We just heard Steinn SigurÃ°sson complain that there’s no science in Harry Potter, and therefore the book title The Science of Harry Potter is a non-starter. Jennifer Ouellette then leaped to its defense:
I think in this instance, I’d conjure the spirit of Arthur C. Clarke: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” :)
But then, that’s just the sort of viewpoint you’d expect from somone who wrote about the physics of the Buffyverse.
In a display of the kind of synchronicity one might expect whenever the system is large and the selection criteria are loose, Bee at Backreaction just pointed to a new paper on the arXiv, “Hollywood Blockbusters: Unlimited Fun but Limited Science Literacy” (9 July 2007). C.J. Efthimiou and R.A. Llewellyn declare their intentions as follows:
In this article, we examine specific scenes from popular action and sci-fi movies and show how they blatantly break the laws of physics, all in the name of entertainment, but coincidentally contributing to science illiteracy.
Movies under their microscope include Speed (1994), where projectile motion is thrown out the window; Spiderman (2002), which stretches Newton past the breaking point; Aeon Flux (2005), whose muscles really have to torque; The Core (2003), which just doesn’t float at all; Superman (1978), which ought to make a physicist’s head spin; X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), whose finale is cut loose from reality; and The Chronicles of Riddick (2004), which I haven’t seen.
Continue reading The Physics of Nonphysical Systems