The Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory, then

The critically acclaimed science journalist Roger Highfield wrote the book The Science of Harry Potter to attempt to delve into the scientific aspects that exist in phenomenon of the Harry Potter world. Included in the book are interviews with some of the world’s best scientists to try and identify the explanations behind the many adventures that take place throughout the numerous Harry Potter series.

Highfield explores the fascinating links between magic and science through these experiments, observations, and interviews.Highland discusses things like the anatomy of fluffy the three-headed dogs, how the discovery of cosmic "gravity-shielding effects" can unlock the secret to the Nimbus 2000 broomstick's ability to fly. He explores whether griffin the dinosaur is actually a “Protoceratops.” Other topics include question like if the biggest object lifted by Muggles is a frog at the Nijmegen High Field Magnet Laboratory, then is there no reason why the grounds of Hogwarts should not be riddled with super strong magnets?In one chapter, Highland talks about the sorting hat, which is able to read the mind of Hogwart’s new pupils and assigns them to a house.

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To try and explain how this works, the author talks about how Scientists have already developed what’s called a“Superconducting Quantum Interference Device “(SQUID). SQUID could potentially be “ arranged in a hat formation and placed on a person’s head, where they can detect the tiny magnetic fields generated by electric currents jumping between brain cells.” Scientists who spoke to Highfield claimed they have had only limited success in translating these magnetic signals into thoughts, but clearly is a possibility to be improved or even perfected in the future.In another chapter which held my attention more so then others, Highfield discusses how broomsticks, such as the Nimbus 2002, have the ability to fly. Topics such as aerodynamics are discussed. He also goes into detail about the fascinating concept of magnetic levitation.

I found his reasoning of exactly why the scientific theories make sense to be captivating, and quite convincing. “Sufficiently intense magnetic fields can induce a so-called diamagnetism in anything and thereby lift it.” It would have been interesting if we could have discussed this concept a little more in our class lectures, but I realize with such limited time we did not have the privilege.As I read more and more into the book, I realized that it is not really directed towards children, but more to teenagers and adults who enjoy reading about science. It includes a lot of names, ideas, experiments, and questions relating to the proof of how the magical circumstances in the book really can be possible.

The thoughts and ideas in this book are loosely based on the magic in Harry Potter. The ideas in the Harry Potter books.

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