Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy is renowned for its mystery and magic. What’s the truth behind it all? Is the golden compass actually based in science? How does the subtle knife cut through anything? Could there be a bomb like the one made with Lyra’s hair? How do the Gallivespians’ lodestone resonators really work? And, of course, what are the Dark Materials? Drawing on string theory and spacetime, quantum physics and chaos theory, award-winning science writers Mary and John Gribbin reveal the real science behind Philip Pullman’s bestselling fantasy trilogy in entertaining and crystal-clear prose.
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of Family & Relationships eBook: The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials|
|Release Date: 12-24-2008|
|Allowed Countries (hover)|
|Publisher: Laurel Leaf|
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The Science of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials
The secret of science, and
all the stars that shine
''She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.''
...her knowledge was patchy. She knew about atoms and
elementary particles, and anbaromagnetic charges and the four fundamental forces and other bits and pieces of experimental theology, but nothing about the solar system. In fact, when Mrs. Coulter realized this and explained how the earth and the other five planets revolved around the sun, Lyra laughed loudly at the joke.
However, she was keen to show that she did know some things, and when Mrs. Coulter was telling her about electrons, she said expertly, "Yes, they're negatively charged particles. Sort of like Dust, except that Dust isn't charged."
Science is explainable magic. If you were a time traveler visiting our world from the ancient past, you would think that magic was everywhere around you. Planes flying, cars moving, even frozen food would seem strange and miraculous. They are not strange magic to us because we are used to them and because we know they work by science, not magic. In ancient times, people were amazed and awed by things like rainbows and eclipses, things they had no control over. We still can't control these things, but we aren't scared of them, because we understand the science behind them.
In Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy, when Lyra visits Will's world, things like cars seem magical to her. And in Lyra's world there are things...