Bibliographic Details

The science of Harry Potter : how magic really works / Roger Highfield.

Author / Creator Highfield, Roger.
Imprint New York : Viking, 2002.
Description xxii, 322 p. ; 22 cm.
Language English
Subject Potter, Harry (Fictitious character)
Science -- Popular works.
Magic -- Popular works.
Potter, Harry (Fictitious character)
Popular works.
Format E-Resource, Print, Book
URL for this record
ISBN 0670031534 (alk. paper)
Notes Includes bibliographical references (p. 289-295) and index.
Review by Choice Review

You look up in time to see your next-door neighbor leave for work on a flying broom. That's impossible, right? Highfield, science editor for London's Daily Telegraph, explores the possibilities of such things as flying brooms and evinces a real interest in Harry Potter as a unique fictional character. Of course, most Harry Potter fans probably prefer to wrap themselves in the warm glow of willing suspension of belief where magic is real and science need not apply, but Highfield uses the Harry Potter stories as a matrix onto which he very effectively pastes a most interesting discussion of subjects like time travel, cloaks of invisibility, antigravity, hallucinogenic drugs, biology, medicine, and the history of witches. In the second part, he takes a new turn and explores the gullibility of humans and our perceptual limitations. He discusses nuclear physics (the "philosopher's stone?"), research on longevity (the "fountain of youth?"), and the source of and desirability of human beliefs, ending the book on a discussion of the value of pursuing the study of science. A fascinating introduction to science and human perceptions of reality. Very useful glossary. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. General readers; lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; two-year technical program students. P. R. Douville emeritus, Central Connecticut State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review