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Amazing science tricks with common household items

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Using common objects around the house, you can demonstrate cool scientific laws. Here’s how:


Keeping Water Separate

keepingwatersep1.jpgFill two identical glasses with water. Add two tablespoons of salt to the water in one glass and stir well. Add a few drops of food coloring to the water in the other glass.

Cover the glass containing the colored water with a sheet of paper, turn it upside down and place it on top of the glass containing salt water. (Be sure to do this trick over a saucer or bowl.)

Gently pull the paper out from between the glasses. The colored water and the salt water will remain separate.

 

keepingwatersep2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Salt water is heavier than colored water, so the two stay separate as long as the boundary between them isn’t disturbed. Try turning the two glasses over, though. The heavier salt water will now be on top, so it will flow down and mix with the colored water.


A Can That Can “Walk”

walkingcanjb2.jpgPlace an empty aluminum can on its side on the floor. Blow up a balloon and tie a knot in the end. Rub a tissue back and forth on the balloon.

When you put the balloon near the can, the can will start rolling toward the balloon.

How Does It Work?

When you rub the balloon with a tissue, the balloon gets a negative electric charge of several thousand volts. When you put the balloon near the can, electrostatic induction affects the molecules in the metal. The outside of the can gets a positive charge, so it is drawn toward the balloon and starts rolling in that direction.


A Candle That Sucks Water

candlethatsuckswater1.jpgPlace a candle upright in the middle of a saucer. Fill the saucer with water. Light the candle. Place a glass over the candle. When the flame goes out, the water in the saucer will get sucked into the glass.

 

candlethatsuckswater2.jpgHow Does It Work?

When the candle is burning inside the glass, the heat makes the air expand, so some of the air escapes outside the glass. The candle goes out after it uses up all the oxygen, so the air inside the glass cools. As it cools, the pressure inside the glass drops. Some of the carbon dioxide formed by the flame dissolves in the water as well, decreasing the pressure even more. The water outside the glass on the saucer is forced into the glass by the higher aire pressure outside.


A Flying Trash Bag

flyingtrashbag1jb2.jpgHold the mouth of a black trash bag in one hand. Use a hair dryer to blow hot air into the bag.

Seal the mouth of the bag with tape. Tie a long piece of string around the tape so you can hold it. Take the bag out into the sun. The bag will rise slowly into the air. (It’s best to do this trick in an open area on a windless day.)

 

flyingtrashbagjb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Since the bag is black, it absorbs heat from the sun. That heat makes the air inside the bag expand and become lighter. When the bag and the air inside are lighter than the surrounding air, the bag starts to rise.


Bending Light Through Water

bendinglight1jb2.jpgPunch a hole in a clear plastic bottle two inches from the bottom. Put your finger over the hole, fill the bottle with water and cap it to keep it from draining out.

Darken the room and cover part of a flashlight with your fingers to make the beam narrower. When you take the cap off the bottle, the water will flow out in an arc. Shine the flashlight at the stream from the side of the bottle opposite the hole. The light will bend with the arc and create a bright glow where the water hits the sink.

 

bendinglight2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

When the light in the stream strikes the boundary between the water and air, much of the light is reflected back into the stream. The light continues this internal reflection all along the arc formed by the falling water. The same principle is used to transmit light signals through flexible optical fibers.


Reading Through an Envelope

readingthruenv1jb2.jpgWith a black felt-tip pen, write a three-letter word in large letters on a white piece of paper. Place the paper in a brown envelope, and insert that envelope into a white envelope. The writing on the paper should now be impossible to read.

Get a piece of dark construction paper or tear out a page from a magazine that is printed on both sides. Roll up the paper into a four-inch-long tube. When you hold the tube against the envelope, you’ll be able to read the writing inside.

 

readingthruenv2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Usually you can’t read the writing inside an envelope because of the light reflected off the envelope’s white surface. But the tube blocks that reflected light, so you see only the light coming through the envelope.


Egg Into Bottle

eggthrubottle1jb2.jpgFind a glass bottle that has a mouth slightly smaller in diameter than an egg. Pour some hot water into the bottle (be careful!), shake it vigorously and empty the water.

Peel a soft-boiled egg and place it on the mouth of the bottle. Leave it there for a while and it will get sucked inside.

 

eggthrubottle2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

The vapor from the hot water drives the air out of the bottle. Once the egg seals the top of the bottle, the air can’t get back in. As the water vapor cools, it turns back into water, causing the pressure inside the bottle to drop. The higher pressure of the outside air pushes the egg into the bottle.


Toothpick Torpedo

toothpicktorpedo1jb2.jpgDab a little shampoo on the blunt end of a wooden toothpick.

Drop the toothpick in a pan of water. The toothpick will start moving in the direction of the sharp end.

 

toothpicktorpedo2jb2.jpgHow Does It Work?

Shampoo contains agents that reduce the surface tension of liquids. As the shampoo on the end of the toothpick dissolves, it reduces the water’s surface tension around it, thus releasing the water’s hold on that end of the toothpick. The water around the other end of the toothpick still has surface tension, so it pulls the toothpick in that direction.


To learn more amazing science tricks, check out the book “Amazing Science Tricks” by Michio Goto

25 Comments on Amazing science tricks with common household items

  1. dwighthoward12 // June 1, 2009 at 3:49 pm // Reply

    thanks!

  2. dhgdfghdgshfdh // May 27, 2009 at 3:10 pm // Reply

    sweet

  3. COOL DUDE // May 5, 2009 at 6:11 pm // Reply

    I’m so gona try the toothpick one. Iam going to tell the kids in my clas.

  4. Hamtaro ^__^ // March 31, 2009 at 12:56 am // Reply

    NIce TRICKS!!!!!!!

  5. THE LIGHT TRICK REALLY WOKS

  6. I will try the bending lght trick.

  7. Miniracer1998 // March 22, 2009 at 12:18 pm // Reply

    Cool!!!!!!!!!

  8. jester_person // March 21, 2009 at 12:16 pm // Reply

    Nice tricks, i tried the toothpick torpedo and it actually works!..really nice.
    The only thing is that my torpedo doesnt go that fast..i used hair shampoo

  9. kriswater again // March 14, 2009 at 10:56 am // Reply

    Hey,

    I liked the Keeping Water Separate ex. ,but it did not seem to work, mabye the glass was not fill to the top, or something. It was cool. I don’t understand the toothpick one thou. What is the dir. of the sharp end? What way, i mean? And on A Candle That Sucks Water, how is that even possible. I still like your ex., but I don’t get anything. Mabye it’s not you, It’s me. I’m wierd. LOL. So thanks.

    By: Kriswater
    again

  10. it’s too easy for me….

  11. wow amazing ithink its one of the awesome things i saw

  12. nice.

  13. WOW! tha was amazing

  14. amazing..nice tricks.

  15. amazing tricks…;

  16. Wow Guys I Liked it!It The Best.Im Going to visit here every time I need tricks!Ciao!

  17. now I can show a trick in my science class

  18. bea 21 humility // January 3, 2009 at 2:22 am // Reply

    hey ur science tricks is cool actually ive done the candle that sucks water its cool hope you can post more tricks tnx. ^-^

  19. _^marista^_says: // January 2, 2009 at 1:30 am // Reply

    nice tricks..

    _halonG_

  20. wow………

    it’s amazing……..

  21. •†•KhAeL•†• // December 9, 2008 at 7:32 pm // Reply

    NiCe TrICkS,!!!!!ahhhhh!!

  22. it,s really amazing!!!!!!!! but i think u can put some more good tricks

  23. this are really cool!!!!!!

    but they look impossible to really happen!!!!

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