IYC2011: Magic, a catalyst for Science awareness


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IYC2011 has been a great opportunity to innovate ways to foster science in general and chemistry in particular. Our team, who is involved in amateur magic, has adapted classical games to IYC characteristics. For instance, we have adapted many games based on mathematical properties to the periodic table, or we have used Chemical cards (each containing an atomic symbol) instead of usual Poker cards.

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IYC2011: Magic, a catalyst for Science awareness

  1. 1. IYC2011: Magic, a catalyst for Science awareness Miquel DURAN, Sílvia SIMON, Laia GUILLAUMES, Josep DURAN and Pep Anton VIETA Càtedra de Cultura Científica i Comunicació Digital Universitat de Girona http://c4d.udg.edu @c4dudgMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  2. 2. Stephen Macknik and Susana Martínez-Conde in “Sleights of Mind” • Clarke’s 3rd law: Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic • Agatha Heterodyne paraphrase: Any sufficiently analyzed magic is indistinguishable from science • Girona’s corolary: Any sufficiently depth insight into science is indistinguishable from magic (e.g., isn’t chemistry real magic !? ) Stephen Macknik and Susana Martínez-Conde, “Sleights of Mind. What the neuroscience of magic reveals about our brains”. Profile Books, London 2011Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  3. 3. Alex Stone in “Fooling Houdini” • There is a wealth of connections between magic and science: psychology, neuroscience, mathematics, physics [+ chemistry] • The world of magic is filled with scientists and the world of science is filled with magicians • Scientists and magicians are people who take an interest in mysteries Alex Stone, “Fouling Houdini. Magicinas, Mentalists, Math Geeks and the Hidden Power of the Mind”. Harper Collins, New York, 2012Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  4. 4. Two Key Quotes • The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not Eureka! (I found it!) but Thats funny ...‘ (Isaasc Asimov) • Martin Gardner has turned hundreds of mathematicians into magicians and hundreds of magicians into mathematicians (Persis Diaconis)Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  5. 5. Our Recreational Science Group • During our demonstrative and spectacular shows along the International Year of Chemistry 2011, we have performed live – Classical Chemical Magic (e.g., water and wine) – Adaptations of mathematical games to Chemistry – Use of the Periodic Table as a fun, structured and polivalent tool to perform tricks and games – Both classroom and stage magic • Tricks can be explained (teaching), outlined or just used to impress and impactMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  6. 6. Mathematics and mentalism • Most mathematical games can be adapted to peform magic shows to communicate science. • Our special focus has been the Periodic Table: adaptation of games on calendar and other card- based demonstrations.Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  7. 7. Cards to explain Quantum Chemistry • A poker set of cards is used to teach a few concepts: – Random number (red / black) – Superposition of states: from Schrödinger’s cat to Schrödinger’s card – EPR (Einstein-Podalski-Rosen) entangled pairsMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  8. 8. Magic and the Periodic Table • The Periodic Table – One of few cases in Nature based on natural numbers – Allows vertical, horizontal and other groups – Correspondence between numbers, symbols… and letters – Allows for adaptation and amplification of classical games and tricks – Parity games: trip along – Well knows by a general audienceMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  9. 9. Gilbreath’s Principle • The so-called Gilbreath’s Principle allows to magically produce sets of cards. In our case, we produce either metals/non metals, or organic/inorganic molecules • Other card-based, mathematical games are used to introduce chemical conceptsMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  10. 10. Group “2Duran+-” With Miquel Duran, Josep Duran, Pep Anton Vieta and Laia Guillaumes – and other collaboratorsMiquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  11. 11. Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  12. 12. Quasicrystals, Nobel Prize Chemistry 2011 • Game related to Gilbreath’s Principle • Show relating Islamic Art, Penrose Tiling, DeBruijn cycles, Quasicrystals – and indeed mathemagics/mentalism. • Linking Martin Gardners’s books and computer science.Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  13. 13. More Fun: Quirkchemistry • From the Penrose Staircase to Borromean, Solomon and Trefoil Knotted Molecules • From futballene to tennisballene – and other funny named chemical systems • To knot or not to knot, that’s the question Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  14. 14. Making molecules with cards and other craft • Balloons • Straws • Tootpicks • Cards • Origami • Etc • e.g. fullerene a.k.a. footballene Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  15. 15. Yet More Fun • Magic with eggs (from Green Omelettes to Eggs Physics and Chemistry) • Magic of Light • Magic of Energy • Lateral thinking puzzles • Fun with chemical cards • EYMR stuff (even yet more fun)Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net
  16. 16. Key ideas to (tweet and to) take away • Key idea: Education is not a preparation for life. Education is life itself • Let me introduce you to my favourite chemist – Panoramix • This presentation is available at http://slideshare.net/quelgir • Thank you!Miquel Duran @miquelduran http://miquelduran.net