Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Gravity toy

A toy that acts as a lamp
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We have some colorful, spherical balloons inside of which we find a very light structure that holds a few magnets at equal points at the surface of the balloon.

Inside the spheres we also find an LED and a light battery.

The balloons are filled with helium, until they reach neutral buoyancy, so they become floating light globes.

Now we put many of these balloons in a single room, and put off the light in the room. We gently push one balloon, so it bumps into the other ones and sets the toy in motion.

Some balloons will get attracted to others, when attracting magnets make an encounter, whereas others will repulse each other, and give each other a gentle spin.

After a while -- after the interaction of gravity and magnetism -- we will see a result: a random cluster of balloons, like a light-sculpture.

The "toy" aspect is given by the fact that you always get different results, and that it would be fun to see how fast nature makes a cluster. Sometimes it might be fast, sometimes it may take a long time.

django, May 26 2009

Helium Boulder http://amasci.com/amateur/gravrok.html
Antigravity "boulder" levitates in your room [Wrongfellow, May 27 2009]

LED Balloon Floaties http://www.youtube....watch?v=pw8WovNeAB4
No magnets, [tatterdemalion, May 27 2009]

[link]






       You don't need any structure to hold the magnets in place -- glue should work just fine.   

       However, I don't think you'll get the effect you're expecting... magnets which start in an alignment which pushes them apart typically also produce a torque, which turns them towards an orientation that pulls them together.   

       Thus, your balloons will simply pull together very rapidly, never appearing to repulse one another.
goldbb, May 26 2009
  

       How about really bouncy balls(those huge exercise balls). On the floor(walls?) are fixed strong magnets with all the same polarity facing up and all the balls have that same polarity facing out. The balls could be LED lit and lighter-than-air gas filled. An initial stir might be needed.
wjt, May 29 2009
  

       Thought this might be a lighter than air highly realistic apple.
xenzag, May 29 2009
  

       //Thought this might be a lighter than air highly realistic apple//
An Arcturan Stunt Apple, perhaps?
coprocephalous, May 29 2009
  

       If you want to see how fast nature makes a cluster, just toss some magnets on the floor.
ldischler, May 29 2009
  

       I would like to see that cluster using SuperBalls with small rare earth magnets at their centres.   

       [coprocephalous] /Arcturan/ sp. Arcturian or something else?
wjt, May 30 2009
  

       [wjt] No, I'm pretty sure it is "Acturan", though Peter Jones (the actor, not the store in Sloane Sq, or the bloke on Dragons' Den) did sometimes have problems with DNA's scripts*.   

         

       * Fit the Sixth, from about 5:30.
coprocephalous, Jun 01 2009
  
      
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