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Holiday magic show reveals the science behind the 'magic' of chemistry


Diana Yates, Life Sciences Editor

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A clear liquid is added to another clear liquid and the mixture turns pink. A glass rod touches a cotton ball and the cotton ball “disappears” in a burst of flame.

Is it magic, or is it chemistry?

It’s … chemistry!

If you want to see why, don’t miss the Holiday Magic Show at the University of Illinois chemistry department this December.

Produced by chemistry teaching faculty and students, the show demonstrates and explains many principles of chemistry, including kinetics, thermodynamics, gas laws and atomic theory.

See what happens to a pickle subjected to high voltage. Discover why helium gas and not hydrogen gas is used in party balloons. Learn about all of this, and gunpowder, liquid nitrogen and more.

The show, which is free and open to the public, will include about 25 demonstrations that will explain the science behind the “magic” of chemistry.

The show will be at 100 Noyes Lab, 505 S. Mathews Avenue, Urbana. Show times are Dec. 10 (Wednesday), at 7 p.m. and Dec. 14 (Sunday), at 2 p.m.

For more information, contact Don DeCoste: