Potions 101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

PTNS-101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

Phase Transition: Sublimation

A few of my pure-blood classmates had never heard of dry ice before, so I decided to purchase some from the muggle world and show them how fascinating it is with the process of sublimation (where it transitions from a solid → to gas).

Dry ice is the solid, frozen form of carbon dioxide (CO2), which is a molecule that consists of one carbon atom and two oxygen atoms.  It’s colourless, non-flammable, and has a density of between 1.4 and 1.6 g/cm3.  As the surface temperature of a block of dry ice is -78.5°C, I made sure to put on my dragon-hide gloves before handling them to prevent frostbite.

As I placed the chunks of dry ice in my pewter cauldron, my pure-blood classmates gathered round in anticipation of my concoction.  I then carefully poured room temperature water from a watering can into the cauldron, and almost instantaneously, it started bubbling and everyone wowed in astonishment seeing it sublime into a gaseous state!

Since carbon dioxide is heavier than air, it created a cascading effect of overflowing the cauldron and spilling onto the table and floor.  We ran our hands through the gas, feeling the coolness flow between our fingers.  It was much colder than water ice and it didn’t leave any residue as it changed directly to a gas.  

At the end of it, they remarked that the Muggle world seemed phenomenal after all, but I assured them that the wizarding world is so much more astonishing. 

History of Magic 101 — Assignment: Lesson 2

HOM-101 Assignment: Lesson 2

Theories on the Origin of Magic

Of the 3 plausible theories of how magic came to be, the Theory of Hocus Pocus seems most likely.  There’s evidence, such as the Birch Bark Manuscript, supporting the idea that magic naturally started out of thin air.

This theory could very well explain the Theory of Uno Mas, which is the belief that all magic originated from one person: Uno Mas, meaning ‘The First Magi’.  Should the theory be proven right, that Uno was indeed the first wizard to use magic and the first to create a wand, and that he lived in the time of the dinosaurs and before cavemen, it still merely explains who used magic first but not how magic started.  According to the Theory of Hocus Pocus, it must have come our of thin air from a natural progression of magical tendencies.

It could also explain the Migration Theory, the view that witches and wizards lived side-by-side with Muggles for years, unaware that they had magic.  Many of the Wizarding villages that exist today were founded by the early witches and wizards who left the Muggles when the Descent of Blizz occurred (the Ice Age, in Muggle terms).  However, it is still the Theory of Hocus Pocus that describes the origin of magic.

Rather than focusing solely on who first used magic, it is much more useful to focus mainly on the first known uses of magic.  And this is precisely what the Theory of Hocus Pocus attempts to do.