The Curious Link Between James Watt and Harry Potter

Jan 18, 2021 0 comments
james watt harry potter physics fiction

James Watt was a Scottish physicist and inventor who was born on Jan 19, 1736 and strangely has a weird connection with Harry Potter films. Well, at least that's the intention of this post.

Just as Harry frequently has ache in the corner of his head (where he was scarred at birth), James Watt also is said to have had headaches all his life.

harry potter james watt physics fiction

Watt developed the concept of horsepower, a unit to measure the rate at which work is done. In his honor, SI unit of power is called Watt and one horsepower is 746 W.

A related meme had once gone viral on the internet.

harry potter physics james watt meme

Just the way actor Daniel Radcliffe said it did the trick.

Watt was also a pioneer in steam engine technology. He improved upon the old version and developed his own machine in 1770, which radically enhanced the efficiency and cost-effectiveness and ushered the Industrial Revolution in Europe.

In Harry Potter films, the steam engine plays a crucial role as it's what drives the Hogwarts Express. It was provided by West Coast Railways, a train operating company in Lancashire.


Plus, James Watt was Scottish and Harry Potter films have been majorly filmed in Scotland. In fact, Scotland is where J.K. Rowling began writing the books.

Watt was perhaps a magician in some sense. For example, he invented the copying machine in 1780, a technology far ahead of its time, similar to modern photocopy, but with ink. He also invented a machine for copying sculptures and medallions (like 3D printing).

His experiments in chemistry yielded chemicals with great industrial applications such as with good bleaching properties.

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Lily, Harry's mother, was well versed in magic; a distinguished personality who stood up to bullies like James Potter. Watt's mother, Agnes, was also forceful in character and highly educated. James Watt is said to have inherited his mother's intellect.

Summing up, it almost feels like James Watt is the inspiration for Harry Potter. In a way. Well, for physics lovers, who also happen to be Potterheads, this is just a very good news!

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