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Puzzle crafting & workshops • Laboratorio di giochi d'ingegno • Atelier de puzzles
by Gianni A. Sarcone & Marie-Jo Waeber
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Make Your Own Magic Spinning Top
(Optical Tops to Make • Toupies optiques • Trottole ottiche)

Let's Start:
• Print out the models below and paste them on to a cardboard, then cut out the discs.
• Take one of the models, push a pointed short pencil through its centre.
• Hold the top of the pencil lightly, spin the disc and then let go.

Observe and discover:
• You'll notice that the rotating discs give intermittent stimulation to color receptors in the eye, and so producing a subjective color illusion. Try them and send us your comments!

magic top


spinning top


Fechner-Benham's Disc
Fechner's top
Sarcone's Discs (1, 2 and 3)iris top
1) Iris

spira top
2) Spira

hera top
3) Era
© Gianni A. Sarcone
Source: Big book of optical illusions, ISBN 0764135201

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Archimedes journal ARCHIMEDES journal is an interactive review devoted to entertaining & involving the readers with puzzles, recreational mathematics and visual creativity. This journal is published for an audience without a specific math background. Each issue covers a broad range of mental and hands-on activities for the reader to enjoy! Workshop image "How to focus attention? Encourage creative exploration?" Multicultural interactive puzzle activities & workshops for museums and institutions.
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