Halloween is just around the corner, which means only one thing: holiday party season is upon us. For the next few months, we will be gathering with friends, family, and colleagues for one party after another. If the thought of coming up with endless topics for small talk seems daunting, going with a good old-fashioned parlor trick could be the way to go.
If your sleight of hand isn't good enough for card tricks or your memory isn't sharp enough to remember the names and hometowns of 40 strangers, don't worry. Physics Girl has created a video to teach us 5 party tricks that will make your audience be like:
The greatest part about the tricks in the video is that even though they look like wizardry, they are made possible through really basic physics.
Check them out here:
So how do they work?
The balloon kabob exploits the two areas of the balloon where the surface tension is lowest. A sharp skewer is then able to pass through without putting too much pressure on the balloon's surface, letting it stay intact.
It may seem like the balancing forks trick should topple over right away, but since the forks are pointed in the opposite direction, the center of mass is actually in between them. This creates a balance point a couple inches away from the fork tines, allowing them to balance.
The tricks involving rising water and milk work because the temperature of the air changes after the glass is placed over the matches, which changes the pressure. As the air becomes cooler and the pressure drops, pressure around the glass force the liquid up into the glass in order to help raise the pressure.
The wine glass suction cup effect is done in much the same way as the rising water. Because there is less fluid available to balance out the pressure differences, the atmospheric pressure keeps pushing up on the glass, creating a suction effect. The olive oil helps create a seal to prevent air from entering the glass.
The floating sinking peanut trick is accomplished by playing around with density. Because of the added CO2 in carbonated water, its density is greater than regular water. By gently mixing the two together, the density of the solution will not be uniform, causing some peanuts to float while others sink.
Have a great holiday party season!