Richard Robinson

More Magic Modules

Further science topics

LIQUID LAUNCH

Science gives an explanation for some of the strange properties of water; Why is it wet? What is meniscus? How does capillary action work? On the way we learn something about the forces that operate in nature, in particular the electro-static forces that bind atoms together.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Floating Point – a needle floats on water.
  • Levitating Water – water rises above the glass.
  • Cork Blimme! – how to make a cork float in the centre.
  • Woofle Dust Through the Hand Illusion – using sticky water.
  • Nice Dice – stuck with water.
  • Paper Pick-up – water as glue.
  • Cereal Enigma Solved – why cereal clumps together in the bowl.
  • Sticky Paint Brush – stuck by meniscus.
  • Sponge Yarn – shows capillary action.
  • Multicolour Colour – chromatography.
  • Automatic Plant Waterer – at last you can go on holiday!

ULTIMATE DETERGENT

How do forces work? By studying the magic of detergent we learn how forces balance each other, and what happens when the balance is upset. We also learn about how the molecules of detergent work with water and grease to make us clean.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Oil and water – will they mix?
  • Magic Soap Boat – powered by meniscus.
  • Perfect Circle – with cotton thread.
  • Pepper Power – the pepper flees the finger.
  • De-mistification – prevent car windscreens from misting up.
  • Magic Number – appears in the mist.

HANGING AROUND

We learn about Newton’s laws of motion in surprising ways; how inertia can be used to launch a rocket, and how the path of objects in flight results from a balance between two laws, gravity and inertia.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Book Hypnotism – snatch the paper from under it.
  • Draught Sorter – using a ruler.
  • Newton’s Coin Cradle – how to get the coin in the gap.
  • Snappy Rings – how to get the coin in the glass.
  • Elbow Snatch – catching coins on your elbow.
  • Egging Them On – spinning eggs to find the raw one.
  • Plate Spinner – first wine glass in orbit.
  • Why the Toast Always Lands Butter-side Down – at last, the truth.

FRICTION & NON-FRICTION

Through magic, we see how friction and air resistance can slow objects, how important friction is to our life, and how some things have more friction than others, including glues.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Sticking to the Ruler – which finger gets to the middle first?
  • Apple Bobbing – it hovers on a string.
  • Gob-smacking Bottle Stopper – a Bottle hovers in mid-air.
  • Invisible Card Trick – using roughing fluid.

STATIC BUT NOT STILL

Games with static electricity

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Lord of the Thunderbolts – make lightning to order.
  • Paper Magnet – the most powerful force in the universe – electro-statics.
  • Magic Mind Maker-Upper – using pens.
  • Hair-Raising – with a balloon.
  • Balloon Trainer – the balloon stops when told.
  • Attractive Water – attracted to a balloon.

PAPER POWER

Some tricks with nothing but a piece of paper

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • The Blow that Sucks – the Bernoulli effect.
  • Flight of Fancy – how flight is possible.
  • Ripping Fun – how to rip paper straight.
  • Mighty Paper – one sheet holds up the world.
  • Mighty paper II – one sheet holds a ruler down.
  • One-sided – the mobius strip.
  • Rip-off – can you rip a piece of paper into three?
  • snowflakes – fold and cut effect.
  • Fold Me to the Moon – how many times can you fold a piece of paper?
  • Paper music – a simple reed instrument.
  • Hup Dog – simple origami and gravity combined

STRONG STUFF

Magic which demonstrates surprising strengths of unlikely materials.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Eggstra Strength – Standing on a Packet of Eggs.
  • The Leaning Tower of Pasta – spaghetti structures.
  • Spud-U-Spike – the power of a straw.
  • I Can if You Can – Standing on Drinks Can.
  • Paper Stand – a sheet of paper supports ten books.
  • Hard Roll – corrugated cardboard supports a person.
  • Egg Chucking – eggs can be dropped from 3m safely.

CLEVER LEVER

The power of levers employed in some startling magic.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Electric Matches – the match was fixed!
  • Raise the Dad – use a big lever.
  • Pop-up Card – cardboard leverage.
  • Unbreakable Match – it’s unsnappable.
  • Sit-up-and-Beg Box – a matchbox does a hand-stand.
  • Hanky Takes a Bow – thumb gives a tweak.
  • Pulley Pulls the Pullers – using a simple compound pulley.

AIR WE GO! AIR WE GO! AIR WE GO!

To understand these tricks we have to learn that air has weight, that gravity acts to pull it down, creating “air pressure”. We change the balance of forces by creating vacuums – absence of air- and study the strength of air pressure. We lower air pressure by making the air move, and learn how flight is possible We see why warm air is lighter than cold air, and how that affects many things, from central heating to the weather.

Magic tricks - all tricks are self-working, and easy to do at home;

  • Handy Windmill – hand heat powers it.
  • Blue Water is Lighter – demonstrates how heat rises.
  • Paper Power – a sheet of newspaper clamps a ruler.
  • Spiral Mobiles – decorations use radiator heat.
  • The Blow That Sucks – surprising results of blowing at things.
  • Paper Ring Back Blow – flight explained.
  • Water Weird Thing! – water refuses to leave a glass.
  • Boiling Cold – cold water “boils” when touched.
  • There¹s a Sucker Born Every Minute – how to win at drinking races.
  • Poor Pouring – water pours from a bottle on command.
  • The Magdburg Sphere – using two glasses.
  • Potty Question – Why do tea pot lids have holes in them?