An Executive Gift Worthy of NASA: The PhiTOP

Published 9 years ago

According to the Kickstarter campaign, “the PhiTOP is an elegant scientific, mathematical, artistic and aesthetically pleasing object that brings joy to the eye, hand & mind.” An understatement.

The PhiTOP is a 21st century dynamical object with a unique mathematical shape. It is in the broadest sense a “philosophical toy.” It can be spun like a top – which it is. Or it can sit quietly on a desk to be enjoyed as an elegant and sensual sculpture. It was designed for the delight of people of all ages from 5 to 105. It makes for an exceptional executive gift. But it also captures the imagination of young children. It is a scientific demonstration apparatus: the PhiTOP does for angular momentum what Newton’s Cradle does for linear momentum. When spun, it illustrates the difference between equilibrium and stability. In that sense, it complements Danish polymath Piet Hein’s famous static (non spinning) super-egg. The PhiTOP encourages exploration of force, mass, density, gravity friction and time. And of aspects of electromagnetism as well. It is a tactile aid to meditation and relaxation, akin to worry stones or Chinese Baoding balls. And it could even be used as an excellent drink cooler!

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The PhiTOP in Brass

The PhiTOP in Brass

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design, gift, science
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