YouTuber Explains the Science Behind Tesla's Egg of Columbus: The Gelatinous Solid

Find out the secrets behind the phi top.
Loukia Papadopoulos

This egg-shaped metal is called a phi top, and when you spin it, it turns into a gelatinous solid. According to YouTuber The Action Lab, this is the same process that Nikola Tesla used in his famous Columbus egg demonstration.

"In this video, I show you a device called a phi top. This is an aluminum ellipsoid that has some neat physics associated with it. It raises its center of gravity when spun. It can be stopped by creating eddy currents with a magnet. Or spun with a magnet. This is the same procedure that Tesla applied to a copper egg in his famous Columbus egg demonstration. Also, when light is reflected off the spinning ellipsoid it exhibits lissajous curves," says The Action Lab in his video description.

We have to say this description doesn't do the video justice. Instead, when watching it you get to see a metal pulsate up and down almost as if it is a gel.

Better yet, YouTuber The Action Lab also explains how the egg works in his usual well-illustrated description.

We won't give you more details here. You have to watch the video for that. We will only say that you can repeat the experiment with a hard-boiled egg at home.

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