Pendulum Snake

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Pendulum Snake: 15 independent swinging pendulums, each with a slightly longer period than the one to its left side, create mesmerizing wave patterns. As the pendulums get further out of phase with each other the waves become shorter and faster. This order and pattern is quickly destroyed if two of the pendulums were to collide (swipe for demonstration).

Triple Pendulum Chaotic Fidget 

Get this chaotic fidget spinner here:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Triple Pendulum Spinner

Triple Pendulum Chaotic Fidget: This interesting spinner is made from stainless steel and features three physical pendulums each mounted with their own low friction bearing. In slow motion one can see the kinetic energy and angular momentum is transferred from one pendulum to another as the entire device rotates, with some spinning rapidly and others rotationally at rest- the intricacies chaotic motion, characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time.

Glow Trace Chaotic Pendulum Kit

Get this super nice, affordable, and fun to assemble kit here:
From KiwiCo: BUY NOW: Glow Pendulum Kit

Get amazing quatilty science kits delievered to your home- this glow pendulum is part of the Tinker Crate subscription. 
From KiwiCo: LEARN MORE: Tinker Crate Subscription

Glow Trace Chaotic Pendulum: this fun and amazing DIY kit features a UV diode to trace the intricate path of this double pendulum system on to a phosphorescent screen, revealing the physics of chaotic motion. It’s amazing that such complex motion can arise from a simple assembly of two pendulums, one attached to the end of the other. Chaotic motion, such as that observed here, is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. 

 


Coupled Pendulums

This vintage device was produced in the 1970s but is not hard to build. Here are (somewhat hard to find) steel balls with holes that will work nicely to construct these pendulums: 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Drilled Spheres 

See my other physics toys featuring pendulums

Coupled Pendulums: kinetic energy transfers between the pendulums in a complicated but cyclic way due only to the connecting string. If the two on the left are set to swing, soon the middle sphere is at rest while the two outside swing, then the one on the far left comes to rest and it starts the pattern over on the right. The pattern repeats until the initial energy is dissipated by friction. This desk toy was manufactured in the 1970s with the somewhat unfortunate product name "Mystery Swinger". 

Pendulum Clock

Affordable gravity powered pendulum clocks available here in a number of styles:

From Amazon: BUY NOW: Pendulum Clock

The version featured in the video is the: Hermle Ravensburg Clock

Gravity Powered Pendulum Clock: invented in 1656 by Christian Huygens, the physics properties of a swinging pendulum was the basis of all precision clocks until the 1940s. As noted by Galileo, the period of swing of a pendulum can be made very precise and stable depending only on its length. This modern version is made faithfully in the original design powered only by gravity as the potential energy of the descending weight is transferred to the kinetic energy of the drive train gears and pendulum. The key feature of any pendulum clock is the anchor escapement mechanism- a curved piece attached to the pendulum with two prongs that only allows the escapement wheel to move forward one tooth per swing cycle, and producing the characteristic “tick-tock” sound. The weight descends about 1 cm per hour, and when hanging from a wall the chain needs to be pulled once a week, raising the weight up about 2 m to keep the clock in operation. This beautiful clock, made by Hermle, features a chime that sounds upon the hour. 

Chaotic magnetic Pendulum

These chaotic pendula are still available on eBay!

From eBay: BUY NOW: Krazy Leg Pendulum

Chick here for similar chaotic systems

Chaotic Magnet Pendulum: adding magnetic forces to gravity gives this pendulum chaotic motion- not random, but very sensitive to slight differences in initial launch conditions. Swipe to see a particular launch path that begins with a semi-stable orbit but then goes chaotic, captured with an attached LED and recorded with a slow shutter app. Arranging the dipoles magnets on the base leads to different patterns of motion- here white attracts and black repels. This vintage device is from the 1970s and was sold by the name “Krazy Leg” by Rathcon Inc.


Double Pendulum 

Here is a similar double pendulum curetnly available on KS. Order some chaos today!

From KickStarter: ORDER NOW: the orb drop dp

Double Pendulum: chaotic motion from a simple assembly of two physical pendulums (one attached to the end of the other) with the energy of the system moving frenetically back and forth between the potential energy of gravity to the kinetic energy of motion. Chaotic motion is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. This double pendulum was made by Doug Cvelbar (minicastings.com) where bearings were used at the pivot points to minimize fiction so that the energy takes many minutes to dissipate. 

Double Pendulum Chaos: the orb drop dp

The orbdrop dp kit assembles quickly and precisely. Order some chaos today!

From KickStarter: ORDER NOW: the orb drop dp

Double Pendulum Chaos: a device to demonstrate the motion of mathematical chaos from a simple assembly of two physical pendulums (one attached to the end of the other). An LED light attached to the end of the pendulum is used to generate light trails captured by the app “Slow Shutter” allowing for a visualization of the chaotic motion. The physics of chaos is characterized by intricate orbits and extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time (swipe for two more video captures).

Magnetic Chaotic Pendulum

Often available here: 
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Magnetic Chaotic Pendulum 

Chick here for similar chaotic systems

Magnetic Chaotic Pendulum: adding magnetic forces to gravity gives this pendulum chaotic motion- not random, but very sensitive to slight differences in initial launch conditions. Arranging the dipoles magnets on the base leads to different patterns of motion- here the center magnet attracts and the rest are set to repel. ROMP pendulum by Hog Wild toy company. 


Wilberforce Pendulum

Classroom demonstration models are available here 
From Amazon: BUY NOW Wilberforce Pendulum Apparatus 

Wikipedia has a good introduction to the physics: Wilberfocre Pendulum 

Wilberforce Pendulum: the mass and spring properties of this device are tuned such that the kinetic energy transfers back and forth between bouncing and twisting in this special coupled harmonic oscillator system invented by physicist Lionel Wilberforce in 1896. If any system is free to oscillate in two or more ways, the energy can transfer between the different modes- note that the bouncing completely stops for a bit, and then the twisting briefly stops- and back and forth with a period of energy transfer at about 15 seconds between the bounce mode and the twist mode. Here the mass and rotational inertia (altered by moving the four small masses in and out) are adjusted so that the resonance frequency of twisting is equal to the resonance frequency of bouncing. This system will complete up to 5 cycles (from rotation only to bounce only and back) before the energy is dissipated.

Sand Pendulum

Frank Oppenheimer, founder of the Exploratorium Museum, demonstrates the sand pendulum display in these images from the 1970s. 
 
Visit the Exploratorium 

Sand Pendulum @exploratorium: a swinging pendulum maps out a beautiful sine curve on to a conveyor belt. The belt moves at constant speed such that the sand creates a graph of the pendulum’s position as a function of time. With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

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

Visit the Exploratorium 

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! 


Magnetic Pendulum Array

Visit the Exploratorium 

Magnetic Pendulum Array @exploratorium: 21 aluminum pendulums, each with a large magnet affixed to the end. The magnets allow kinetic energy to be shared. Note how the energy of the end pendulum is transferred to the rest in two steps- 1) the magnetic fields interact to damp the motion until 2) the end pendulum is captured into synchronized motion with the rest, allowing the energy to propagate to the front pendulum. ? With special thanks to the Exploratorium! 

Mini Double Pendulum

Get this precision machined and balanced desk pendulum here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Double Chaotic Pendulum 

Mini Double Pendulum: the intricate dance of chaotic motion from a simple assembly of two physical pendulums (one attached to the end of the other) with the energy of the system moving frenetically back and forth between the potential energy of gravity to the kinetic energy of motion. Chaotic motion (shown here in 240 fps slow motion) is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. This well made precision bearing double pendulum is made by Doug Cvelbar.

Double Pendulum Chaos

Get the most recent Double Pendulum Plus here--
From Kickstarter: Order NOW Double Pendulum: Orb Drop DP

Double Pendulum Plus by Rian Suiter: chaotic motion from a simple assembly of two physical pendulums (one attached to the end of the other) with the energy of the system moving frenetically back and forth between the potential energy of gravity to the kinetic energy of motion. An LED light attached to the end of the pendulum allows for a good visualization of the chaotic motion- characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, how tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. 


Double Pendulum with Glow Tracer Screen

Get the Double Pendulum Plus here-- now with Phosphorescent Tracer Screen! 
From Kickstarter: Order NOW Double Pendulum Plus 

Double Pendulum with Glow Tracer Screen: A UV diode traces the intricate path of the pendulum on to a phosphorescent screen, revealing its chaotic motion. It’s amazing that such complex motion can arise from a simple assembly of two pendulums, one attached to the end of the other. Chaotic motion, such as that observed here, is characterized by extreme sensitivity to initial starting conditions, tiny differences in how the system is released leads to dramatically different outcomes each time. 

Rolling Pendulum Acrobat

Vintage Otagiri kinetic sculptures like this one are currently available here: 
From eBay: BUY NOW Otagiri: Action and Motion 

Similar sculptures can be found here: 
From Etsy: BUY NOW Kyle's Kinetics 

Rolling Pendulum Acrobat: vintage "Action and Motion" kinetic sculpture manufactured in 1978 by Otagiri. The center of mass of the stick figure is very close to the horizontal bar (axis of rotation) so the figure rotates with minimal resistance. The parallel bars are slightly concave so the rotation slows down as it climbs and then reverses to roll back towards the center- transfer of potential energy to kinetic energy and back again to potential. The process repeats until friction dissipates the kinetic energy and the system comes to rest. 

Chaotic Pendulum Kinetic Art

These vintage pieces are often available on eBay. 
From Ebay: Search NOW Vintage Otagiri Kinetic Art 

Chaotic Pendulum Kinetic Art: the motion of the skateboarder is that of a pendulum influenced by magnets in the skateboard and the mirrored base- chaotic motion (in the technical sense) is the result. When set into motion the resulting path taken by the figure will never be same as the last. Made in the 1970s by Otagiri.