One of the most inexpensive and versatile materials on Earth has to be paper. From construction to printing, paper finds its diverse applications in almost every field and science is no different. We bring you a range of complex scientific concepts from geometry to magnetism illustrated simply using paper.
- INVISIBLE INK
APPARATUS: Notebook paper, paintbrush or toothpick, lemon juice, a heat source (such as a lamp or a toaster)
1) With lemon juice, write a secret message on a piece of notebook paper using a paintbrush or a toothpick.
2) Allow the paper to dry for a couple of hours.
3) Hold the paper over a lamp or a toaster to warm it up.
4) The message will magically appear.
- PAPER CRACKER
APPARATUS: Lightweight paper (22 x 28 cm)
1) Fold a lightweight writing paper in 1-inch folds over and over on its short side until you have only 1-2 inches remaining unfolded.
2) Fold the paper cracker in the middle until its ends meet (A touching A and B touching B).
3) Holding on to D with one hand, push corners A and A up through B and B until you have the final paper shape shown.
4) Holding points B and B with your thumb and forefinger, jerk the paper-cracker suddenly downwards.
5) As air is caught in two pockets formed by the A-B pairs, the paper-cracker will unfold very quickly, a giving loud sound.
- PAPER BUG AMPLIFIER
APPARATUS: Brown paper bag, tape, and bug.
1) Place an insect such as a bug or a fly in the paper bag.
2) Tape the top of the bag shut.
3) Place the bag on its side and then lay your ear gently down on top of the bag.
4) You will be able to hear the bug walking or buzzing around!
- CURRENCY NOTE PAPER TRICK
APPARATUS: Any currency note, 2 jumbo paper clips
1) Fold a currency note in thirds along its length into an S shape.
2) Fasten one of the paper clips over one of the ends of the note and the centerfold.
3) Fasten the other clip paper clip over the other end in the same way.
4) Each clip must pinch together two thicknesses of the currency note.
5) Grasp one end of the note with one hand and the other end of the note with your other hand.
6) Pull quickly and the paper clips pop off the note, linked together!
- MOBIUS STRIP
APPARATUS: 4 Sheets of notebook paper, tape, marker
1) Place four sheets of notebook paper end to end and tape them together.
2) Twist one end of this long piece of paper and tape it to the other (untwisted) end (connect A corners to B corners; see drawing). You now have a closed loop with a single twist.
3) This interesting loop is called a Mobius Strip. With a marker, draw a line down the center of the loop until you come back to where you started.
4) You will find that the paper is marked on “both” sides of the loop proving that the loop of the paper just has one side.
5) Cut this longer loop down the center and you will get one longer loop instead of the expected two loops.