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Magnetic Sand Hourglass

Get one from these fine sources: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Hourglass 

Magnetic Sand Hourglass: ferromagnetic sand collects above a neodymium magnet in the wood base. Each particulate of ferromagnetic iron becomes a temporary dipole magnet in the presence of the magnetic field in the base. The tiny dipoles link up north ends to south ends, creating interesting patterns that reveal the magnetic field lines. 

Buda Ball

Only made by the Flyte team:

From Art of Play: Buda Ball 

Buda Ball: a spherical magnet is pinned 1.5 centimeters from the surface of its hardwood base. Within the base is an innovative 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- even when the base is in a vertical orientation! Amazing magnetic levitation physics demonstrated with aesthetic design (and very clever engineering) by the Flyte team- the only (non-superconducting) system I know of that can suspend in a horizontal direction as shown in this video. 

Magnetic Suspension Lamp

Available for under $100 US: 

From eBay: BUY NOW 
Magnetic Suspension Lamp 
(Helical filament versions found here)

From Amazon: BUY NOW 
Magnetic Suspension Lamp 

Magnetic Suspension Lamp: not only does this lamp defy gravity, the LEDs in the bulb are powered through wireless induction (no batteries needed). This kind of levitation uses a control system with an adjustable electromagnet in a feedback loop with Hall effect sensors which allows for fine tuning of the magnetic field to exactly balance the pull of gravity. If this lamp design is unplugged (or the power goes off) the bulb assembly does not fall, but instead snaps onto the upper armature via strong permanent magnets embedded within. Amazing physics demonstrated by clever engineering! 


Deja Vu II: KInetic Art

Get this amazing work of art and craftsmenship from this source:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Deja Vu II Kinetic Art

See this other amazing device from this creator: Impossible Marble Machine 

Deja Vu II: astonishing spring powered kinetic art. Crafted from wood this device has two disks (swipe to see partly disassembled) and each has a pattern of curved spokes that can rotate at different rates and direction to produce interesting illusions of motion via moiré interference effects. A ribbon spring drives an ingenious mechanism that uses ratchets (and the rotational momentum of the disks) to create the various visual modes- a half rotation of the disks will result in 20+ minutes of motion. With a full loading of the spring hours of motion will ensue. Another amazing creation by artist and designer William Le. 

RPSLK Dice

These dice are available here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock Dice

RPSLK Dice: the famous Lizard Spock extension to the Rock, Paper, Scissors game expressed on 10 sided dice allowing the study of the non-associative nature of the game (Rock wins Scissors, and Scissors wins Paper, but Rock does not win Paper, etc.), and other interesting math. The original RPS game had three “weapons” and only three rules are needed to play the game. Adding Lizard-Spock makes for 5 gestures, but now 10 rules must be used, including “Spock vaporizes Rock”, “Lizard poisons Spock”, and my favorite “Paper disproves Spock” (swipe to see famous graphic). Interestingly, mathematical analysis shows a similar four weapon game with equal odds of winning is not possible. It was also found that the next possible game with 7 gestures would require 21 rules to play. The Lizard-Spock extension was invented by Sam Kass and Karen Bryla in 2005 and made famous on the sitcom Big Bang Theory. 

Anamorphic Locomotion Cup & Saucer

Animated Horse set available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Luycho Locomotion Horse Cup & Saucer 

CAUTION: There are poorly made counterfeit versions on Amazon as well. Only these origial Luycho products produce a clean animation and image.  

Locomotion Anamorphic Cup & Saucer: an amazing combination of barrier grid animation and anamorphic projection rendered on elegant porcelain. The warped image on the saucer is reconstructed by reflection off the surface of the cup, however the gold mirroring is comprised of parallel lines that only reflect part of the image pattern. Turing the cup (or the saucer and cup together) reveals a flying bird or running horse! Another expertly crafted product from Luycho. 


Hero's Engine

This live steam engine is available here:

From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Hero's Engine

Hero’s Engine: the very first steam engine ever devised, the Aeolipile is a radial steam jet reaction turbine, an a invention attributed to Hero of Alexandria in the year 1 AD. Water within the spherical container is heated to produce steam which exits through nozzles directed at right angles to the radial direction, and by Newton’s third law these jets produce a torque about the rotation axis. There is no historical record of this engine being put to practical use in ancient times- except perhaps as the world’s first physics toy!

Levitating Mini Moon Lamp

Get this fun lamp here (comes with both Mini-Moon and silver sphere magnet):

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Levitation Lamp

Levitating Mini Moon Lamp: tapping the floating illuminated Moon turns this LED lamp off and on in this strange design. The Moon with embedded 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 on the tiny Moon.

Corona Discharge Trajectories

Mini Tesla coil with wire end attachment- get one here: 
From engineDIY: BUY NOW: Mini Tesla Coil

Long exposure image captured using this Slow Shutter app: 
 
From App Store: BUY NOW: Slow Shutter Cam 

Corona Discharge Trajectories: the ejected electron stream propels the end of a thin wire connected to a miniature Tesla coil. The corona discharge creates a glowing plasma at the end of the wire, but also imparts momenta that pushes the wire’s end into a final state circular orbit. The more interesting behavior occurs during the initial transient orbits which seem to be hypotrochoid type curves beautifully captured here using the Slow Shutter app. Please see seven posts back for details about this mini Tesla coil. 


Stepper Motor Kinetic Sculpture

Get this device here (comes with both a Lolipopter and Helicone):

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Automated Base playableART

See also: Lolliopter and Helicone

Stepper Motor Kinetic Sculpture: this base provides a pulse of rotational energy to drive the transformation of a Helicone or Lollipopter kinetic toy. Short bursts of spin impart angular momentum to the "petals" which then rotate until an internal mechanism stops their motion with predetermined spacing, and a helix transforms to an abstract pine cone- a pulse in the opposite direction returns the helix configuration. Comes with a cool dome to keep the dust off (or to provide safe operation in case you own a cat). A creation of artist/designer John Edmark and produced by PlayableART.

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

Alert: only this brand is guranteed to have the real elements embedded- beware that many very cheap fakes are being sold under $100 US. 

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

Gifeez: Modern Phenakistiscope

This amazing toy for under $10: 

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Gifeez Animation Toy

Gifeez: a modern zoetrope type device with built in strobe light to explore the physics and psychophysics of motion animation- still images flashed in rapid succession produces the illusion of motion through persistence of vision. This inexpensive device has two modes: 1) the strobe frequency is set to various ratios of the spin frequency creating fascinating motion of abstract geometrical images, and 2) the strobe is set to animate simple cartoons. When the image flash rate is above the flicker fusion frequency (approximately 16Hz) we perceive fluid motion- the basis for all movies and TV. This device includes a centripetal switch that turns on the strobe and a motor that keeps the disk spinning for a couple minutes and comes with 15 printed double sided disks and a few blanks to allow for your own designs. 


Phonotrope Fluidity

Get these and other amazing phonotrope spinners here:

From Etsy: BUY NOW: Phototrope Animation Spinners 

Phonotrope Fluidity: more amazing phonotropes from apyrodesign. When the rate of rotation matches the rate of the smartphone video process the six spokes appear to become fluid with waves rippling outward. The precision fabrication of these spinners is specifically designed to interact with the video process, similar to the animation effect of a flip book, but in a repeating cycle like that of the phenakistiscope, the 1833 invention that started moving media animation that lead to the development of movies and video. Swipe to see another design with an illusion of rotating meshed gears.

Holiday Pyramid

Many types and themes available: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Christmas Pyramids 
From eBay: BUY NOW Christmas Pyramid

Holiday Pyramid: a simple heat engine- rotational motion resulting from the convection of hot air due to the candle flames of two tea lights. These holiday decorations come from a German Christmas tradition, Weihnachtspyramide, that dates back more than 200 years! Energy transfer: chemical bonds to heat to kinetic energy of the rising air to rotational kinetic energy of the turbine and reindeer. 

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.


Vintage Wilesco Steam Engine

Available from these sellers: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Wilesco Model Steam Engines 

Often available on eBay: BUY NOW: Wilesco D16 Engine

Click this link for the: small candle engine


Wikipedia has a very nice description of the history and inner workings of steam engines 

Vintage Wilesco Steam Engine: a working model reciprocating piston steam engine complete with boiler, flywheel, governor, and whistle. The invention that powered the industrial revolution on a desktop! My father bought this model D16 in 1970- with just a little cleaning and oiling it fired right up. Wilesco has been producing model steam engines since 1960 and still manufactures and sells the D16.

Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses

Get these designs and many more here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses (full set)
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Holiday Specs Holographic Glasses

Get the tree and lights here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Tree Decoration, Set of LED lights

Holiday Specs: every point-source of light gets a holographic image overlaid: stars, snowmen, trees, candy canes, and snowflakes. Some images are even animated! — swipe to see tiny angels flutter their wings around a point of light. 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 American Paper Optics 3d with many more images available.

 

Mirror Anamorphic Lenticular Cup & Saucer

Now available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Anamorphic Wavy Cups & Saucers

See all the amazing illusions and art avaialble from Luycho: Luycho | A New world on Mirrors 

Mirror Anamorphic Lenticular Cup & Saucer: a toucan sits in a nest of flowers, revealed when the cylindrical mirrored cup is put in place. This beautiful design by Luycho uses both mirror anamorphic reflection and an accordion type lenticular dual image (turning the plate 180 degrees trades images). Art meets math and physics!