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Solar Radiometer with Coloured Glass Base


Also known as the light mill or solar engine, the solar radiometer demonstrates with simple physics and movement how light can be transformed into energy. Its invention in 1873 is credited to Sir William Crookes, an English physicist.

The black and polished vanes are suspended in the semi-vacuum created inside the radiometer. When exposed to a warm light source, such as the sun or a table lamp, the vanes spin. The more powerful the light source the faster the vanes will spin. The black side of the vane absorbs light faster than the polished side. Air pressure builds and raises the temperature of the air molecules on the black side of the vane causing the spinning motion.


  • 8 D x 24 H cm

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