Extreme Science: Penny Shine

What you will need:

  • Frixion™ pen (can be found at Office Depot)
  • Paper
  • Heat source (lamp or lighter – use caution)
  • Freezer
  • Adult supervision


  1. Use your Frixion pen to write anything you want on a piece of paper. 
  2. Hold the paper over a hot lamp or other heat source.  Use caution.
  3. After the ink disappears, place your paper in the freezer to make your message reappear.

What is going on?

Note: The following explanation is copied directly from the companies web site

The secret behind the magic is in Pilot's proprietary FriXion ink. The ink contains three types of special micro capsules: A is the color pigment, B is the color-activating component, and C is what causes the color to become transparent when heat is applied. At regular temperatures, A and B are bound, allowing the color to show through. When you rub the ink, heat from the friction causes B to bind to C instead, making A ineffective and activating C's transparent qualities. That's how they make the ink virtually disappear!

Even if you tend to write with a heavy hand and create indents on the paper, the ink will erase so long as heat is able to reach it. The erased sections can be written over and erased as many times as needed. Because of its heat-reacting properties, the ink may reappear when temperatures reach below -10 C (under 14 Fahrenheit). It's best to not leave the ink out in hot cars or other conditions that may subject it to vigorous friction, or it may disappear.

Try this:

Try writing a message on a piece of paper using a combination of regular pens and a FriXion pen.  Now, hold it over heat and your FriXion writing will dissappear leaving only what was written in regular ink.  Just think, you could create a hidden message that would be seen by all but only read by those who know the secret to revealing it…..

Radical Rick

Extreme Science