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Pendulum Snake

This exhibit include labels for the exact period of each pendulum: 
 
This Exploratorium "snack" describes how to build your own with simple supplies: Pendulum Snake

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Small versions you can buy are available here: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Pendulum Snake

Pendulum Snake- one of my favorite exhibits at @exploratorium: ten swinging spheres, the first has a frequency of 15 swings per 30 seconds, the second has 16 in the same time, the third has 17, up to the tenth with 24 swings per 30 seconds. If released at the same time and height the amazing patterns result as each independent pendulum goes in and out of phase with the rest. Note that for a pendulum the frequency of oscillation depends on the square root of its length. ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

Oil Drop Cascade

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Oil Drop Cascade @exploratorium : interplay of surface tension and gravity bend oil drops into strange shapes as they move through a grid of obstacles in this kinetic art toy. Like other oil drop timer toys, the colored oil will not mix with the clear kerosene liquid. Available at the Exploratorium gift shop. ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium!

Monochromatic Room

The light source in this exhibit produces a frequency at 589nm 
Wikipedia has a nice description of the physics and applications of Sodium Vapor Lamps 
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Monochromatic Room @exploratorium: a photo of colorful San Francisco is illuminated by a very narrow frequency band of light, with a wavelength of 589nm- the characteristic spectrum of sodium vapor lamps at low pressure. Seeing color is both about the source of illumination and how an object interacts with light. Here a white LED flashlight can momentarily “paint” the scene with color. Sodium vapor lights are a type of gas-discharge lamp that uses sodium metal vapor in an excited state with two dominant spectral lines at 589.0 and 589.6nm, producing the bright yellow light in this exhibit. ? Thanks to the @exploratorium


Icy Bodies

Another amazing creation by artist Shawn Lani-- Icy Bodies has been installed at 13 science museums around the world: 
See the Shawn Lani Studios website for more details- and make sure to see the exhibit in person! 

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Icy Bodies @exploratorium: exquisitely beautiful and dynamic interactions between small chunks of dry ice and a shallow layer of water play out in this exhibit created by artist Shawn Lani at the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Frozen carbon dioxide (dry ice) is denser than water, but the small pieces do not sink- instead each piece, at −78.5 °C, becomes encapsulated in a shell of ice that then floats. As the dry ice sublimates from a solid directly into a gas, jets stream from holes and fractures in the ice shells propelling and spinning the bits upon the water's surface. Droplets condense out of the air forming a cloudy mist in the vicinity of the cold gas jets which is lighted from the side to dramatic effect. ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium!

Dancing Drops

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Dancing Drops @exploratorium: an exhibit employing the Coandă effect on water droplets -an air stream attaches and wraps around the drops temporarily trapping them. As the air changes direction to flow around a drop, momentum is imparted to it pushing the drop against gravity. Constrained mostly by surface tension, under these conditions the water drops also have irregular and changing shapes leading to erratic motions in the uneven airstream.? With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

Kinetic Rubin Vase

More ambiguous foreground-background illusions at the Exploratorium: 
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Kinetic Rubin Vase @exploratorium: spin this ceramic version of the Rubin Vase illusion and the white background transforms to two people talking. Entitled "Talking Face to Vase" this kinetic art is a permanent installation at the Exploratorium museum in San Fransisco that features the physics and psychophysics of vision and perception. The vase demonstrates the figure-ground distinction made by the brain- is it a vase, or two faces in profile? ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium. 


Convection Currents

Learn more about this exhibit here: 
Convection Currents Exhibit 

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Convection Currents @exploratorium : intricate and delicate structures called schlieren emerge in convective heat flow as hot, less dense water rises off of an electric heating element. A spot light shines through a thin glass walled tank of water with the L-shaped heating element immersed. The convective flow casts a shadow because the index of refraction of water is temperature dependent, with n decreasing at higher temperatures. Buoyancy, turbulence, heat transfer, physical optics- so much physics behind these mesmerizing patterns! ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

Fresnel Mirror Array

"All Eyes om Me" Exhibit 
The physics and design of this exhibit is very similar to what is depicted in this image: 
 
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Fresnel Mirror Array @exploratorium : 360 mirrors arranged to reflect to a single focal point in this exhibit entitled “All Eyes on Me”. A mirror version of the Fresnel lens, where each concentric ring of mirrors is slanted toward the center, with the lager rings slanted more, such that the full assembly acts like a parabolic mirror.?With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

Hidden Mechanism of Fluorescent Bulbs

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Hidden Mechanism of Fluorescent Bulbs @exploratorium: only half of this bulb is covered with the typical internal white phosphor coating- revealing the electron emitting cathode and eerie blue glow of an excited mercury vapor at low pressure. Energetic electrons flow from one end of the tube to the other, exciting the mercury atoms to emit their characteristic emission spectra, mostly just a bright blue line (436 nm) and green line (546 nm) as seen here with a diffraction grating. Importantly there are also two strong invisible UV emission lines, which are absorbed by the glass in the non-coated section, but are used to make the bulb appear white by stimulating various blends of phosphors, which then emit a wide spectrum of wavelengths/colors- revealed here by an identical diffraction grating. A rare look at the complex physics and engineering of this common light source. 🌟 With thanks to the Exploratorium! 


Kraken Automata

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Kraken Automata: “Here be Monsters” is the title of this mechanized sculpture by Wanda Sowry- part of the Curious Contraptions exhibit at @exploratorium. Turn a crank and the scene comes to life using simple mechanisms (such as cams, gears, and levers) to translate rotational motion to linear and oscillatory motions. ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium!

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