The Science of Magic
Science & Magic
As performers, magicians use many kinds of science to fool their audiences. The better their understanding of how the science works, the better they’ll be at making their trick look impressive.
Keep reading to learn about some of the sciences that magicians use.
Psychology is the science of the human mind and how humans behave. Magicians can use psychology to predict how the audience will react, and use that to their advantage. A common way this is done is distraction, where the magician will be careful to make sure the audience is not paying attention to the important parts of a trick.
Geometry is a kind of mathematics that has to do with shapes and angles. Magicians must always be thinking about visual angles, meaning that it is important that the audience see only what the magician wants. Some tricks can only be done if the audience is watching from a certain angle, like directly in front of the magician--if a person is behind the magician, they might see how the trick works!
Biology is the science of how bodies work. Magicians must be familiar with how their own body works, and how the bodies of their audience work. They can use certain biological limitations to do things that seem impossible, or as advantages to make tricks better.
Magicians often use math in tricks, especially card tricks. Sometimes math can be complex and confusing, and magicians can use this to their advantage to make it seem like the impossible is possible.
When any of the other kinds of science aren’t enough to fool an audience, a magician can turn to engineering: the creation of machines or devices made to assist with their tricks and illusions.
When you're ready to start learning about how these kinds of science work with magic, start with video #1, Psychology!
← #2 Magician's Choice
This is psychology in action. Magician's choice is tool that magicians use to make the audience think that they are in charge. In reality, it's the magician that is making the decisions!
#3 Geometry →
Magicians must always be thinking about geometry. Watch this video to see why.
These next two are not so much about science, but are techniques that magicians use to make their tricks better.
↑ #4 The Flourish
A flourish is usually a fancy hand movement.
#5 Prattle ↑
Prattle is the words, or the story, that goes along with a magic trick.
← #6 Biology
A magician can use limitations of human biology, like persistence of vision, to make magic tricks work.
To learn more about persistence of vision, watch the next videos. When you're ready to move on, watch #7 Biology Part 2, to learn a trick that uses the biology of a magician as an advantage. ↓
#8 Mathematics Part 1 ↑
These math based tricks aren't difficult, but require lots of practice to make sure you're doing them right.
↑ #9 Mathematics Part 2
The Eleventh Card trick is probably the most complex trick we've done so far. Watch closely, follow along, and practice, practice, practice. You must have all of the steps in your mind and all of the moves down before trying it in front of an audience.
↓ #10 Engineering starts here, then watch these two! ↓
Thanks for watching all the way to the end.
If you've got a trick you'd like to share, get permission from a parent or guardian, take a video of you performing it, and send it to me here.
If you're interested in learning more magic, find me at OB and we'll talk about your next steps.