Archive for November, 2010

Doodling in Math Class: Snakes + Graphs

Sunday, November 28th, 2010

Vi Hart makes some wonderful drawings with sly commentary along the way.

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Frames Of Reference

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

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This PSSC film utilizes a fascinating set consisting of a rotating table and furniture occupying surprisingly unpredictable spots within the viewing area. The fine cinematography by Abraham Morochnik, and funny narration by University of Toronto professors Donald Ivey and Patterson Hume is a wonderful example of the fun a creative team of filmmakers can have with a subject that other, less imaginative types might find pedestrian.

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Tesla Turbine on steam

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Warning! Turn your sound down before watching video!

As a long-time fan of Nikola Tesla and with access to lots of steam, sickness it was only natural eventually I’d build my own Tesla Turbine.

I machined the entire turbine from scratch (except the bearings and fittings) and getting thin discs affixed to a shaft such that it would be safe with steam and well balanced proved difficult. Eventually, I machined the discs and shaft from a solid piece of 2.5″ aluminum round stock, cutting away probably 95% of the material.


I later used my laser tachometer and the turbine can easily spin up to 35K RPMs. Due to my non-ideal spacing between the discs, though, I’m not getting that much torque out of it. For the next version of the disc pack rather than using a lathe parting tool to cut the discs I’ll instead make a jig to hold a hacksaw blade in the cross slide and make much narrower slots.

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