Time's Up: inverse of the sandglass- tiny plastic beads are less dense than the water and thus ascend to the top of the container under the influence of a buoyant force in accordance with Archimedes' principle. This timer takes almost exactly 6 minutes to complete shown here at normal speed for the first half of this video, and the second half is condensed to 24 seconds in time-lapse.
Spin Bank: a clever spring mechanism launches each coin into rotation along a symmetry axis on to a concave trapping surface. Angular momentum of the spinning quarter keeps it upright even as it bounces upon impact with the platform. Another spin on making saving spare change fun!
Get samples of Satin Spar here
From eBay: BUY NOW TV Rock: Satin Spar
Get samples of Ulexite here
From eBay: BUY NOW TV Rock: Ulexite
TV Rock: special crystalline form of the mineral gypsum acts as a natural fiber optic image conduit. Morocco seems to be the main source of this fibrous form, called satin spar gypsum, which exhibits pearl like luster and chatoyancy along two axes and transparency along the direction of the fibers. Not to be confused with ulexite, a mineral of boron with similar TV rock properties.
Magnetic Cube: a twisty Rubik’s Cube puzzle made from 27 dice and 108 neodymium magnets. This cube includes the scrambled states and solutions of the original 3x3 Rubik’s Cube but is held together only by magnets! The magnets, in this special configuration, lock the dice together with a satisfying click upon rotation. This beautiful cube was produced by Owen Lillywhite of magneticcube.com and is based on a gfixler design posted on instructables.
This very high-tech clock is also high end (more expensive than most items I feature), with excellent craftmaship and technology that is clearly hard to replicate so that it is only made by, and available from, the FLYTE team:
From Art of Play: BUY NOW: Story Clock
STORY Clock: a spherical magnet hovers one centimeter from the face of this amazing clock and orbits in a circle to indicate the time- for this video I selected an orbit period of 40 seconds to show off the motion. The orbit of the magnetic ball can be set to any period but also has default selectable presets to indicate the current hour, minute, or second. This kind of levitation uses 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. Amazing magnetic levitation physics demonstrated by clever engineering by the @flyte.se team, this clock will work lying flat or hung on a wall vertically!
The best Klein Bottles are made by Cliff Stoll, astronomer, mathematician and artist. Every one-sided, zero volume bottle is packaged and shipped by Cliff himself. Get one today!
From ACME Klein Bottles: Buy NOW Klein Bottles by Cliff Stoll
Wikipedia has great details on the Klien Bottle, and the amazing Cliff Stoll.
The Klein Bottle: 3D representation of a four dimensional mathematical object with one side, no edges, and zero volume. Kind of like a Möbius strip with no edges.* Math meets glass art! Many thanks to Cliff Stoll for this kind gift and a great visit including a wonderful tour of his collection of mathematical oddities. *only achievable in 4D.
Lightning 2000 Plasma Lamp: low pressure noble gasses glow due to discharge from high voltage. A small high frequency coil at center creates the high voltage potential between the center electrode dome and the outer glass dome which is coated with a thin transparent film of metal. Current flow through the thin gas produces the glowing zigzagged path like that of lightning but more rounded. Shown here in 480 fps slow motion.
This great little lab stirrer (which I modified to have a transparent top) can be used in many investigations and demonstrations:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Magnetic Stirrer
Inexpensive concave lenses make great spinning platforms- get one here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Concave Lens Spin Station
Induced Current Spin-Up: Spinning magnets from the magnetic stirrer induce electric currents to flow in the brass PhiTOP- these currents then create their own magnetic field which opposes the magnets underneath and pushes the PhiTOP to spin. Credit to astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, the creator of the 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 lens keeps the top from wandering off of magnetic stirrer.
Roling ball sculptures by artist Bogdan Krupa often avaiable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: BKArtAndCraft
See more (miniture) marble runs here: Marble Run Fun
olling Marble Sculpture: marbles perform gymnastics as potential energy of gravity is converted to kinetic energy. An elegantly designed auger conveyor, an Archimedes' Screw, brings the marbles back to the top (powered by an AA battery and a small motor). Conservation of angular momentum produces a simulation of decaying orbits as the marbles whirl down the the main funnel shaped feature.
Get one here:
From engineDIY: BUY NOW Solar Levitating Motor (on all models here-remove brown protective film to reveal clear acrylic on rotor)
From Amazon: BUY NOW Solar Levitating Motor
Mendocino Motor: each face of solar cell is connected to a coil of copper wire under the opposing solar cell. When the rotor is lit from above the top solar cell provides electric current to the coil in the bottom position which becomes a temporary electromagnet that pushes against the permanent magnet in the base propelling the rotor to rotate. As the rotor turns, the coil that moves into the bottom position is likewise energized by the solar cell currently at the top- one can say the light commutates this motor. 2D magnetic levitation is provided by permanent magnets where an acrylic plate constrains the third dimension, and makes for a nice bearing surface for minimal friction. Invented in the 1960s by Daryl Chapin of Bell Labs and popularized by Larry Springs of Mendocino CA
Available for all the planets and several versions of Earth:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mova Globes: all types
From Amazon: BUY NOW Mova Globes: Jupiter
From eBay: BUY NOW Mova Globes: all types
From eBay: BUY NOW Mova Globe: Jupiter
Jupiter Globe by Mova: rotating counterweighted globe sealed within a clear liquid filled acrylic sphere. The rotation is powered by light that shines through the semi-transparent Jupiter globe 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.
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!
Get Iluminature here, along with other RGB books:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Illuminature Book
From eBay: BUY NOW: Illuminature Book
Illuminature Book: three books in one- the supplied absorptive gel filters transmit only a narrow range of frequencies (red, green, and blue here) and the inks on the page that do not match with the color range of each gel are revealed as dark images. This book explores 10 ecosystems from around the planet, and on every page red reveals animals seen during the day, blue shows nocturnal creatures, and green unveils the diversity of plant life. The art design is part of the RGB project by the CARNOVSKY design team (Silvia Quintanilla and Francesco Rugi) with informative biology written by Rachel Williams.
Get a levitating moon globe lamp here!
FromAmazon: BUY NOW Levitating Moon Globe Lamp
The Levimoon: this detailed moon globe is an adjustable lamp that levitates! Charged through wireless induction via the base, the moon floats above the Earth while illuminated from the inside to reveal the major features of the lunar surface, and will rotate when given a slight push. 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.
Many models and colors to choose from, available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Heng Balance Lamp
Heng Balance Lamp: magnetic suspension sculpture and light- with two neodymium magnets on cords suspended by their mutual magnetic attraction. In this design by Zanwen Li, the bottom cord engages the light switch.
Get one here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Vortex II Coin Bank
Vortex II Coin Bank: interplay of potential energy of gravity and conservation of angular momentum- a simulation of a decaying orbit. Fun with every coin saved!
Get a MaBoRun here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW MaBoRun Mini Marble Run
MaBoRun Mini: interplay of potential energy of gravity and conservation of angular momentum- a simulation of decaying orbits as the marbles whirl down the funnel shaped tracks. A battery powered conveyor brings the marbles back to the top.