Back in the early 1800's, Russian physicist Emil Lenz noted an interesting phenomenon. When he dropped a magnet through a pipe, the magnet's magnetic field created counter-rotating currents in the copper or aluminum pipe. To the naked eye, that dropped magnetic ball falls a whole lot slower when it's inside the pipe than outside.
It became known as Lenz's Law — and while 200-year-old Russian scientists don't often get a lot of credit, you can immortalize Lenz's unusual find everyday with the super cool Skill Set Scientific Desk Toy.
Lenz's Law is the driving force behind this simple package including a magnetic ball, two aluminum tubes and a nice linen pouch to hold it all.
By using the tubes in different positions and combinations, you can essentially make the ball appear to be defying gravity.
For your first trick, you can stack the tubes one under the other to make the ball literally float in mid-air. Then, you can motion the tubes through the air so they essentially catch and slow the magnet's descent each time, trapping the ball in a slow-motion fall that never seems to end.
You can also try handing one tube to a friend and playing catch. Of course, it takes some work first before you can start anticipating exactly how the ball will react to your movements, which also unlocks your imagination to start holding, flipping, dropping and otherwise contorting the ball around in any number of fun ways.
The set also comes with a wooden magnet shield that traps the ball's magnetic force so you can safely put it anywhere. The tubes are also made to be stackable, allowing you to create longer tubes and offer even greater experimentation.
Before you know it, you've spent a few hours playing with this mind-warping little toy when you should probably have been working. Thankfully, we won't tell.
This all-in-one conversation starter, stress reliever, and fidget toy comes in three colors: white, gray, and red. Regularly $129, you can check out Lenz's Law in action for yourself at more than $20 off, down to only $105.97.
Prices are subject to change.