Many designs to choose from- all with precision aligned high quality front surface mirrors:
From Etsy store Colorado Scopes : BUY NOW Precision Teleidoscopes
Fine art kaleidoscopes avaibable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes
Get a Gyrobi here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Gyrobi Kinetic Toy
Kaleidoscope Symmetry Physics: Two adjacent mirrors form the repeating image of a kaleidoscope, but the shape of the image is determined by the angle between the mirrors. This principle is demonstrated with three different symmetrical patterns using this beautiful set of precision teleidoscopes- angles of 36° (blue tube), 30° (green tube), and 22.5° (red tube), creating mandala stars with 5, 6, and 8 points. The angle for any symmetric star pattern of n points is just 180°/n. A teleidoscope is a kaleidoscope but with a lens on the end, such that the kaleidoscopic image is formed by whatever is put in front of it. Here the complex motion of a Gyrobi toy is used as the observation object.
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: 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-19A where the numbers are stacked so the front symbols obscure each lighted cathode minimally: from back to front 1320984756.
This item is a vintage art piece from the 1970s and unfortunately I do not know the artist. Similar devices currently on the market include the Ooze tube:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW
And this version from Amazon: BUY NOW
Bubble in Viscous Fluid: vintage kinetic art piece from the 1970s- the rising bubble contorts around three ring shaped obstructions with peculiar motion. I love how this construction emphasizes the flow pattern of the air bubble. Another example of the surprising physics to be found in fluid motion.
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.
From Mindsets: BUY NOW
Affordable samples and kits here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: Energy Wire
Similar produces featuring Nitinol Memory Wire:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Nitinol Memory Wire Kits
Memory Spring: some special alloys of brass can be made to have a shape memory triggered by temperature. These springs quickly change their length from 1 cm to 2.5cm when heated above 90 C (done here with hot water) and just as quickly shrink back to original size when cooled (immersed in cold water). Useful in many applications, especially things like automatic fire sprinkler valves and thermostats in car engines. This amazing property is related to a solid state phase transition similar to that of Nitinol wire called a Martensitic transformation.
Amazing creations made here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW
Spiral Gear Set
Original 3D print files available here:
From Thingverse: Spiral Gear Set
Logarithmic Spiral Gears: an extreme example of non-circular gear sets. This set is based on the famous Fibonacci spiral and evokes the cross section of nautilus shell with internal chambers. If one gear of this set is turned at constant speed, the other will turn with an varying speed. A kind gift laser cut at @hsvsteamworks and based on 3D prints of Misha Tikh and the research of Balint et al.
Vintage Wham-O Magic Windows are almost always available on eBay :
From eBay: BUY NOW
Vintage Magic Window
Modern versions include water for a diffrent kinetic experience:
From Amazon: BUY NOW
Wham-O Magic Window: popular 1970s toy with immiscible sand like substances interacting under gravity to create images that evoke seascapes and mountains. Unlike most shifting sand devices available today, the Magic Window did not contain any liquid- all the interesting behavior results from the physics of granular materials, specifically interactions due to different sizes and shapes (jagged like salt or round like glass beads) of the grains comprising the different colored “sands”. Shown here is a vintage retail store display stand with the rare “Crystal Fantasy” version of this kinetic art toy.
This device was marketed in the 1970s by Scienctific Demonstrators Inc. of Eugene Oregon. These vintage devices can often be found on eBay:
From eBay: SEARCH NOW: Vintage Scientific Demonstrators
Interception Collision Toy: a challenging coffee table game- set pendulum 1 in motion and then swing pendulum 2 such that they collide with pendulum 1 striking the bell. Physics of 2D momentum conservation. Made in 1970, one of five devices sold by Scientific Demonstrators Inc.
More toys with momentum conservation here: Collision Toys
The Actuator mechanism is out of production but can still be found on eBay, comes with power supply, Expandagon kit, and connecotors that snap on to a Hoberman Spjere.
From eBay: BUY NOW: Hoberman Actuator
The spheres are still in production and come in various sizes and colors:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Hoberman Spheres
Hoberman Actuator with Sphere: This actuator mechanism creates kinetic art out of a Hoberman sphere, designed to smoothly expand and contract the isokinentic structure. The Hoberman sphere itself is a special assembly of foldable linkages consisting of rigid bars and simple hinges is kinematically over constrained- motion can only occur along the radial direction and the movement of any hinge creates motion in all the joints. The engineering and physics behind deployable space structures!
Glass divers available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW Glass Divers or this complete set Cartesian Diver Kit
Inexpensive and fun diver kits to make in a bottle available here:
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW Cartesian Diver Kits
Wikipedia has the details on the Cartesian diver (and reverse diver).
Cartesian Divers: increasing pressure on the water compresses the air bubbles in the small glass vials filling them further with water making them sink. Pascal's principle states that any change in pressure on an enclosed fluid (such as pushing on the rubber cover) is transmitted evenly to every part of the fluid- the physics of hydraulic brakes! Named after the physicist and philosopher Rene Descartes.
Click here to visit this amazing Etsy shop Element83
Get a magnetic levitation sculpture here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW Diamagnetic Levitation Sculptures
Eclipse: A diamagnetic levitation sculpture by Element83. Cast from diamagnetic Bismuth, a golden spherical neodymium magnet levitates trapped in a tunnel within the metal. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the sphere magnet supplies the field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though so a powerful cube neodymium magnet sits above the tunnel and is adjusted to help lift the sphere magnet against gravity. Trapped in equilibrium by these fields, any other magnet brought near will change the balance. ?Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon.
Get one here!
From Educational Innovations: BUY NOW: WindGyro
WindGyro: Spin this top up with a puff of air! Small magnets keep the top secured to the base so that a stream of air will induce rotation as the air flows through the engineered turbine blades of the elegant spiral structure.
Tom and Carol Paretti create some of the finest kaleidoscope art in the world: Paretti Kaleidoscopes
Available from this art gallery: Paretti Kaleidoscopes
Fine art kaleidoscopes also avaibable here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Fine Art Kaleidoscopes
Feather Kaleidoscope: unique chamber filled with cut feathers provides the viewing material for this side-lit precision kaleidoscope by Carol Verde-Paretti. With every squeeze of the perfume atomizer bulb, a puff of air throws the feathers into a new arrangement leading to a seemingly infinite variety of stunning images on the five point mandala. Invented by the famous Scottish physicist Sir David Brewster (1781-1868), the kaleidoscope is an ultimate physics toy and entire field of artistic endeavor.
Avialble (in limited quantities) from these sellers:
Woodland Top Set (Art of Play), Top Set (Nest), Top Set (GeoKids)
See other flip over tops here: Tippe-Tops
Tree and Mushroom Top Set: a whimsical woodland scene with two surprises- a flip-over tippe-top (mushroom) and a conical Tree shaped top that is more stable spinning on its trunk than its top. This set is made in Austria and comes with a branch wood stand.
These vintage GE light meters are often avaialble on eBay:
From eBay: BUY NOW: Vintage Selenium Light Meter
Vintage Selenium Light Meter: selenium metal has a remarkable property- when exposed to light it will generate a small electric current. This General Electric light meter, made in 1930 with classic Bakelite case, still works and needs no battery. The selenium metal cell is directly connected to an ammeter which is calibrated to read out illuminance in units of footcandles (1 lumin per square foot). Here we see that the readout does depend on how much area of the selenium is exposed to light, and that light from a laser pointer can deflect the needle as well. Selenium was the first substance to be discovered to have photovoltaic properties, and is still used in some modern types of solar cell technology.
From Shapeways: BUY NOW
Primed Siphon Arch
Primed Siphon: liquid moves until the water levels are equal- curious combination of the effects of gravity, molecular cohesion, and atmospheric pressure. The tube is hollow and pre-filled with water, and the spherical shells on each end are cups also full of water. With each end of the tube submerged into each cup, atmospheric pressure holds the water in the tube until the siphon can be placed to connect the glasses.
The .stl files are available here:
Origial desing by Emmett Lalish Download: Gear Bearing
Refined version featured here by Don Stewart Download: Honeycomb Gear Bearing
Similar prints available as fidget toys here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Gear Spinner Fidget Toy
3D Print Planetary Gearset: amazingly this gear set is printed assembled, with interlocking herringbone teeth. The gears will not come apart, in fact this design can only be accomplished by 3D printing the gears interlocked with each other. Designed and first printed by Emmett Lalish in 2013, and this version with refined precision and honeycomb by Don Stewart.
This amazing clock available here:
From Maths Gear: BUY NOW
Hyperbola Clock: a straight rod glides through a curved hole in this unconventional clock based on the hyperboloid, the 3D ruled surface traced by rotating diagonal line. In this creation by Robert Darwen of Fibonacci Clocks, the rod serves as the hour hand with a smaller minute hand above the center of the base disk. (The time adjustment dial of the clock mechanism was connected to a small motor to produce the sped up motion in this video so that 1 second = 1 hour)