The Science of Harry Potter Explained

The “Harry Potter” book and film series is one of the most popular entertainment franchises of all time.  But did you know there’s science behind all the series’ most important features?

How does Harry’s wand work?

MAGIC.  Even though Harry uses a variety of wands throughout the series, they all work by invoking the same basic scientific principle – wave a stick at something, defy the laws of nature, and presto! You’ve got your magic spell.

How do brooms fly?

MAGIC. Brooms are a cleaning tool made of stiff fibers attached to a long stiff handle, usually made of wood.  Neither wood nor fibers are capable of flight, much less supporting the weight of a fully grown human.  So when you say Harry Potter flying around out there, just remember – it has nothing to do with the broom, it’s all just the miracle of magic!

How does veritaserum work?

MAGIC. Many types of “truth serums” like sodium pentothal and amobarbital are barbituates which interfere with the brain’s cortical functioning.  Some psychiatrists believe that lying is more complex than telling the truth, and therefore suppression of the higher cortical functions leads to the subject telling the truth.  While traditional truth-drugs might make subjects loquacious and cooperative with a questioner, the reliability of these methods is unknown.  Veritaserum on teh other hand is 100% effective.  Unlike other so-called truth-drugs, veritaserum bypasses the brain entirely, makes a mockery of science, and works through magic and chicanery.

How does Wizard money work?

The gold standard.

How does Muggle money work?

The fiat money system.  (So, in other words, MAGIC!)

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