Physicists are tough to find gifts for. They tend to want things that are practical yet unique and a little nerdy. Being a huge physics fan myself, I wanted to assemble this list of gifts my physicist friends would love. This collection will show them that you understand their love of physics and support them in their passions.
This list is a compilation of my favorites from around the internet. Some are our own Genius Lab Gear inventions and some we’re just jealous we didn’t think of first! Some external links in this page are from affiliates, which means that any purchase of the items after clicking the link will result in a small monetary referral fee paid back to Genius Lab Gear at no cost to you. We appreciate your support which allows us to continue inventing and testing the best tools for scientists on the planet!
1. The Pocket Physicist wallet ruler and equation reference
The first words from your physicists' mouth will be "Where did you find this?!" They will never forget you or this unique gift. They will carry this credit card-sized physics pocket tool with them every day for a lifetime. We even laser-engraved the backside full of fundamental physics equations, physical constants, and unit conversions.See the product pagefor a full list of features we've packed in!
P.S. We also have versions specifically forChemistsandEngineersif those are a better fit for the person you have in mind!
2. Novium Hoverpen 2.0
You guessed it: this floating pen is controlled by magnets, something only physicists truly understand! The pen's magnetized ring construction suspends it in place, giving it a "floating in space" effect. The body of the Hoverpen 2.0 is made from a single piece of aircraft-grade aluminum, imbuing it with a sense of high-end craftsmanship that is uncommon in pens. It's the ideal geek present for both home and office!
Science-themed gifts are rarely as entertaining and enduring as our science-themed word magnet sets! We recently launched these to encourage creativity and self-expression in labs, classrooms and offices. Each specialty pack comes with 144 tiles carefully designed by a PhD in that field for technical accuracy and tacit absurdity.
The Physics Word Magnet set was designed with help from professional physicists, who chose words to make it both science-y and humorous. These are just plain fun!
4. Orbital Velocity Board Game
The Orbital Velocity Board Gameis a simple space-themed family game with a focus on numerical strategy and probabilities that will transport your favorite physicist to the 1950s and the height of the space race! They take on the role of a rocket scientist, working with others to launch satellites into orbit. Orbital Velocity is a terrific space game that is exciting for the whole family, combining science and math aficionados with board game enthusiasts.
What could be a better gift for a physicist than a device that shows physics' awesomeness? Newton's Cradle is a well-known physics demonstration that is an iconic desk ornament. In a fairly elastic collision, this demonstration uses four or more suspended balls to show conservation of energy and momentum. It's a cool gift to help them show some character and express their love for science and physics!
6. Rocketbook Matrix cloud-connected reusable paper notebook
Physicists do a lot of work both on paper and with software. Rocketbook finally solved the problem of merging your hand-written notes into your favorite digital services. You simply use their app to take a photo of your pages of notes and the QR code and marked symbols on each page trigger the app to send the digitized page to any of the 9 pre-set digital destinations you choose. This includes OneNote, Evernote, Google Drive, Dropbox, and even specific emails. Want a shortcut to send notes via email straight to your colleague or boss? This is what you’re looking for.
The Rocketbook Matrix is my personal favorite because it's designed for more technical work. It's got 30 pages of graphing paper and one regular lined page for taking notes, plus a built-in ruler on the inside cover. Did I mention they are reusable? Use their "Pilot Frixion" pens and then wipe the page with a damp cloth after uploading your notes to use it all over again (and win one for the environment!).
This physics necktie is the ideal finishing touch for a work outfit, and it gives your favorite physicist the unique blend of physics and fashion that they've been dying for. This fun gift for physics lovers has physics equations and can be worn for nearly any occasion. Crafted in 100% microfiber, you can be certain that this physics necktie will impress no matter where they go.
Seven Brief Lessons on Physics is a wonderful, brief book about physics' most captivating wonders. It explains the basic concepts of physics and major breakthroughs in the field over the years in such an effortlessly poetic way. And it's written by a renowned theoretical physicist, Carlo Rovelli. Although this book is created for a general audience, it is a book about the thrill of discovery that will excite the physicists in your life.
9. Breakfast with Einstein: The Exotic Physics of Everyday Objects
This interesting book about quantum physics will give the brainiac in your life something fun to chew on. Chad Orzel took a topic that most people find difficult to engage with and turned it into an informative and entertaining book. Breakfast with Einstein provides a thorough grasp of quantum physics and physics concepts, along with real-life examples that illustrate the concepts in unique ways that will help you remember them and communicate them to other young physicists.
The style of this book is entirely unique and a perfect match for a physicist. The Quantum Astrologer's Handbook combines history and science into an excellent introduction to quantum physics and the life of Jerome Cardano, a Renaissance genius who spanned many professions from medicine to mathematics. As a science book, this is as strange as it is beautiful and captivating. It's a biography, a science history, a quantum theory explanation, and a gripping story all rolled into one!
The Euler's Disk is another captivating desk ornament that physicists will love. Euler's Disk is fascinating and rad, and it's a commendable use of physics laws. This device, which is made of heavy metal and has a smooth concave surface, elegantly demonstrates energy and angular momentum conservation. Giving the disk a spin creates mesmerizing optical pleasures for an surprisingly long period. We've heard it's even more enjoyable to use with a flashlight or laser in a darkened room!
Albert Einstein, widely regarded as the greatest scientist of the twentieth century, transformed science with his revolutionary theories of space, time, mass, motion, and gravitation. This Einstein bobblehead stands over 8 inches tall and is made of high-quality, heavyweight polyresin; each one is hand-painted, making each unique. Let this bobblehead give inspiration to the physicist in your life as it stands on their desk, table, counter, or dresser.
Physicists must continually stay up to date on what is happening in their field as well as across all of science. To do so, they'll need access to a variety of resources, including a lot of magazines. Although many other, more specialized magazines may be substituted here, Scientific American is one of the best because it covers such a wide range of topics. The most significant advancements come from applying principles of one field to another and keeping up with these topics may just spark a great idea.
This atomic symbol lapel pin is a unique gift for your favorite physicist to showcase their passion for what they do. Made from high-quality metal, this pin lends a whimsical touch to lab coats, professional attire at conferences, and even everyday wear.
Mechanical pencils are considered a daily essential for physicists. They let you precisely draw diagrams for homework or professional work with the option to make fine adjustments with the eraser. In the new digital age, mechanical pencils are still required but physicists often find themselves using touch screens as well.
That’s why my new favorite is the rOtring 800 Retractable Mechanical Pencil, (0.5 mm). This one turns from a pencil to a stylus on the fly, and also ensures the tip isn’t poking holes in your pocket all day like most other models. This is truly the top-end mechanical pencil and will make a special gift.
Staedtler is another brand much-loved by physicists. This model is cheaper and will last a long time, but just isn’t convertible to a stylus. You can’t go wrong with either one.
16. Physics Gift Bundle
If you can't decide by now, just get them all! Seriously, we put together aPhysics Gift Bundlejust to make it easy for you. It includes the Pocket tool and Word Magnets from above, plus a fun Marie Curie sticker. You'll save over 20% by bundling them together, so consider this decision made!
When you want to say "thank you" to an inspiring chemistry educator, an apple just won't do. This list steers clear of bad chemistry joke t-shirts and finds high-quality but affordable items from $4-$65 that will leave a lasting impression.
If you just try searching "PhD Graduation Gifts" on Amazon, you'll get a page full of mugs, shirts and keychains. They deserve better. I’ve been through grad school, got my PhD, and have a good idea of what they would truly appreciate as a thank-you gift. Here’s my hand-picked list below.