My past life as an engineer taught me to see the world in numbers, logic and problems to be solved. Magic isn’t too dissimilar. Each trick can be broken down into its logical components and, when wrapped up with misdirection and showmanship, can create an unforgettable magical experience. Using maths and magic enhances the experience I can provide as a Sydney corporate event magician. So, there lies a link between magic and maths that can be quite fascinating when you scratch beneath the surface…
The magical maths of life
All around us, every day, we are surrounded by mathematical phenomena that, on the face of it, can just look like cool numerical oddities. However, when looked at more closely present their own magical behaviour. Take, for example, the Fibonacci sequence (where the next number in the sequence is the sum of the two previous numbers). This sequence can be seen in shell formations, petals, seeds, pine cones, tree branches, faces, galaxies, hurricane formations and even DNA molecules!
Taking two adjacent numbers in the Fibonacci sequence and dividing the larger by the smaller gives the golden ratio called Phi (ϕ). Phi is equal to 1.618, to 3 decimal places. The further along the sequence you go, the closer this number converges to this golden ratio. Phi appears in all of the above examples in nature. Leading theorists to think that there could be something greater at play than just a sequence and more… a magical design of nature! But, I’ll leave that for you to decide!
ϕ = 1.6180339887499 (to 13 decimal places)
As a Sydney magician, I often ask myself if the golden ratio can be found within the architectural design of the Opera House wings as they resemble shells themselves!
Another area of mathematics that exhibits magical properties is Euler’s identity. Derived using trigonometry and complex numbers gives the theoretical equation:
ei π + 1 = 0
The magical thing about this is that five of the most common mathematical constants (0, 1, pi, i (square root of -1) and Euler’s number ‘e’) are connected seamlessly in one simple formula. Pretty magical when you can prove that by starting from a right-angled triangle!
Even infinity as a concept is pretty magical. Hard to comprehend, yet exists in our numerical system. There are infinite points on a circle and if you, hypothetically, walked from one side of a room to another and halved the remaining distance with each step it would take infinite steps to reach the other side. The golden ratio, Phi, (above) and pi are both examples of numbers with infinite decimal places. Kind of irrational when you think about it!
Symbol for infinity = ∞
Now, if maths can exhibit the concept of infinity, how about magic? If magic has elements of maths, and magic exists in our minds then can our minds’ experiences be infinite too? Which makes a pretty exciting idea for magicians: if we have an infinite realm of consciousness in which to perform for, distort and entertain. Perhaps we are all magicians in our own way and all have our own magic within us that can inspire and impact the minds of those around us. What’s your magic? Again, I’ll leave that one for you to ponder!
Mathematics + Magic = Mathemagics
Which brings us to the world where mathematics and magic collide… MATHEMAGICS as it is occasionally referred to! Check out a video of me performing magic at the Sydney Opera House Bar using maths here:
Although simple in principle, when added with magic theory can create mathematical and magical entertainment. This effect acts as a spring board into lots of other magic tricks! Ask to see one next time I see you!
The mathematical element to magic lends itself to corporate audiences who are often qualified in areas of engineering, science, finance, law etc. It gets the problem solving mind thinking and therein lies the entertainment factor for a lot of the Sydney corporate events I perform magic at!
Playing cards and calendars
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Or, if you know your playing cards… which came first, the calendar or the playing card? It’s thought that playing cards originated in China before 1000AD and made their way into Europe by 1360AD. Quite a while after the Julian calendar was conceived in 45BC.
52 cards in a deck and 52 weeks in a year
4 suits in a deck and 4 seasons in a year
13 cards in each suit and 13 lunar cycles in a year (believe it or not, Ethiopia follow a 13-month calendar, they stuck with the calendar that was amended by the Roman church in 525AD)
12 face cards and 12 hours in a day and 12 months in a year
Red and Black in a pack of cards – day and night
Add up all the numbers in a pack of cards from Ace through to King (Jack=11, Queen=12, King=13) gives 364. Plus one joker to make 365 days. And the other joker for the leap year.
Is that planned precision by the first card players in China or an uncanny coincidence since cards were born from a culture that revolved around the Julian calendar?
Maths for a corporate event magician
Like with magic, mentalism follows a process to deduce certain information and also lends itself to a mathematical mind. Usually requiring a good memory and often involves numbers and letters; it follows a problem solving process in order to take the audience on an entertaining journey. Take a 4-digit pin number for example. There are 1 in 10 digits (0-9) to guess from four times in a row in order to crack a pin. 104 permutations; odds which can be significantly influenced using mentalism and mind reading techniques.
Words present a tougher challenge: 26 letters in a combination of different word lengths. And as for images – let’s not go there!
In conclusion, maths is magical and magic is mathematical!
Understanding more maths can make life and nature more magical. Furthermore, enhancing magic with maths can elevate the magic experience and create memories that stay with you forever! So, if you’re looking to make your next event truly memorable, get in touch to see how my corporate event magic can help leave your guests completely entertained and thinking you are the best corporate event organiser in Sydney!