Monday, January 14, 2013

On the similarities between Hogwarts and physics

My notes
I, like any self-respecting child of my generation, loved Harry Potter. We grew up with Harry Potter himself, and each new volume was a window into a world where anything and everything was possible. From candies that transfigure the eater into a canary to inexplicably evil dark wizards without noses, the Harry Potter universe seemed like a more exciting parallel version of our own.

A place where even going to school - in a castle(!) called Hogwarts - would be infinitely more entertaining than real school.

I used to wait for my Hogwarts letter. I thought that maybe, just maybe, it was all real. Maybe I could take Potions, Transfiguration and Charms instead of history, math and science. But my 11th, then my 12th birthday passed and I realized what I had known all along. Fantasy books are actually just fantasy.

The older I get, though, the more I realize how close I really am to a fantasy world. I may not be levitating things with a wave of my wand, but, wait, I am actually levitating things - with physics (heard of superconductivity?!)

In physics we write down mysterious symbols and equations, we manipulate them and bam!, the secrets of the universe appear. Phenomena are explained and all of a sudden I see from my cloud of mathematics the base of modern technology appearing. If things as real and tangible as the computer which I'm writing on appearing from math is not magic, I don't know what is.

Have you always wanted to go to Hogwarts? Learn some physics instead!

Endnote: Yes, I am studying for exams. Yes, this is procrastination. But how excited am I to go back to learning how lasers work again!

- The Wild Bazilchuk


  1. "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

    Or if you'd prefer, it's inverse:

    "Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from technology."

  2. Quantum physics- like looking at the universe naked.