Science, Tech, Math › Science Science Magic Tricks Using Science to Perform Magic Tricks Share Flipboard Email Print If you don't understand the science behind these tricks, they appear to be magic!. Dina Belenko Photography, Getty Images Science Chemistry Projects & Experiments Basics Chemical Laws Molecules Periodic Table Scientific Method Biochemistry Physical Chemistry Medical Chemistry Chemistry In Everyday Life Famous Chemists Activities for Kids Abbreviations & Acronyms Biology Physics Geology Astronomy Weather & Climate By Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Chemistry Expert Ph.D., Biomedical Sciences, University of Tennessee at Knoxville B.A., Physics and Mathematics, Hastings College Dr. Helmenstine holds a Ph.D. in biomedical sciences and is a science writer, educator, and consultant. She has taught science courses at the high school, college, and graduate levels. our editorial process Facebook Facebook Twitter Twitter Anne Marie Helmenstine, Ph.D. Updated September 02, 2019 You can use science to perform magic tricks and enhance any magic show. These tricks are great for use as science projects or just for fun. The "tricks" also work as memorable science demonstrations. Key Takeaways: Science Magic Tricks The purpose of science magic tricks is to entertain the audience and get them thinking about how the phenomena work. Basically, tricks raise interest in science.Of course, this is science, not magic! In 1973, in Profiles of the Future, Arthur C. Clarke said, " Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." 01 of 30 Burning Money Trick In the burning money demonstration, paper currency is on fire yet is not consumed by the flames. ICHIRO, Getty Images Set money on fire and watch it burn out without damaging the bill. This is a nice magic trick based on everyday chemistry that makes a good introduction for a discussion about combustion. If you repeat the trick with paper instead of currency, the paper will burn. 02 of 30 Water into Wine Trick Use chemistry to turn a liquid into 'wine' or 'blood' and back to water again. Tastyart Ltd Rob White, Getty Images ... or water into blood trick, if that's how you want it. This magic trick involves changing a clear liquid into a red liquid. The magic is reversible, so you can alternate between red and clear. 03 of 30 Hot Ice You can supercool hot ice or sodium acetate so that it will remain a liquid below its melting point. Joseph Giacomin, Getty Images Turn a clear liquid into what appears to be a block of ice... instantly! As the liquid crystallizes into ice, it generates heat (which is why the material is called hot ice). Another way to perform this trick is to have the liquid turn into a solid while you pour it. You can form hot ice mounds and towers and watch as the crystallization proceeds from your dish into your original container. 04 of 30 Smoking Fingers Trick Make your fingers smoke, as if by magic. However, there's science behind this trick, not magic. Anne Helmenstine For this eerie science magic trick all you do is rub your fingers together. They will glow in the dark and will start to smoke. The smoke is from the vaporization of phosphorus. Although dim, the vapor also glows in the dark. Smoking Fingers Trick Smoking Fingers Video 05 of 30 Gold and Silver Pennies You can use chemistry to change the color of copper pennies to silver and gold. Anne Helmenstine Take pennies or other copper coins and make them appear to change into silver and gold. This trick is based on changing the chemical composition of the surface of the coin. 06 of 30 Egg in a Bottle The egg in a bottle demonstration illustrates concepts of pressure and volume. Anne Helmenstine Set a hard-boiled egg on the neck of a bottle. It won't fit! You can use science to get the egg into the bottle without destroying either one. 07 of 30 Handheld Fireballs Fireball. Anne Helmenstine Do you want fire you can hold in the palm of your hand? You can have it, but there is a trick to it. Note these fireballs will still be hot, but they can be held briefly. 08 of 30 Traveling Flame Trick If you blow out a candle, you can relight it from a distance with another flame. Anne Helmenstine In this trick you will blow out a candle and relight it from a distance with another flame. Did you know you could do that? 09 of 30 Bending Water Charge a plastic comb with static electricity from your hair and use it to bend a stream of water. Anne Helmenstine You can bend a stream of water without touching it. The secret of this trick is to get static electricity to move the water for you. 10 of 30 Invisible Ink You can use invisible ink or disappearing ink to write secret messages. Photodisc, Getty Images Write a message using invisible ink and then make the message appear on blank paper as if by magic. All about Invisible Ink 11 of 30 Firebreathing Trick Eric is breathing fire by blowing corn starch over an open flame. Anne Helmenstine Firebreathing is a spectacular trick in which is appears you are breathing flame. If done incorrectly, it's also extraordinarily dangerous! Fortunately, there is a non-flammable, non-toxic fuel you can use that makes this project safe enough to try. 12 of 30 Heavy Air Demonstrations Space-filling model of sulfur hexafluoride. Ben Mills Sulfur hexafluoride is a non-toxic invisible gas that is denser than air. You can use this gas for a few different science magic tricks such as floating a paper or foil boat seemingly on air or lowering your voice (the opposite of the effect from helium). 13 of 30 Blue Bottle Trick Beaker of Blue Liquid. Alice Edward, Getty Images Change a blue liquid into a clear liquid and back to blue. The blue bottle trick is a classic chemistry demonstration. 14 of 30 Pepper & Water Trick All you need is water, pepper, and a drop of detergent to perform the pepper trick. Anne Helmenstine This is an easy magic trick that you can perform using ingredients from your kitchen. I've included an explanation of how the trick works and a link to a video so you can see what to expect. Pepper and Water Trick Pepper and Water Video 15 of 30 Diving Ketchup Magic Trick Squeezing and releasing the bottle changes the size of the air bubble inside the ketchup packet. This alters the density of the packet, causing it to sink or float. Anne Helmenstine Place a ketchup packet in a bottle of water and make it rise and fall at your command, as if by magic. Of course, the magic involves some basic science. Here's how to do the diving ketchup trick and how it works. 16 of 30 Candle Trick Blow out a candle by pouring a glass of what appears to be air onto the flame. This easy science trick demonstrates what happens when air is replaced with carbon dioxide. Anne Helmenstine Blow out a candle by pouring a glass of 'air' onto it. This is an easy trick that demonstrates that oxygen is necessary for combustion. 17 of 30 Liquids Trading Places Can you see the liquids trading places in this image?. Anne Helmenstine Take two glasses of different-colored liquids and watch the liquids switch places in the glasses. This science magic trick illustrates the different densities of liquids. 18 of 30 Match and Water Fire Magic Trick Pour water into a shallow dish, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass. The water will be drawn into the glass. Anne Helmenstine This is a simple and interesting science magic trick involving fire and water. All you need is water, a glass, a plate, and a couple of matches. Match and Water Trick Match and Water Video 19 of 30 Disappearing Ink Disappearing ink makes a stain when wet, yet vanishes when the ink dries. Southern Stock, Getty Images You can make a blue or red ink that will disappear after exposure to air. Use another chemical to make the ink reappear. 20 of 30 Supercool Water If you disturb water that has been supercooled or cooled below its freezing point, it will suddenly crystallize into ice. Vi..Cult..., Creative Commons License You can chill water below its usual freezing point and then force it to crystallize on command. This is an example of supercooling. One of the most spectacular ways to perform this trick is to pour the supercooled water over an ice cube and watch the water freeze into ice back toward its container. 21 of 30 Magic Milk Color Wheel Add a few drops of food coloring to a plate of milk. Wet a cotton swab in dishwashing detergent and dip it in the center of the plate. What happens?. Anne Helmenstine Normally if you drop food coloring onto a liquid, such as milk, it will just sit there, eventually diffusing. With this trick, the colors swirl around each other as if by magic. How to Perform the Milk Color Wheel Trick Milk Color Wheel Video 22 of 30 Tie Water into Knots Cohesion and adhesion allow you to join streams of water. Don Bishop, Getty Images Take multiple streams of water and tie them together with a touch of your hand! Is it magic? Actually it's surface tension. 23 of 30 Fire Writing One cool trick is to actually write words using fire. Joshua Hultquist / Getty Images Write a message using an invisible ink. The message will be revealed by passing a flame over the paper, causing the secret to burn away. Except for the message, the paper won't burn. 24 of 30 Nylon Rope Trick Nylon is a polymer you can make in the lab. Glow Images, Inc / Getty Images Dip forceps into a layered liquid and pull out an ever-growing rope of nylon fiber as it polymerizes from the reaction between the two chemicals. 25 of 30 Ice on a Wire Trick You can pull a length of wire through an ice cube thanks to the process of regelation. Anne Helmenstine Pull a length of wire through an ice cube, without cutting the ice cube in half! This trick relies on the phenomenon known as regelation, which allows the wire to cut the ice and refreezes the ice cube behind it. 26 of 30 Boil Water in a Paper Bag over Fire No cookware? No problem! Use a paper bag to cook water over an open flame. Thomas Northcut, Getty Images You know you can boil water over a fire. That is not the trick. The science trick here is that the water is inside a paper bag! 27 of 30 Edible Candle Magic Trick Burning Candle. Ariadna, morguefile.com Light a candle, blow it out and then eat the candle! The basis for this science trick is using a food that looks and burns like an ordinary candle wick. The candle itself is food that looks like a wax candle. 28 of 30 Dancing Paper Ghost Trick Make a paper ghost dance in the air as if by magic! This is a great educational Halloween science project. Anne Helmenstine Cut out a ghost shape from a piece of paper and make it dance in the air, as if by magic. This is a simple trick, where static electricity makes paper move. The ghost shape is perfect for Halloween, but you can use any shape. 29 of 30 Magic Flower Shop Trick You can simulate the odor of violets using a chemical reaction. Hoodedwarbler12, Creative Commons License Heat together two common chemicals to fill the air with the odor of violets. This trick is interesting not just because of the odor that is produced, but because this chemical 'comes and goes' in human awareness, so you'll smell the violets, the odor will vanish, and then it will return. 30 of 30 Boiling Water Into Snow Trick Getty Images Throw boiling water into the air and watch it instantly turn into snow! Usually, all you get is boiling water in the air, but if you have a really cold winter day, the water falls as snow.