While going through one of my favorite found-image blogs, Happy Palace
, I came across these photos of projects from Simon Quellen Field's blog, SciToys. I was already somewhat familiar with SciToys, because I built the Gauss Rifle project
(which uses a ruler and some magnets to accelerate a steel ball), but it looks like the site has been updated since I last dropped by.
Happy Palace didn't say which projects the pictures were from, so I went to SciToys and looked them up. In doing so, I saw a bunch of other projects, many of which had animations of the things in action. They are fantastic, because they are simple, yet novel contraptions that demonstrate rules of physics, optics, and electricity in fun and surprising ways. These projects are just the sort of thing you hope for when you get a book of "amazing science projects." In fact, Simon has a book out, called Gonzo Gizmos: Projects & Devices to Channel Your Inner Geek. It's the best science project book I've ever seen.
It's worthwhile going through the entire site to see what Simon has made, but here are the three projects that Happy Palace featured:
This is a "Three-Penny" radio, a very simple battery-powered transistor radio. The three pennies serve as junction points for the soldered components. Instructions here.
This is a homopolar motor. The funky wire frame spins slowly around the battery. Here is an animated gif of the thing in action. I already have a few of these small but very strong magnets (if you play with two of them long enough you will eventually get painfully pinched, I promise you) from the gauss rifle project I made last year. I'm going to make one of these this weekend if I can find the time. Instructions here.
This is a simple crystal radio made from a plastic bottle, a plastic ball point pen tube, a germanium diode, and some wire. Instructions here.
Where are our petabyte drives? Brian Hayes takes us through the reasons storage is “stuck” in the low terabytes. The tl;dr is that we got such exceptional capacity growth in the late 90s and early 00s we don’t need much more right now, so the focus since then has been on SSDs, networking, interfaces, etc, […]
Amélie Lamont, a former staffer at website-hosting startup Squarespace, writes that she often found herself disregarded and disrespected by her colleagues. One comment in particular, though, set her reeling — and came to exemplify her experiences there.
In this episode of the Flash Forward podcast we travel to a future where humans have decided to eradicate the most dangerous animal on the planet: mosquitos. How would we do it? Is it even possible? And what are the consequences? Flash Forward: RSS | iTunes | Twitter | Facebook | Web | Patreon We […]
Isn’t it about time to stretch what your Mac can do? I mean, you’ve got plenty of great programs now…but don’t you think you could use some new tools to get your creative, analytical and organizational juices really flowing? It’s spring, so we cleaned up a whole bunch of super-cool apps lying around and packaged […]
In the world of app development, there’s no greater arena to find success than with Android users. About 80% of the smartphones in use today worldwide operate on the Android operating system, so if you build a great app that Android users love, you’re an international rock star. You’ll be able to make sure your […]
Unless you’re a programmer or webmaster, the term SQL probably doesn’t mean much to you. But for those looking to understand more about how and why the web works the way that it does, know this – SQL and its process of managing and presenting large data sets is everywhere…and it’s the most in-demand programming […]