Los Alamos Scientists Say Magic of Harry Potter Is Possible
LOS ALAMOS, NM - Fans of the highly popular Harry Potter books will now have a chance to be whisked away into the magical world of Harry Potter - but they don’t have to go far to get there. The spellbinding city of Los Alamos, NM is host to the 'Harry Potter's World: Renaissance Science, Magic, and Medicine' traveling exhibit, July 14 through August 9, 2010.
An opening reception for the Exhibit will take place on Saturday, July 17th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Mesa Public Library in Los Alamos. The reception will feature music by Musica Antigua de Albuquerque, who will perform from 2 to 4 p.m. using Renaissance-period instruments. Hands-on activities and refreshments will also be available. Participants are encouraged to wear Renaissance-inspired or Harry Potter costumes. All events are free.
'Los Alamos is the only city in New Mexico that was selected to host this traveling exhibition and it seems like a perfect fit: the focus on the scientific and philosophical roots that inform the immensely popular series by J.K. Rowling is a fascinating angle for patrons and visitors of all ages in our community and region to explore,' said Carol Meine, of the Mesa Public Library.
The Los Alamos County Library System submitted an application, with support from several community organizations, in a competitive process to host the exhibition which will travel to less than 100 selected venues across the country.
The Harry Potter books are a gateway not only to magical worlds, but to aspects of the true history of early science and medicine. From botany (herbology) to chemistry (alchemy) to runes and codes (divination), author J.K. Rowling based many details of her work on scientific endeavors during the Renaissance era.
Scientist Dean Peterson, of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Superconductivity Technology Center, said that some 'magical' components of the Harry Potter books such as invisibility cloaks, mind reading, levitation and medical healing are not that far-fetched.
'Many effects described in the Harry Potter books and movies have now been shown to be possible,' said Peterson. 'Superconductors are examples of novel materials with properties that appear magical, but are based in science. Their ability to levitate objects such as broomsticks, cars, or trains has been demonstrated.'
Peterson will explain Harry Potter's magic by discussing research related to superconductors and how they enable levitation, at a lecture at the Bradbury Science Museum on July 16.
More compelling lectures, related to the Harry Potter exhibit, will be ongoing throughout Los Alamos and include a number of related activities and classes for all ages including:
• Now through August 27 at UNM-Los Alamos Library - 'Harry Potter's World: An Academic View of Science, Medicine, and Magic during the Renaissance' exhibit, concentrating on an academic view of science, medicine, and magic during the Renaissance, according to UNM-LA Library Director Dennis Davies-Wilson. Books from Harry Potter’s World Bibliography available for checkout. Call (505) 662-8240 for more information.
• July 16 at 4 p.m. at Bradbury Science Museum Lecture - LANL Scientist Dean Peterson will reveal the science behind much of the magic featured in Harry Potter books with his talk, 'Bewitched, Bewildered, and Believable: The Real Science of Harry Potter.' Located at Bradbury Science Museum. Call (505) 667-4444 for details.
• Fuller Lodge Art Camp DaVinci Frescoes and Focus; Harry Potter art classes for children. Call (505) 662-1635 for details.
• July 22 at 7 p .m Authors Speak Series with Dr. Eliseo ‘Cheo’ Torres featuring a discussion about the healing aspects of Curanderismo or Folk Healing in Mexico and the Southwest. Located in upstairs Rotunda. Call (505) 662-8240 for details.
• July 23 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Crystals” - hands on learning for kids interested in science, engineering and math at UNM-Los Alamos. Call (505) 662-0336 for more information.Visit www.la.unm.edu Community Education for detailed class descriptions. $50 per session.
• July 28 at 7:00 p.m. Alternative Medicine featuring a class by library staff member, Lizzie Eastwood, about how to find reliable online and library collection resources about alternative and complementary medicine. Located in upstairs meeting rooms. Call (505) 662-8240 for details.
• July 30 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. or 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. “Potions 101” - hands on learning for kids interested in science, engineering and math at UNM-Los Alamos. Call (505) 662-0336 for more information. Visit www.la.unm.edu Community Education for detailed class descriptions.$50 per session.
The Harry Potter’s World traveling exhibit, created by the National Libraries of Medicine and National Institute of Health, with support from the American Library Association, began touring around the United States in Spring 2009 and will continue until February 2011.
For more information on the upcoming events related to the exhibition in Los Alamos, visit this site.