A DIY kit by the makers of Lava Lamp, home experimentation set with booklet of ideas to try:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Lava Lamp LED Vortex kit
From eBay: BUY NOW: Lava Lamp LED Vortex kit
Vortex Lamp: a simple whirlpool powered by a magnetic stirrer like those in a chemistry lab and lit by LEDs. A DIY kit by Lava Lamp brand- which comes with glitter and beads, but I found the water vortex alone was mesmerizing to watch. Note the intricately changing structure of the vortex in the slow motion close up.
Get this new technology here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Color Magnetic Viewing Film
Color Gradient Magnetic Film: making the invisible visible and revealing the hidden beauty of the physics in our everyday world. Microscopic cavities in this thin film are filled with suspended magnetic nanoparticles that interact with magnetic fields producing different colors from orange (low field strength) to dark blue (high field strength). Here three “fridge magnets” and a coded neodymium magnet show surprising field complexity when placed under this film.
A KickStarter campaign for resonably priced interactive art:
From KS: Pledge NOW: Cosmic Eye
Cosmic Eye Rheoscopic Device: visualizing the invisible- where suspended microscopic flat crystals reflect light and allow visualization of the fluid's motion. This rheoscopic fluid is special in that the suspended microscopic particles are slightly ferromagnetic and will align with any external magnetic field that is brought near the device. A small magnet within allows interesting interactions as well. From creator and artist Robert Spillner.
Get one here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Magnetic Base Pen
Magnetic Equilibrium Pen: a weighty and elegant writing pen dances on its tip when released, trapped against gravity by a magnetic field. A strong neodymium magnet in the base allows the pen to stand on its tip even when the base is tilted.
DM @mi.mo.vi on Instagram to obtain a sculpture like this one.
See other related art physics in my collection: Magnetic Suspension Fun
Magnetic Suspension Sculpture: Steel hoops are suspended by a neodymium super magnet and held down to the base by a thin cord in this beautiful kinetic sculpture by artist @mi.mo.vi The red and blue steel hoops, being ferromagnetic, both become a north pole in the presence of the south pole end of the gold colored magnet, so they are attracted to the gold magnet, but repel each other. The invisible magnetic connection between the rings allows for interesting and chaotic motion as the kinetic energy is transferred back and forth.
Get this simple module here:
From EngineDIY: BUY NOW: Mag Lev Kit
Electromagnetic Levitation Module: this bare bones engineered control system uses an adjustable electromagnet (the copper coil) and a Hall effect magnetic field sensor (embedded in the center of the the coil) to levitate a neodymium magnet and keep it from falling. A feedback loop informed by the Hall effect sensors allows fine tuning of the magnetic field to exactly balance the pull of gravity, all powered by a 12 power supply. Once trapped the magnet can also rotate, creating a nice way to display a small piece of kinetic illusion art hanging from a chain. A no frills design that shows the fairly simple circuit and components of such a levitation feedback system.
Magnetic Flux Pendants and other amazing science inspired fine jewelry available here:
From Foxtail Jewelry: BUY NOW: Kinetic Magnetic Pendants
Magnetic Flux Gyroscope Pendant: version 2 of the @foxtailjewelry - @physicsfun collab! Two half-sphere neodymium magnets on chains remain suspended under centripetal acceleration. Another kinetic art necklace design by artist Betsy Yates of @foxtailjewelry who brings this concept to life so elegantly and is currently featuring @physicsfun inspired pendants in her gallery and store.
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From curiositybox.com: JOIN NOW: The Curiosity Box
Get a squish Inq the Octopus here:
BUY NOW: Squish Inq
Similar lamps available here:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Heng Balance Lamp
Modify a lamp to levitate a heavier onject:
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Neodymium Super Magnet
Levitating Inq Lamp: Inq (the curious orange octopus) hangs illuminated and suspended by magnetic forces. I modified this lamp to incorporate the squish version of the @thecuriositybox mascot with a powerful neodymium magnet on top and a smaller magnet embedded with in Inq’s head- when the octopus is floating the bottom cord engages the light switch.
Neodymium magnets will produce the largest gap when suspending a nail or other iron rich objects.
Please use exterme caution when handling these magnets.
From Amazon: BUY NOW: Neodymium Super Magnet
In Defiance of Gravity: a 3 oz plumb bob in suspension between a chain and a powerful neodymium magnet. Ferromagnetic attraction over a distance of many millimeters, and a reminder of the presence of the typically invisible electromagnetic forces all around us. Sculpture: oak, stainless steel chain and hardware, neodymium super magnet, standard plumb bob tool. Iron filings in oil align and chain together to reveal the magnetic field lines of the equilibrium configuration.
Magnetic Flux Pendants and other amazing science inspired jewelry available here:
From Foxtail Jewelry: BUY NOW: Kinetic Magnetic Pendants
Magnetic Flux Gyroscope Pendant: two neodymium magnets on chains remain suspended by their mutual magnetic attraction. This kinetic art necklace design is from a new line of physics inspired jewelry- a collaboration with designer and artist Betsy Yates of @foxtailjewelry who so masterfully brought this concept to life and is currently featuring @physicsfun inspired pendants in her gallery and store.
Get this and other beautifully crafted math themed tops here:
Fropm Etsy: BUY NOW: The eTOP
The eTOP: an ellipsoid based on the famous Euler’s constant e, diameter 2” and thickness 2/e”- spinning magnets from the magnetic stirrer induce electric currents to flow in the copper eTOP- these currents then create their own magnetic field which opposes the magnets underneath and pushes the eTOP to spin, producing interesting motion and sound. Credit to astrophysicist Kenneth Brecher, the creator of the eTOP, 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 mirror keeps the top from wandering off of magnetic stirrer.
These are mostly available in the Demark Hoptimist shop, but can be ordered internationally here:
From Amazon.uk: BUY NOW: Hoptimist Giraffes Art Toy
Coupled Oscillator Giraffes: set one giraffe into motion and the others will join, trading the kinetic energy between each other in an intricate dance. Three identical leaf springs comprise the necks, and the eyes of each giraffe are neodymium magnets. The magnetic repulsion between the heads allows each giraffe to slightly influence its neighbors, hence these oscillating springs are coupled via this magnetic influence which leads to complex patterns of energy transfer with each taking a turn to stand still while the others move dramatically. From the Danish toy maker Ehrenreich (Hoptimist) originally produced in 1972 and recently reissued in the form seen here.
Get this elegant motor here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Butterfly Medocino Motor
Butterfly Mendocino Motor: the simplest (and very elegant) version of this motor with only two photovoltaic cells mounted with care to ensure precision balance. This motor will spin quietly to high RPMs on any sunlit windowsill. In this model made by Semyon Nazarov of SolarWindRU, each of the two photovoltaic solar cells 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
Get this amazing and affordable science sculptue here:
From Etsy: BUY NOW: Bismuth Maglev Rod
Click here to see other diamagnetic toys and scuptures
Bismuth Maglev Rod: Small magnets are trapped, suspended and floating, within the notch of a rod cast from the diamagnetic metal bismuth. Diamagnetic substances only have magnetic fields of their own when placed in an external magnetic field from another source- here the small floating magnet supplies the external field. Diamagnetic fields are pretty weak though, so a powerful neodymium magnet sits above the gap on the top of the rod, and its height is adjusted to help lift the small magnet against gravity. Another amazing creation by Ernie McElhannon of Element83.
From sphidget.com: BUY NOW: Magnetic Tensegrity Table
See similar scupltures here: Tensegrity on @physicsfun
Folow this link for Mova kinetic globes: Mova Globes- Earth and Planets
Magnetic Tensegrity Table: This CNC machined tensegrity sculpture replaces the center tension member (chain) with a pair of attracting neodymium magnets. Made from 6061 aluminum and nickel plated steel chain, the “Impossible Table” is the creation of Kevin Sayers of sphidget.com. The table can support up to about a kilogram of mass, and makes for a nice display stand for my Mova globe of Pluto (swipe to view). Another fun configuration of the tensegrity concept, invented by Kenneth Snelson and made famous by the architect Buckminster Fuller in 1949.
Get this amazing (and affordable) reproduction here:
From engineDIY: BUY NOW: Tesla's Egg of Columbus
This version comes with a 35mm solid aluminum sphere.
Get the aluminum phiTOP "egg" here: BUY NOW phiTOP
Tesla’s Egg of Columbus: an aluminum ellipsoid egg (PhiTOP) mysteriously spins and stands upright in this modern version of Tesla’s famous demonstration from the 1893 World’s Fair in Chicago that first showcased the principles behind wireless power transfer and his AC induction motor. The base has no moving parts- instead special copper windings (very similar to Tesla’s original design) form four electromagnet coils on a circular steel core, and a special circuit supplies each with AC currents in such a way that a rotating magnetic field is created. This rotating magnetic field from the coils under the concave glass induces electric eddy currents to flow in the aluminum ellipsoid- these currents then create their own magnetic field which oppose the initial fields underneath and pushes the ellipsoid to spin. Finally, the ellipsoid top stands up vertically (when spun with sufficient rotational velocity) due to physics similar to that of the tippe-top.
Only available from the Flyte team:
From Flytestore.com: Buda Ball
See also: The Story Clock
Buda Ball: a spherical magnet hovers 1.5 centimeters from the surface of a magnetic pinning system within a hardwood base. 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- even when the base is in a vertical orientation! Amazing magnetic levitation physics demonstrated with aesthetic design (and very clever engineering) by the flyte.se team.
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.