Simon Field's Science Toys

On my visit to Simon Field's farm, Simon showed my friends and me a great many awesome tricks and toys.  Of course, Simon does run Scitoys.com so this isn't surprising!  First we saw his workshop where he spends his time doing research, inventing things and writing books about them.

He showed us a trick of floating aluminum pans off of a Tesla coil which I sadly did not get any pictures of. Next he got out a small vaccuum chamber and set some marshmallows in it. Yes they expand awesomely as the pressure declines, but what happens after that surprised me. Take a look:

He also had a board which he had painted with homemade phosphorescent paint, made from ground-up strontium aluminate (I believe it was).  You could "draw" on it with a laser pointer:

Here is an example of Franklin's bells, an electrical demonstration made famous by Benjamin Franklin.  A small metal clapper is suspended between two metal bells, each of which is hooked up to one end of an electrical circuit.  If sufficient voltage is passed through the circuit, the clapper is attracted to one bell, touches it, releases (or obtains) electrons to become similarly charged, whereupon it is repulsed.  It is then charged oppositely to the other bell and is attracted to it, until it touches that bell and swaps charges.  The cycle repeats as long as the circuit is maintained.

The last thing we did was to eat whipped cream... that had been frozen in liquid nitrogen!  This turned Quinn into a dragon.

Picture of Simon Field's Science Toys