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Solar Radiometers Shop

Solar radiometers are also known as light mills because light moves their blades as opposed to wind for windmills. They consist of an airtight bulb containing a partial vacuum. Inside the glass bulb is a fine vertical spindle with a set of vanes mounted at the top. When the glass bulb is exposed to light, the weather vanes are propelled around, the speed of propulsion increases with the intensity of light, providing a qualitative way of measuring electronmagnetic radiation. These days the Solar radiometer, or Crooke's radiometer (named after Sir William Crooke who invented them), is more of a beautiful science gizmo than a means of accurate measurement. Our Solar Radiometer shop stocks a range of exquisite radiometers which make unusual and interesting gifts for scientists and science enthusiasts. For a great explanation of how radiometers work, check out the video.
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  1. Glass Solar Radiometer with Venetian Stem - Green Glass

    Glass Solar Radiometer with Venetian Stem - Green Glass

    This Solar Radiometer has a green glass globe, and a stem made of green, Venetian glass. The Solar Radiometer is made by traditional Thuringian hand-blowing in Germany, from Lauschaer bottle glass. The Crookes radiometer was invented by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research. In the course of very accurate quantitative chemical work, he was weighing samples in a partially evacuated chamber to reduce the effect of air currents, and noticed the weighings were disturbed when sunlight shone on the balance. Investigating this effect, he devised the device named after him, still manufactured and sold to this day as a curiosity item. This version is both a scientific curiousity and a beautiful ornament. Learn More
  2. Glass Solar Radiometer with Short Solid Stem - 80mm clear glass globe

    Glass Solar Radiometer with Short Solid Stem - 80mm clear glass globe

    This Solar Radiometer is made by traditional Thuringian hand-blowing in Germany, of crystal-clear Lauschaer bottle glass. In the glass body is a 4-vane drive assembly, which turns under the influence of light. One side of each vane is black, the other is silver. Height: ca. 14cm. Globe diameter: ca. 7cm. Solar radiometers won't turn under all lights, such as fluorescents, unless they are close to it. The best source of light is the Sun, or an incandescent bulb. Try placing it near a table lamp, or a torch. The light needs to be warm rather than cold. The Crookes radiometer, also known as the light mill or solar engine, consists of an airtight glass bulb, containing a partial vacuum. Inside are a set of vanes which are mounted on a spindle. The vanes rotate when exposed to light. The reason for the rotation has been the cause of much scientific debate. It was invented by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research. In the course of very accurate quantitative chemical work, he was weighing samples in a partially evacuated chamber to reduce the effect of air currents, and noticed the weighings were disturbed when sunlight shone on the balance. Investigating this effect, he devised the device named after him, still manufactured and sold to this day as a curiosity item. Learn More
  3. Glass Solar Radiometer with Hummingbird

    Glass Solar Radiometer with Hummingbird

    This Solar Radiometer has a clear glass globe, and features a beautiful coloured glass hummingbird in the stem. The Solar Radiometer is made by traditional Thuringian hand-blowing in Germany, from Lauschaer bottle glass. The Crookes radiometer was invented by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research. In the course of very accurate quantitative chemical work, he was weighing samples in a partially evacuated chamber to reduce the effect of air currents, and noticed the weighings were disturbed when sunlight shone on the balance. Investigating this effect, he devised the device named after him, still manufactured and sold to this day as a curiosity item. This version is both a scientific curiousity and a beautiful ornament. Learn More
  4. Glass Solar Radiometer Small Transparent

    Glass Solar Radiometer Small Transparent

    Solar radiometers are also known as light mills because light moves their blades as opposed to wind for windmills. They consist of an airtight bulb containing a partial vacuum. Inside the glass bulb is a fine vertical spindle with a set of vanes mounted at the top. When the glass bulb is exposed to light, the weather vanes are propelled around, the speed of propulsion increases with the intensity of light, providing a qualitative way of measuring electronmagnetic radiation. These days the Solar radiometer, or Crooke's radiometer (named after Sir William Crooke who invented them), is more of a beautiful science gizmo than a means of accurate measurement. Learn More
  5. Glass Solar Radiometer Small Green

    Glass Solar Radiometer Small Green

    Solar radiometers are also known as light mills because light moves their blades as opposed to wind for windmills. They consist of an airtight bulb containing a partial vacuum. Inside the glass bulb is a fine vertical spindle with a set of vanes mounted at the top. When the glass bulb is exposed to light, the weather vanes are propelled around, the speed of propulsion increases with the intensity of light, providing a qualitative way of measuring electronmagnetic radiation. These days the Solar radiometer, or Crooke's radiometer (named after Sir William Crooke who invented them), is more of a beautiful science gizmo than a means of accurate measurement. Learn More
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