Can an empty wine bottle refill by itself? Is it possible to break the bottom of a bottle without making it turn into smithereens? This may sound like ‘magic’, but in reality, it is nothing more than… a demonstration of the laws of physics.

Physics is a science which has brought plenty of applications in our daily life. And even despite the fact that as a school lesson, it looks like Chinese arithmetic to many people, in fact, it is not that difficult to understand!

Here you can see some “tricks” with which you can impress your friends, but in reality, they simply “obey” the laws of Nature, writes Douglas Main in Popular Science, such as presented by Tim Shaw in the show «None of the Above» on the National Geographic Channel.

1. The trick with an empty wine bottle

Empty the contents of a bottle of wine in a bowl and allow minimal amount in the bottle. Then place the bottle in the microwave for about three minutes. Immediately after that take it out (be careful not to burn your hands!) and soak its mouth into the bowl with the wine.

See what happens in the video below:

What happens:

The microwave converts much of the water and the alcohol contained in the wine into vapor, increasing the pressure in the bottle. Although the bottle is not sealed, the opening is small enough to make it stay in the bottle.

From the moment when you put the bottle upside down in the bowl with the wine, a kind of seal is formed and the gases in the bottle get cooled quickly. As the vapor condenses and is transformed from gaseous state back to liquid, the pressure drops. This makes the atmospheric pressure push the wine back to the bottle, explains Shaw.

2. Create a plasma ball in the microwave

Light a match inside the microwave and someone else will have to put a glass of wine over it. Then turn on the microwave. Almost immediately you will see a plasma ball. According to Shaw, the temperature may rise to such a point that the glass will break. (Note: Do not try this at home!!!)

What happens:

The microwave device causes the ionization of the gases from the burning of a match, which causes the creation of plasma. Some electrons in gases absorb microwaves, leading to a higher energy level. Of course, it will not stay there forever…

3. The trick with gaseous whiskey

Put some whiskey into a plastic Coke bottle and place a bicycle pump into its mouth. Fill it with the air and remove the pump. You will see the gaseous whiskey! (Warning: Inhalation of alcohol is dangerous. Do not to try it!!!).

See the trick in the video below:

What happens:

The gradual increase in pressure inside the bottle leads to the evaporation of a small quantity of alcohol and overcomes the intermolecular forces, which make the alcohol remain in liquid form at room temperature, and thereby the pressure transforms it into gas. When it drops again, the alcohol condenses, forming small, visible drops.

4. Fill a glass with water without touching it

You will need a shallow bowl, an empty glass, a slice of lemon and some matches.

See what happens in the video below:

What happens:

As burnt matches ‘consume’ the oxygen present inside the glass, it results in the creation of little amount of water and carbon dioxide. At the same time, the pressure inside of the glass reduces, so it ‘sucks’ the water.

5. How to break the bottom of a bottle without turning it into smithereens

Fill an empty beer bottle with water, leaving a small gap at the top. Then firmly hold the bottle by the neck and hit its top with your other hand.

See what happens in the video below:

What happens:

The hits create a shock wave of pressure, which breaks the bottom of the bottle exactly at that point, without the slightest damage to the remaining bottle.

6. How to change the direction of an arrow

Just one small and simple experiment, which anyone can do at home, not only will surprise you with its results but will also demonstrate and help you better understand some of the basic laws of physics.

You will only need is a simple piece of paper in which two arrows pointing in the same direction are designed. Place a transparent glass in front of it, and the image will not show any change, of course.

However, if you fill the glass with water up to the height of the first arrow, you will see the arrow reversing and pointing in the opposite direction just as if it was some kind of magic!

Yet, this experiment has nothing to do with magic tricks. What we see takes place due to the phenomenon of the refraction of light, which causes the reversal of the direction in which the beam of light is moving when passing through different materials (air and water).

Anna LeMind, B.A.

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