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Match and Water in a Glass Science Magic Trick

Fun Trick with Fire and Water

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Pour water into a shallow dish, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass.

Pour water into a shallow dish, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass. The water will be drawn into the glass.

Anne Helmenstine
This is a simple and interesting science magic trick involving fire and water. All you need is water, a glass, a plate, and a couple of matches. Pour water into a plate, light a match in the center of the dish and cover it with a glass. The water will be drawn into the glass.

Match and Water Trick Materials

  • plate
  • water
  • 2 wooden matches
  • a quarter or other large coin
  • colored water
  • narrow glass

    How to Perform the Trick

    1. Pour water into the plate. I colored the water with food coloring to make it easier to see.

    2. Bend one of the matches so that you can set it in the water. Secure the match so that it is upright by setting a quarter or other small heavy object on the end of the match stick.

    3. Use the second match to light the match that you placed on the plate.

    4. Immediately invert a glass over the burning match.

    5. The water will flow into the glass and will remain in the glass even after the match has been extinguished.

    How It Works

    The heat of the flame imparts energy to the gas trapped under the glass, raising its pressure and pushing against the water. When the flame is extinguished the air cools. Less pressure is exerted against the water, allowing it to flow into the glass.

    See a video of this project in action.

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