Anybody Order a Pocket-Sized Collapsing Star?

The phrase "Collision Accelerator" has a manly feel to it.  To my mind, it conjures the image of some massive machine that slams huge blocks of some unbreakable material together at insane speeds.

While the Astro-Blaster Collision Accelerator doesn't quite match my visual concept, it is a pretty cool little educational toy.

Essentially this gadget simulates what happen when a star collapses.  It is comprised of several balls threaded on a wire.  If you held the device upright, you'd notice that each ball is a different size; the closer to the bottom you get, the larger (and heavier) each ball is.  When dropped on a hard surface the shock wave produced by the layers of balls propels the top ball to a height of up to five times the original drop distance.


This is an example of the Law of the Conservation of Energy.  The outcome symbolically represents the repercussions of the gravitational collapse of a dying star, with the top ball replacing all of the dangerous stuff such as fire and cosmic rays.  Those would hurt.

Popping yourself in the face with the top ball would hurt as well-even without the cosmic rays.  Luckily, the Astro-Blaster comes with safety glasses-so at least you won't lose an eye.

It would be a neat experiment to drop one of these off of a five-story building-just to see how high that top ball would get.

I'd suggest wearing not just the safety glasses, but a helmet for that endeavor.

Wanna symbolically blow up a star?  Head on over to ThinkGeek for your own Astro-Blaster!

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Jan 20, 2009
by Beth Graddon-Hodgson
Beth Graddon-Hodgson's picture

 I'm a big fan of toys that

 I'm a big fan of toys that are exceptionally neat, yet also educational - and the price is right on this one too!

Beth Hodgson
Innovative Business Writer

Jan 20, 2009
by John P. Barker
John P. Barker's picture

Me, too...

I agree; this thing is cool and priced to go...