Optical Kits from Primary Science Resource Packs

Was the first optical toy to create a true sense of motion.

The Phenakistascope or spindle viewer was invented in 1831 by Belgian physicist Joseph Plateau and simultaneously in Vienna by Simon Stampfer who called his invention a stroboscope.

The Phenakistascope consists of a disc with 10-16 slots equally spaced around the edge. Between each slot is an image. The user spins the disc and looks through the moving slots at the disc's reflection in a mirror. The slots stop the images blurring together so that the user sees a rapid succession of separate images. When the images are identical the user will a stationary image. Scientist Michael Faraday had experimented with such a disc.

Plateau realised that if he drew images which changed slightly each time showing a sequence of moves the brain would interpret this as a moving image.

He decided that in order to create a good sense of movement the eye needed to see 16 individual images or frames per second. Old silent films run at 16-18 frames per second - modern films run at 24 frames per second.

                                                           THIS IS OUR EASY VERSION  

                                       The pictures may vary

  Contents: A4 black card, A4 label with pictures on, 3 x wooden cogs,                                  straw, wooden rod and instructions.

               Once made - face a mirror and look through the slits -

twist and see the movement. Forces - twisting / Light topic - reflection

                                                    You need - scissors and glue + a mirror

                                PS 29  Cost £4 includes postage

               * Please note prices are quoted for UK only please email for a quote for rest of the world