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About Pure Unobtanium

About Me: Out of highschool I wanted to be a professional horn player. It didn't take long before I found out mediocre scientists make a lot more money than good musicians. I spent 6 years in the U.S. Navy as an electronics tchnician, nuclear reactor operator, went back to civilian life and earned a BS in Geophysics and a Masters in Industrial and Applied Physics. Spent 20 years in Oklahoma prospecting for oil and working odd jobs as an engineer and on occasion teaching engineering course at the local community college. Getting tired of the up and down economy I
threw in the towel, packed up and returned to the COTU.

Then a job came along that was perfectly suited to my background and experience. I just couldn't turn it down. It has been my privilege to work for more than two decades as the Physics Department laboratory coordinator at Indiana University. I not only supervised the teaching labs but wrote the manuals and built many of the instruments and experiments. I was fortunate to have a real budget which enabled me to try things others could only dream of doing.


It was a wonderful rewarding job but my dream has always been to have a small machine shop where I coud build and sell some of the really cool demos and instruments that are no longer made but still have relevance to those teaching/learning physics. Since my retirement in May of 2019 I have been able to build that shop and put together this web site. I have built and released my first product and am looking forward to sharing some of my experiences with others through this web site.

About Pure Unobtanium:

After 20 years as the laboratory coordinator for the Physics Department at Indiana University I have finally retired. My dream is to bring some of those classic truly excellent demos and apparatus that are no longer available back to life. So I've bought a mill and a lathe and have started my own company, "Pure Unobtanium".

My goals are to:

  • Provide physics demos and equipments that are affordable, robust and easy to use.

  • Bring back some of the great historic demos that have been proven valuable through the test of time but are no longer readily available.

Our first product: The Michelson Interferometer

The interferometer is a great way to show the wave nature of light. But in looking at what's available, most kits and low end units require way too much tweaking to be useful in the classroom. So I built my own.

The interferometer has been used in several workshops at meetings of the AAPT and has been universally acclaimed by workshop participants. It has withstood the test of teachers and students, and is now available for purchase.

Click here to view more on Interferometer.

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