Electric room images
The Magic Gallery The Electric Room Mirrors Light and Lenses Moving Pictures Optical Illusions

What can you do with a mirror? Use it to brush your teeth? Do your hair? Your mirror can help with these tasks, but it can also be used to swap heads with someone or if that’s too much, just swap nose and eyes. Shake hands with yourself, confuse your mind with mirrors that play tricks on your dominant eye or use our true mirror to see yourself how others see you.

In the 'mind over matter' exhibit be amazed as you lose control of your right hand, or is it your left? This, combined with big lenses, bendy mirrors and our giant kaleidoscope is bound to leave you laughing and giggling if not a little disorientated. Don’t panic, if you are in need of escape there is always our ladder to Australia!

The Bendy Mirrors
The Bendy mirrors will reduce you to tears of laughter as you become super slim or get a long head and short body. You can also Swap Heads with a friend or Swap Noses in a live game of consequences.  With ‘Swap Heads’ you seem to change heads with the person opposite, by moving the light from your head to theirs.  With ‘Shake Hands’, you move your hand into a large half-sphere and the ‘ghost’ of your hand -or 3d reflection - comes out to greet you, an eerie experience!

Click here to see a video of visitors swapping heads- posted by them on You Tube.

Bendy Mirror
Shadow Play Shadow Play
Capture your shadow on the astounding Shadow wall.  Stand in front of a special photo-luminescent wall, set off the flash and strike a pose.  Your shadow lasts on the shadow wall for a couple of minutes, and then fades forever.  You can create beautiful patterns as you catch several of your shadows and layer them on top of each other, or strike a crazy pose and see yourself as others see you, but in silhouette.  Or follow the age old practise of creating shadow images of animals, birds and people and capture those on the wall – all in a flash of light.

The Liquorice All Sorts Mirage
This is one of our most popular exhibits- sweets that entice you but then you try to pick them up they are not there. Just about every visitor is intrigued by them, most are truly amazed, and like the best exhibits it is very simple.

Two concealed, opposing parabolic mirrors are put together and there is a circular opening at the top of one of them. The object to be converted to a hologram is placed in the concave centre of the bottom mirror. A hologram instantly projects up through this aperture, appearing to the viewer as a truly solid object. It is right before your eyes but you cannot touch it! These three-dimensional real images really blow your mind (and your taste buds).

The Kaleidoscope and Sir David Brewster
We have several fabulous kaleidoscopes in our exhibitions, including a fibre optic one which creates gorgeous changing patterns.
In the Kaleidoscope you can see beautiful changing colour images advancing and receding. If you lean into the Giant Kaleidoscope you see yourself reflected on and on to infinity.

The kaleidoscope was invented by Sir David Brewster, a Scottish physicist, in 1816. Kaleidoscope comes from the Greek “Kalos” meaning “beautiful”, the Indo European “eidos” meaning “form”, and the Greek “scope” meaning “to see”.

How does it work?
The kaleidoscope works using a minimum of two mirrors which run the length of the interior of a tubular casing. The number and type of reflections created depends on the number of mirrors and their angles.
Two- and three-mirror arrangements are most common. Two mirrors are set up in a ‘V’shape, with the third side blacked out. This creates a cathedral-window image. Three mirrors are arranged in the same formation, but using the third mirror to make the third side of the triangle, and create a continuous honeycomb of images. A case at the bottom of the mirror chamber allows viewing of an object or objects, and is sometimes removable so that the object(s) can be changed at will.

  What visitors thought
  Fantastic! Had such a great laugh.
Jane Norman, Fife

The whole attraction was fun and fascinating. Really well thought out and engaging exhibits. I particularly enjoyed the magic room as there was so much to do. I could have spent hours in there.
Visitor Survey

If I had to sum up the exhibitions I would say it is perhaps the best and most enjoyable fun filled experience in Edinburgh and definitely something for all the family - everyone is going to love this!
Visitor Survey

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