Holiday Magic Chemistry Demonstration Show

Chemistry students do a Holiday Magic chemistry demonstration with fire

Is it magic, or is it chemistry?

People juggle flaming "snowballs," a silver mirror "magically" appears inside a large glass flask, liquids instantly change color.

It's chemistry!

And it happens in December at the Department of Chemistry's popular Holiday Magic chemistry demonstration show.

A long-running tradition, this family-friendly, free event is produced by teaching faculty and students and demonstrates chemistry principles in a fun and approachable way, featuring approximately twenty-five demonstrations that produce the "magic" of chemistry. 

See what happens to a pickle subjected to high voltage. Discover why helium gas and not hydrogen gas is used in party balloons. Watch as liquid nitrogen is poured into a container of soapy water. The show demonstrates many principles of chemistry, including kinetics, thermodynamics, gas laws and atomic theory.

For upcoming shows, see our calendar of department events. (Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 safety precautions on campus, the department won't be hosting its popular Holiday Magic Show in December 2020, but we are hopeful the "magic" of chemistry can return in December 2021.)


Publicity and Media

Holiday Magic Show compilation (December 2015)

Holiday Magic Teaser Video (December 2017)

Holiday magic show reveals the science behind the 'magic' of chemistry (Department of Chemistry, December 7, 2017)

It’s not magic; it’s science (Smile Politely, December 20, 2017)