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I know someone had a question about whether or not the magic from Harry Potter had science behind it[1]. What I want to know, however, is what is the magical view on Muggle science.

What do wizards think about physics, and chemistry, and all of that?

Of course when they cast some spells they are able to "break science" (or go against it). However they are undeniably still bound by its rules at most times (wizards are still under gravity whenever magic is not involved).

So, granted some rules are proven to be very wrong from a magical point of view, many still apply, so do wizards and witches study those kinds of science? Do they follow Muggle advances and try to help?

Just wondering.


1: Is There Any Science Behind the Magic in Harry Potter?

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    "Magical" folk would probably look upon muggle science and technology in the same way muggles look upon magic. Any combination of mysterious, silly, scary, unbelievable, pointless, amazing, incomprehensible, primitive, quaint,... – Anthony X Jun 29 '15 at 3:24
  • @AnthonyX I feel, however, that muggle science would be looked upon with a lot less mysticism than we look at magic. Besides, while not all rules apply to wizards, many of them do (at least when they're not using magic), so they would actually be something they know to be true, but not unbreakable as we believe. For instance, gravity. While they can "break it" with wingardium leviosa, when you drop something it will still fall with ~9.8m/s^2 acceleration – AugustoQ Jun 29 '15 at 3:29
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    Would they be interested when they can 'bend' science so often? I imagine some few wizards may be curious, and would know many scientific laws, but understand that magic negates, bends or breaks them. The Department of Mysteries comes to mind now... do they study science? Or does JKR suggest that its studies go beyond actual science, e.g. studying love and time in a magical sense? – ThruGog Jun 29 '15 at 19:29
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    Answer: HP:MoR – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 29 '15 at 22:10
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There are a number of subjects taught as part of the Hogwarts curriculum that involve one or another branch of science, and lead a practitioner to a wizard-world equivalent of a Muggle scientist career. Some examples of these fields, along with the Muggle equivalent and some practitioners mentioned by Rowling, include:

  • Astronomy - astronomy (Aurora Sinistra)

  • Herbology - botany (Pomona Sprout, Neville Longbottom, Tilden Toots)

  • Care of Magical Creatures - veterinary science, zoology (in wizardspeak, naturalists are called "Magizoologists": Rubeus Hagrid, Newt Scamander, Luna Lovegood)

  • Potions - chemistry (Severus "I don't expect many of you to appreciate the subtle science and exact art that is potion-making" Snape)

  • Alchemy - physics (n/a)

  • Arithmancy - computational mathematics (Hermione Granger, Percy Weasley, Barty Crouch Jr)

These examples indicate that, while some fields like engineering or quantum physics appear to be absent from wizard society, there are varieties of science, primarily related to the natural world, which are studied and practised. So while we have no wizards or witches quoting their opinions on science, we can infer with some certainty that they were not opposed to scientific endeavor. The reason it's much more limited in the wizard world compared to the Muggle world is probably because there is far less necessity to know how to build bridges or computers etc, when you can harness magic to get many of these jobs done much quicker and easier (c.f. the essay "Why Muggles Need Electricity").

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