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Science & Math Tricks in Magic & Conjuring

Science often appears like magic. Even some small physics or chemical experiment can be utterly baffling. Same is true with math. Some of the best self-working magic tricks have a mathematical foundation at heart. That is why particularly in the past magicians were often exhibiting the latest advances in science and technology as entertainment. For example, Robert-Houdin's "Heavy and Light Chest" was a simple application of an electromagnet. The projection of images and later moving images was mostly done by magicians in the early days of photography and film.

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Richard Southall
Binary Bucket List by Richard Southall

A binary method with a twist that makes it incomprehensible.

EFFECT: Three spectators select an item off your Bucket List. You show them four short lists and for each list, they are asked if they see their chosen item. Spectator one is asked to answer truthfully and spectator two is told they can either lie or tell the truth but they are not to tell you which they choose. Spectator three is told to only answer silently in their mind. Despite these increasingly more difficult conditions you are able to reveal all three selections.

I have been creating binary effects for a couple of years...

★★★★★ $8
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Edward Barton-Wright
How to Pose as a Strong Man by Edward Barton-Wright

Barton-Wright, one of the first Europeans to study Japanese martial arts, explains eleven pseudo-strength tricks in words and photos. Forty years before this publication Lulu Hurst created a sensation demonstrating similar stunts as manifestations of 'unexplainable forces'.

The tricks explained in this article are:

  1. How to Master a Man with Two Fingers
  2. How to Hold a Chair in the Palms of your Hands, and to Defy Anyone to Pull it through your Hands
  3. How to Lift from the Ground a Chair in which a Person is Seated
  4. How to Lift a Chair with Four Men Packed upon it
  5. How to Defy Anyone Standing in Front...
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Popular Mechanics
Two Pounds Less Than An Elephant by Popular Mechanics

A nicely illustrated article explaining some of the popular pseudo-strength demonstrations made popular for example by Lulu Hurst and others.

200 years ago demonstrations of this kind created a sensation. Nobody could explain them. Many believed these were manifestations of some yet unexplained force. Today they are relegated to party stunts. Nevertheless, some are quite surprising demonstrations you can try out in your living room.

1st edition 1928, PDF 6 pages.

★★★★★ $4
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Davide Rubat Remond
Quodlibet Omnia by Davide Rubat Remond

"Quodlibet" means "what you like", to mean the free choice on the part of a spectator, which is the fundamental condition for a successful magic effect. The classic mentalism effect 'Guess the Age' has been explained in all its main aspects. In this treatise, the principle of the binary system and the method of using it in magic are comprehensively examined, and it is explained how to construct classic number tables and their structure. You will be able to construct the new number tables according to a new mathematical structure, which allows you to guess the number thought of by looking at...

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Arthur Good & Professor Hoffmann
Magic at Home by Arthur Good & Professor Hoffmann

A wonderfully illustrated collection of 100 interesting and easy-to-replicate science experiments, tricks, puzzles, and the like.

Excerpt from the preface:

Each of the hundred sections embodies a distinct scientific recreation, sometimes a mere puzzle or test of dexterity, but more often illustrating, in a magical or quasi-magical form, the operation of some natural law. Chemistry, Mechanics, Optics, Hydrostatics, Pneumatics.

Translated and edited from the French Science Amusante by Professor Hoffmann.

  • A Plate Balanced on a Needle
  • To Balance a Pencil on its Point
  • To...
★★★★★ $10
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Werner Miller
Sub Rosa 20 by Werner Miller

The Exlibris 1 effect at the end of this ebook is a wonderful magic square effect that incorporates a book and thus lends itself to be combined with a book test but can also be performed stand-alone.

Imagine the following. You are invited to a friend's or colleague's home. (Another great place to perform this would be in a library.) Ask them to pick any book from their bookshelf and open the book somewhere in the first half. The two visible page numbers are entered into a 4 x 4 grid. Ask them to open the book anywhere in the second half and you enter these page numbers also in the 4 x 4...

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Gaston Tissandier
Science Amusements by Gaston Tissandier

Translated from the French by Henry Frith. The French original from 1880 is considered the very first title in the genre of books of simple science experiments that anybody can conduct in their own home. But this book is much more than a collection of kitchen sink science experiments. It is an engineering and science primer that touches on many topics of physics and chemistry including organic chemistry, material science, heat, light, sound, gases, aeronautics, and a lot more.

Based on page numbering it appears to be a compilation of several books:

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Gaston Tissandier
Half Hours of Scientific Amusement by Gaston Tissandier

Practical physics and chemistry without apparatus.

A collection of simple science experiments that anybody can conduct in their own home. In part based on the column "physique sans appareils" (physics without apparatus) in La Nature. Translated by Henry Frith from the French.

Excerpt from the preface:

Young people of both sexes, and persons of all ages who have leisure and a taste for that which is ingenious as well as instructive and amusing, may be commended to this remarkably interesting collection of experiments, nearly all of which can be readily performed by an unskilled person...

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Mystic Alexandre
Numbers: a direct memory test by Mystic Alexandre

A simple and direct memory demonstration.

The professional-looking chart (meant to be on your phone but could be printed out) is handed to the subject in order to help test your memory ability with numbers. You mention that attempting to memorize the 51 seven-digit numbers, enhances your ability to ask questions, find insights, solve problems, critically think, and inspire creativity.

You hand them your phone with the chart, or a copy of the chart, and the subject chooses a section, say No. 45, and you begin calling out the 7-digit number in that section. Feel free to repeat the test...

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Jon Racherbaumer
Harry Anderson's Square Dancing by Jon Racherbaumer

A selective history of magic squares and routines and performances which are somewhat unusual and different from the regular magic square presentation of 'give me a number and I write down a magic square of that number'.

  • Brother Can You Paradigm? (Jon Racherbaumer)
  • Harried History of the Magic Square
    • B.A. (Before Annemann)
    • 1930 – Present
    • Wise-Guy Square
  • Kick-Starters
    • Okey-Sidokey
    • Charlier Shuffle
  • Miscellaneous Matrix Trix
    • Phoning Marrakech
    • Squaring the Deal
    • Upside Down
    • Cool Things about the Magic Square
    • Harry Ending
  • References

1st edition 2008, PDF 31 pages....

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Davide Rubat Remond
Quodlibet 2 by Davide Rubat Remond

Quodlibet literally means "what you like, or what you prefer" and is the theme that links the two publications that bear this name, the first dedicated to an evolution of the numerical tables and a development of the principle applied to a 52-card deck, and the latter Quodlibet 2, which proposes the Tarot version.

An upturned Tarot deck is placed on the table in full view; a spectator will be asked to choose only mentally any one of the 78 Arcana, of the major or minor series as he or she prefers, and to concentrate on it. The spectator will be handed a series of seven folders depicting...

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Davide Rubat Remond
Quodlibet by Davide Rubat Remond

With this work I wanted to celebrate the famous number tables, protagonists of the game "Guess your age". I thought that this game, considered the 'oldest mentalism effect', could be improved and that that weak magic effect could be transformed into something powerful, without increasing the difficulty of execution. By accentuating certain qualities of the principle that governs them, I developed the new cards, the evolved version of the number tables. Everyone knows the classic version of the game: a spectator chooses a number and indicates which and how many tables it is on, the mentalist...

★★★★★ $12
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A. Anderson
How To Do Chemical Tricks by A. Anderson

Containing over one hundred highly amusing and instructive tricks with chemicals.

  • Chemical Affinity
  • Sympathetic Inks
  • Alum Baskets
  • Easy Crystallizations
  • To Make a piece of Charcoal appear as though it were Coated with Gold
  • To Give a Piece of Charcoal a Rich Coat of Silver
  • Combustion
  • Chemistry of The Air
  • Amateur Air Pump
  • Asphyxia
  • Balloon in Vacuum
  • Boiling Cold Water
  • A Sucking Tube
  • Cupping
  • The Barometer
  • A Novel Barometer
  • Compressed Air
  • Noiseless Bell
  • The Bursting Bladder
  • Weight of the Air
  • Spoons which will Melt in Hot Water
  • Effect of Compression
  • To Cover Iron with Copper ...
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A. Anderson
How To Do Mechanical Tricks by A. Anderson

Containing complete instructions for performing over sixty ingenious mechanical tricks.

  • The Pile of Draughtsmen
  • The Decanter, Card, and Coin
  • A Clever Blow
  • The Obedient Coin
  • To Cut a String With Your Hands
  • The Rebound
  • A Fiery Catapult
  • To Make an Exact Balance
  • The Recomposition of Light
  • The Mysterious Apple
  • Economical Letter-Scales
  • Tracing a Spiral
  • The Inclined Plane
  • To Cut a Bottle With a String
  • Equilibrium of a Knife in Mid-Air
  • A Trick With Four Matches
  • The Distance of an Inaccessable Point
  • Practical Tracing of a Meridian Line
  • To Measure the Height of a Mountain
  • To Take...
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Scientific Mysteries by unknown

A collection of simple and effective experiments illustrating chemical, physical, and optical wonders.

Published by the Offices of the Chemist and Druggist. 42 Cannon Street, London.

    • 'The Four Elements'
    • Collecting Gases
    • Oxygen
    • Nitrogen
    • Hydrogen
    • Experiments With Hydrogen
    • Composition Of Water
    • Making Gas From A Bottle
    • A Model Gas Manufactory
    • Inextinguishable Flame
    • Gas Balloons
    • Musical Flame
    • Musical Tubes
    • Carbonic Acid Gas
    • Carbonic Acid Gas From The Lungs
    • Combustion And Respiration
    • Decantation Of Gases
    • Weighing...
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After Dinner Tricks and Puzzles with your Seal Brand Coffee by unknown

A nicely produced collection of mostly puzzles, brainteasers, and some which could be performed as magic tricks. In total there are 36 problems. Solutions are provided for all of them.

1st edition 1896, 12 pages of problems, 2 pages of answers.

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Bob Hummer
Mathematical Three Card Monte by Bob Hummer

An entertaining monte effect where the spectator, not the performer, switches the positions of the cards (which may be borrowed).

Here's another mental stunner by Bob Hummer and it's one of the most baffling he's ever released. Briefly, it can be done with any deck, and only three cards are used - any three cards. The performer does not switch the cards around, as in the regular monte. It's the spectator who mixes the position of the cards - while the performer's back is turned. After the cards are mixed as much as desired, the spectator peeks at one card, remembers it, and then makes a...

★★★★★ $6
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Peter Wilker
Miraculous Numbers by Peter Wilker

A university professor of mathematics takes on tricks based on math.

From the preface:

As mathematics is (or was) my profession and magic my hobby, I was always interested in tricks that combined both, notably tricks with pure numbers. ... Unfortunately, I soon noticed that in most of the so-called mathemagical tricks there was very little mathematics and even less magic! What people use to call "mathematics" are mostly extremely simple arithmetical facts, and if you plodded through the tricks with numbers they proved to be excessively boring.

I do not know if I have succeeded to get...

★★★ $12
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Unknown Mentalist
Echo Force by Unknown Mentalist

The Echo Force is a beautiful force but way under utilized. It is powerful, effective and highly deceptive. And it can be applied in a multitude of ways. In book tests, predictions, divinations, drawing duplications and even in propless effects. The only limit is your imagination.

This force is completely self-working and you can focus totally on your presentation. There are no sleights needed, no preshow, no stooges or instant stooges. No equivoque, no dual reality, no memorization. And this works in any language.

The following 7 routines are explained based on the Echo Force.

  1. TRILLIONS ...
★★★★ $12
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Bob Hummer
Poker Chip Mystery by Bob Hummer

Six poker chips, bearing the numbers 0 to ten are examined and mixed by a spectator. The spectator lays them on a table with no interference from the mentalist. While the performer's back is turned, the spectator turns over some chips. Three more are turned over and covered with a playing card, business card, or beer coaster. The performer turns around and, with no false moves or skulduggery, announces the total of the chips beneath the cards. It's that clean. And, surprisingly, it can be instantly repeated, with a different result.

Just the thing for parties, get-togethers, and bars, while...

★★★★ $6
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John Scarne
10 Best Proposition Bets of America's Bigtime Gamblers by John Scarne

A proposition bet is one which appears to give the taker an even chance and at times the best of it, but does just the opposite. Like con men, proposition gamblers pretend to be pleasant, friendly, easy-going, good fellows who would never think of double-crossing anyone. They also usually pretend that their prepared proposition bets are something they just happened to think up on the spot. They take great pleasure in beating seasoned gamblers; money is not the main objective. It's the prestige and self-satisfaction they derive from having outsmarted a top gambler, be he friend or foe.


★★★★★ $10
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Bob Farmer
The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox by Bob Farmer

A new method to quickly and secretly arrange cards from a small pack all the way to a full deck. No math needed unless you want to understand why it works.

Within magic, no mind approaches Bob Farmer's. Outside magic, Machiavelli came close. The evidence is presented in "The Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox." - Stephen Minch

Bob Farmer's Bammo Tarodiction Toolbox is both a great trick and a genuinely new method for secretly arranging cards quickly, accurately, and right in front of the spectators' noses. - Matthew Field

About what you'd expect from the guy who invented that stupid little hand trick. -...

★★★★★ $30
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Peter Prevos
Paradoxes of Size: A Treatise on Geometric Vanishes by Peter Prevos

Geometry is one of the most logical human pursuits. Geometry can also be deceiving, and magicians use it to create the illusion of magic. This ebook discusses magic tricks based on geometric vanishes, also known as the Missing Square Puzzle. These magic tricks have recently become wildly popular with millions of views on YouTube.

These magic tricks evolved from a mathematical error to an apparent paradox. Magicians have added layers of deception to turn mathematics into a piece of theatre. This ebook discusses the history and principles of the three types of geometric vanishes:

  • The Vanishing...
★★★★★ $15
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Devin Knight
Incredible Prediction by Devin Knight

This is an impressive prediction. It has fried the minds of lay people and fooled almost every magician or mentalist, I have shown this to. Many magician's say they can't fool their wives. I guarantee this is one effect she will be totally baffled by. This effect is so amazing, that you will fool yourself each time you do it wondering how such a thing is possible. Yet the effect is completely self-working with no skill or sleights.

EFFECT: Using a borrowed deck (if desired) the mentalist instructs a spectator to deal a poker hand consisting of a straight hand in a horizontal row. For example;...

★★★★★ $7
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Preston Langley Hickey
Parlor Problems by Preston Langley Hickey

Mental mathematical magic

A slim book, yet it contains some of the most entertaining effects with numbers ever devised. An ebook devoted to an entirely different branch of magical entertainment that, prior to its release, had never been published before. This ebook opens up a new and unique field to any entertainer. Any person of average intelligence can perform the various effects. No apparatus necessary, except for a blackboard, white board or flip chart and a writing utensil. With this ebook, anyone can produce both laughter and surprise and create a riot at any evening party with the...

★★★★★ $6
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Chris Wasshuber
Birthdate Magic Square by Chris Wasshuber

A spectator populates a row of a 4x4 square with any four numbers. You fill out the remaining 12 squares in seconds to construct a magic square. Does not require any math.

This has become my favorite impromptu magic square effect, because it is easier than a classic magic square - there is literally no math, unless you consider counting up or down by one math - and it produces a stronger effect with spectators. Thus a win-win all around.

The effect: Take any piece of paper, for example the backside of a restaurant receipt, and draw an empty 4x4 square. Then ask a spectator to fill in any...

★★★★★ $19.50
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Displaying 1 to 26 (of 74 products)
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