Illusioneering reveals secret science behind amazing magic tricks

Jul 14, 2011

A magical new educational website for schools, which allows students and teachers to explore the range of secret science and engineering behind a series of amazing magic tricks is launched today, Thursday 14 July 2011.

Illusioneering ( is the brainchild of researchers at Queen Mary, University of London, and is led by Professor Peter McOwan. He explains: “This fun new website shows the entertaining magic tricks you can do using hidden chemistry, physics, mathematical and engineering principles. It’s a fun way discover fascinating facts through learning .”

The Illusioneering team undertook a whistle-stop national tour of schools earlier this year with their magical stage show – they hope the new website will take Illusioneering to an even wider audience. The site features video demonstrations and free to download instructions for teachers.

Matt Parker, stand-up mathematician and co-Illusioneering-developer said “Magicians have always used the latest Mathematics, Science and Engineering to perform amazing tricks. It’s great to see students so enthused about these subjects when they realize they can use them to amaze and annoy their friends and family.”

The Illusioneering team also includes video games developer, private astronaut and magician Richard Garriott, who filmed some special microgravity defying tricks aboard the International Space Station.

Richard Garriott commented: “Using secret scientific principles to facilitate mind bending magic is an art which simultaneously amazes and teaches… magic makes learning a joy!”

The project is supported by the National HE STEM Programme, which supports Higher Education Institutions in the exploration of new approaches to recruiting students and delivering programs of study within the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines.

Makhan Singh, Project Manager for the Maths strand of the National HE STEM Program commented: “It is wonderful to see Professor Peter McOwan continue his inspirational work from the pilot project More Maths Grads into a STEM context. I can see this being an excellent resource to inspire the next generation of students. Simply wonderful!”

Explore further: Best of Last Week – First map of hidden universe, pursuit of compact fusion and new clues about the causes of depression

Provided by Queen Mary University of London

2.5 /5 (2 votes)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Using magic to learn about maths

Jun 03, 2009

( -- An academic from Queen Mary, University of London has launched a series of videos featuring magic tricks that are conjured from a mathematical perspective.

Medical research and magic come together

Nov 11, 2010

The unorthodox research collaboration between two Barrow Neurological Institute scientists and some of the world's greatest magicians is detailed in a new book called Sleights of Mind.

A magical way to move kids

Mar 15, 2010

It's often hard to motivate youngsters with physical disabilities. But a new approach from a Tel Aviv University researcher bridges the worlds of behavior and science to help kids with paralysis and motor ...

In learning to read and write, dialogue important

Feb 18, 2011

“The ability to read and write in different subjects is of great importance for future choices in life. What is needed is highly distinct instruction and dialogues in the schools in order for children ...

Stanford creates first PhD program in stem cell science

Apr 29, 2011

Stanford University’s Faculty Senate today approved the creation of what officials believe is the first stem cell science PhD program in the nation and, perhaps, the world. The new doctoral program in stem cell biology ...

Recommended for you

Color and texture matter most when it comes to tomatoes

4 hours ago

A new study in the Journal of Food Science, published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), evaluated consumers' choice in fresh tomato selection and revealed which characteristics make the red fruit most appealing.

How the lotus got its own administration

8 hours ago

Actually the lotus is a very ordinary plant. Nevertheless, during the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) a complex bureaucratic structure was built up around this plant. The lotus was part of the Imperial Household, ...

What labels on textiles can tell us about society

8 hours ago

Throughout Chinese history, dynastic states used labels on textiles to spread information on the maker, the commissioner, the owner or the date and site of production. Silks produced in state-owned manufacture ...

US company sells out of Ebola toys

Oct 17, 2014

They might look tasteless, but satisfied customers dub them cute and adorable. Ebola-themed toys have proved such a hit that one US-based company has sold out.

User comments : 0