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Published on Jun 17, 2010
The 'Hurricane Balls' consist of two ball bearings welded together by passing 800 Amps through them. If you spin the Hurricane Balls on a smooth surface, you can use the plastic pipe to blow at one side of the Hurricane Balls. Not only does this keeps them spinning, you can accelerate them up to incredible speeds. Speeds of 12,000 rpm have been recorded for the Hurricane Balls using a laboratory strobe light.
At home, it is possible to use a tv as a simple stroboscope. Dr Adam Chalcraft writes "I can easily get a speed of 3600 RPM, and more to the point I can easily measure this, by putting the top in front of my (NTSC) TV in a dark room. As it runs down, I can clearly see 60Hz, 30Hz, 20Hz and so on. Of course if you try it in front of a PAL TV (in the UK) you will see 50Hz, 25Hz and so on." Thanks for that, Adam.
Any smooth surface will work for spinning on, but the very best is a concave mirror, e.g. those round, magnifying bathroom mirrors.
Once the Hurricane Balls are spinning, you can then use the coloured LED torches to illuminate them, with different colours at different angles. In a darkened room, the effect is magical!
MARCH 2016 UPDATE. Sadly, the man in Germany who used to make these for us has passed away. However there is now a version of the Hurricane Balls called Tornado Spheres. These are made in China, and are cheaper as well! See http://www.grand-illusions.com/acatal...