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Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Call for Physics Gift Ideas!

By November 25, 2012

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Physics of Christmas - book coverEvery year at this time, I get started trying to pull together the various options for physics-related gifts for our readers. These can range from some of the great books out this year, like Sean Carroll's The Particle at the End of the Universe (about the search for the Higgs boson), to DVDs like the physics-themed Season 5 The Big Bang Theory. And then there is my perennial favorite: Roger Highfield's The Physics of Christmas

But this year, I'd like to ask you - our readers - for your suggestions to add to the list of great physics-related gifts. They can be educational or goofy, but should have a strong scientific theme. Just leave a comment with your suggestion. If it's on-topic, you can even include a link. (Non-science-related spam will be removed, of course!)

So what is your idea to add to our physics gift list?



November 25, 2012 at 9:57 pm
(1) J. Zhang says:

This book is fascinating, even for senior students.

November 26, 2012 at 10:46 am
(2) Gammee says:

I wanna somebody give me hoodies with Feynman diagrams on
it. Have a nice happy eves!!!

November 26, 2012 at 12:50 pm
(3) Vaibhav says:

A T-Shirt with Maxwell’s equations of Electromagnetism printed on it.

November 26, 2012 at 4:22 pm
(4) Douglas Hainline says:

In the UK, there is an online gift shop called “Grand Illusions” which sells all kinds of mathematics and science toys — some of them are very sophisticated.

For instance, you can get a Stirling Engine, or a spoon made of Nitinol, the “memory metal”. In the past, I have got a wonderful metal globe of the Earth, which hovers in mid-air (held up by, I assume, rapidly switching electromagnets in the plate below it); a copper tube with a slit down the side for demonstrating the Lenz effect; and very realistic-looking ( but actually metal) butterfly which appears to flutter around inside a glass jar, powered by a near-invisible wire running to the battery concealed in the lid. It always fools people who see it for the first time.

I don’t know if they ship outside the UK. Their URL is

November 27, 2012 at 12:40 pm
(5) Evan says:

I bought these “Hematite Chatter Stones” for my twin grandsons to play with this Xmas. I also got a pair for myself and they work exactly as described. These are perfect for starting a discussion about magnetism, natural magnets and how they got that way. They are also fun to play with.


November 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm
(6) Alkhemist says:

Anyrhing having to do with Dr. Who! You know, a Gallifrayan watch or a sonic screwdriver…

December 3, 2012 at 10:58 am
(7) PhysicsJax says:

DVD: Me and Isaac Newton (a Michael Apted film from 1999 following 5 scientists including Michio Kaku as physicists – if nothing else its worth it to see Michio Kaku figure skating!)

December 3, 2012 at 9:55 pm
(8) Tunney says:

I’d like a Hawking telephone that has a recorded message when 411 is dialed. The message (In Hawking’s best voice) – “I’m sorry, that information is lost forever and can never be retrieved”.

December 4, 2012 at 5:30 am
(9) narender says:

physics book signed by any physics scientist

December 5, 2012 at 10:27 am
(10) Siva Shakthi says:

A jigsaw puzzle of physics equations and physics terms with absolutely funny clues.
Eg: Quantum’s pet- Schrodinger’s cat.

December 8, 2012 at 8:02 am
(11) jess de guzman says:

i have my innovation and theory that …how siphon work if we invert the flow… i mean the opposite… using gravity maybe this can help some physicist to re-evaluate the principle of equivalence ..

December 17, 2012 at 11:10 am
(12) Julie says:

DVD from 1999 or so, ‘Me and Isaac Newton’ a Michael Apted film
which follows 5 scientists and they talk about what it is to do science.

December 21, 2012 at 1:02 am
(13) Gus Pehur says:

I have really learned a lot from the poster set “A Century In Physics” produced by the American Physical Society.

December 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm
(14) Newdani says:

Introducing readily availale grants or sabbatical for those who are interested in physics but could not have involved in the formal education would be fine.

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