More than an illusion

Don't tell the Magic Circle – a new website is offering pupils the chance to explore the science behind some impressive tricks. was conjured up by researchers at Queen Mary, University of London with the support of the National HE STEM programme – launched to help Higher Education institutions develop new approaches to recruiting students and delivering programmes of study within the STEM disciplines – and is replete with entertaining ‘magic’ accomplishable with the aid of chemistry, physics, maths and engineering principles alone (no eye of newt or risky summonings required). Downloadable instructions are available from the website providing step-by-step instructions, as are videos illustrating what should happen if you’ve paid due attention.

Worthy of a special mention is video games developer, private astronaut and magician Richard Garriott, who filmed some microgravity-defying tricks for the project aboard the International Space Station.

Pie Corbett