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15 bizarre college courses

By: Laura Moss on Nov. 24, 2010, 12:25 p.m.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix scene

Photo: ZUMA Press

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The Science of Harry Potter

Can genetic engineering explain Fluffy the three-headed dog? Could antigravity research produce a flying broomstick? A class at Frostburg State University in Maryland tries to answer these questions and more.

In the Science of Harry Potter course, students analyze magic by applying concepts of physics, biology, chemistry and engineering, and they take a look at everything from the latest teleportation research ("apparating") to Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans and the science of taste. Physics professor George R. Plitnik says the class isn't all fun and games; however, he has been known to dress up as Hogwarts Headmaster Albus Dumbledore.