When you look at the picture to the left, do the wheels appear to spin? How can that be? Science explains all sorts of cool phenomena and events, like the optical illusion of the spinning wheels. Many mysterious or even "magical" occurrences are easily explained by scientific principles. Perform the following science "magic" tricks to amaze your friends and family with your abilities. Then amaze them even more as you explain the science behind them.
Water in a dish has a tension across it called surface tension—it acts sort of like a very thin layer of film stretched across the water. This tension isn’t broken by the pepper or by your finger. It is, however, broken by dish soap! The dish soap breaks through the “film” across the top of the water and creates a burst, pushing the pepper outward towards the edges of the dish! To perform this as a magic trick for your family or friends, you'll need to start over by rinsing all the soap out of the dish and refilling it with water and pepper. Once the surface tension has been broken by the soap, you can't get it back unless you start over.
Rubbing the straw between the layers of cloth of your shirt created static electricity. The rubbing motion caused the straw to gain an electrical charge. When your finger came close enough, the negative charge on the straw was attracted to the positive charge of your skin. As you moved your finger, the straw moved right along with it because the charges were attracted to each other. Do you remember learning about magnets? Opposite charges attract while like charges repel (push away) and the same is true for electrical charges. Try showing your friends or family members this science “magic” trick and see if they can figure out how you made the straw move without touching it!
The folds you made caused the face to become an optical illusion. The actual face didn't change, but the way your brain processes the face is different because of the folds you added through the face. Optical illusions can be tricky! Particular combinations of colors, shapes, and sizes can play tricks on your brain and make you think you are seeing something that isn't really there or cause something to appear different than it actually is. Follow the links below to see more optical illusions.
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