Special Events: Magic: The Science of Illusion

Sunday, March 23

"Illusion is the first of all pleasures," Oscar Wilde once mused, and the folks at the Museum of Science and Industry seem to agree. MOSI's new exhibit, Magic: The Science of Illusion, awes audiences with visual illusion and then introduces the scientific concepts behind the magic. Via interactive exhibits, artifacts and films, visitors learn the basic principles of psychology, physics, chemistry, math and engineering that are used in the art of illusion. Showgoers participate first as spectators, and then enjoy a "backstage" experience where they learn how magicians manipulate these scientific principles to perform seemingly impossible feats. Highlights include "The Amazing Living Head," a talking, floating, disembodied head; "The Light and Heavy Box," in which a seemingly lightweight chest becomes extraordinarily heavy at the magician's cue; "Magic of Mind," a life-sized projection of famed mentalist Max Maven that predicts the audience's thoughts; and, perhaps most impressive, the "Rising Chair," in which a magician uses his powers to raise a chair and hold it in midair. March 22-May 26, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. daily, 4801 E. Fowler Ave., Tampa, $23.95 adults/$21.95 seniors/$19.95 ages 2-12 (includes a standard-length IMAX film and entry to all exhibits), 813-987-6100, mosi.org.