The Spinning Match Table Trick

(YouTube link)

It's magic! Or science, actually, because this trick is from Steve Spangler. THe static electricity in the balloon is the key.

When an object has a negative charge, it will repel the electrons of other objects and attract that object’s protons. When the neutrally charged object is light enough, like the match in this case, the negatively charged object will attract the lightweight object. But try attracting a match while it’s laying on a table... it doesn’t work! You need to reduce the amount of other forces acting on the match for this experiment to work, and that’s why you balance the match on the rim of a nickel. Balancing the match enables less surface area to be directly effected by friction, which enables the match to rotate more freely.

The real challenge is to get these things to balance, and then keeping the cat from jumping on the table and ruining it. Link -via Geeks Are Sexy   


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The cup is part of a bar trick: If you are at a party with balloons, create the physical setup and then ask the crowd, "Who wants to bet that I cannot move the matchstick without touching the glass or the table?" It would be kind of lame if you have to bring your own balloon.
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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Tech Fails - Twaggies by Twaggies
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