses strobing LEDs to animate a fractal inspired spiral geometry- similar to a 3D zoetrope. The shape and motion perceived by the eye depends on the ratio of the spin rate and frequency of the strobing light (adjusted with the silver knob). Each Novatrope comes with multiple 3D printed translucent sculptures each based on phyllotactic spirals such as the well known Fibonacci curve. A wonderful new type of kinetic art infused with math, physics, and psychophysics by Brandon Keeber and his design team.

Uphill Roller

This set available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Uphill Roller Double Cone

Uphill Roller: a double cone (like two funnels connect by their tops) will roll up a set of inclined rails. Although the bi-cone rolls toward the higher end, its center of mass descends due to the geometry of the rails. This curious construction was first published in 1694 by the noted surveyor William Leybourn to promote “recreation of diverse kinds” towards the “sublime sciences”. Physics fun from three centuries ago!


Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation

Get these 99.9% pure element Bi 83 cubes here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Bismuth Element Cube

Many combinations of strong neodymium magnets will work, here are the versions I used:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Cylindrical Neodymium Magnet
From eBay: BUY NOW: Tiny Neodymium Cube Magnets

See my video of other pure element cubes by Luciteria Science

Bismuth Diamagnetic Levitation: Element 83 (bismuth) is the most diamagnetic of the elements*. Here a small neodymium magnet is made to float between two 99% pure bismuth 10mm cubes which are held in precise configuration by friction with the parallel walls of the acrylic assembly I made. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the tiny cube magnet supplies the field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though so a powerful cylindrical neodymium magnet sits above the cubes and is adjusted to help lift the tiny cube magnet against gravity. *except for a special form of carbon known as pyrolytic graphite.

Magnetic Top and Snake

Available in a variety of styles: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Magnetic Top and Snake 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Top and Snake 

Magnetic Top and Snake: the magnetic tipped top stays on the perimeter of the steel snake (or is it a planarian?)- but since the top has much more mass, the snake moves the most slithering to and fro. This kinetic art toy has been around for decades and takes advantage of Newton's 3rd law and rotational kinetic energy. 

Impossible Caged Golf Ball 

Some nice versions of this impossible object available here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Golf Ball in Wood Cage

See more of these thought puzzles in my collection here: Impossible Objects

Impossible Caged Golf Ball: Here a regular off-the-shelf golf ball somehow trapped within a cage made from a solid piece of hardwood walnut. Neither the ball nor the wood were cut or glued in the fabrication process. The puzzle aspect is to consider how this object was produced (I have some theories- but I do not know the secrets of this artist).