April 15, 2024

Film Theory: Doctor Strange Magic DEBUNKED by Science

Published June 12, 2023, 4:20 a.m. by Monica Louis

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Everything can be explained by science, including the "magics" of Dr Strange. Thor himself stated that they live in a place where magic and science are one in the same, and Dr Strange continues that statement. Today, I'm proving to you that the magics of Dr. Strange can all be explained with science.


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dr. strange you think you know how the

world works what have I told you the

reality you know is one of many cool

let's do it

hello internet welcome to film theory

debunking magic one fairy at a time

there's a hole in the hat for the rabbit

cards behind his hand duh there's two

people in the box

he's walking unpleasant glass I mean

honestly the only magic trick I truly

can't figure out is how Chris angel

still has a career in short everything

can be explained through science which

brings us to the subject of the day dr.

strange also known by its other titles

now you see me three we promised jesse

eisenberg isn't in this one or its other

other title conceptions in the trailer

we see a whole bunch of crazy images dr.

strange shooting out rings of green

lights from his hands manifesting

crystal walls lassoing light whips weave

it's the entire city shifting and

protruding out of each other upside down

sideways and diagonal seriously it's

like Marvel watched inception and we're

like what one upside down city tribe or

that is the power of Disney here's

the rub from the get-go Marvel has sold

its more fantastical elements as pure

science Captain America's the result of

a science experiment gone wrong the Hulk

is the product of gamma radiation

ant-man reduces the empty space between

atomic particles something we've already

debunked even Thor complete with his

rainbow bridges is explained away as

highly advanced technology your

ancestors called it magic and you call

it science well I come from a place

where they're one and the same thing in

fact this focus on science over

quote-unquote magic has been confirmed

by none other than the head of Marvel

Studios himself Kevin Feige whoa are you

watching the Cosmo series that's magic

it's unbelievable if somebody knew how

to tap into that stuff what's the

difference between that and magic sure

in the comics Doctor Strange derives all

his powers from magical and mystical

entities but Feige has stated the film

version will be a departure from the

comics explaining the doctors powers not

with magic but science again to quote

Kevin Feige there are a couple lines in

Thor basically saying that magic and

science get to a point where what's the

difference and we're continuing that in

Doctor Strange so by coming down firmly

on the side of science Feige has

revealed that actually everything in

Doctor Strange can be explained through

reason and logic but wholly rusted Iron

Man guys how do you explain away light

shields and upside down cities even

Feige acknowledges that dr. strange

doesn't quite know himself to use one

more quote from the guy particularly for

a character like strange who goes for

a man of science - a man of faith and

who traverses both worlds and sometimes

there won't be an answer sometimes he'll

want an answer how is this happening and

nothing well unlike Feige in the rest of

Marvel Studios I matpat from film theory

I'm not gonna be leaving you hanging

anymore Benedict Cumberbatch

explaining the strange magic of Doctor

Strange is my challenge today believe it

or not all of it is possible with the

power of quantum mechanics

so before we hop into analyzing the

movie let's start with a quick quantum

mechanics overview teaching you in a few

seconds concepts that overturned

centuries of established physics

knowledge basically up until 1900

scientists believed the universe ran on

a standard laws jump off an object and

fall to ground push an object to the

right and it moves to the right

ask JJ Abrams to direct a movie and

he'll fill it with a bunch of lens

flares and some big twists in the final

half-hour these are the fundamental laws

of nature but at the beginning of the

1900 scientists discovered exceptions to

the established rules specifically

subatomic particles like electrons and

neutrons the building blocks of atoms

these particles often contradicted the

physical world as we understood it one

of the biggest developments came in 1909

basically this was the year when Albert

Einstein proposed the wave particle

duality of lights in order to explain

some pretty funky results scientists

were getting when testing light in the

lab Einstein proposed that maybe light

sometimes acted like a wave which is how

everyone thought of it at the time but

then also other times acted more like a

particle just like an electron or a

proton it's a bit confusing but it's

important to understand for today's

episode so let me quickly explain the


imagine a calm pond with leaves on the

surface when you drop a stone into the

water it makes a series of circular

waves which when they reach the leaves

cause them to bob up and down but

otherwise the leaves stay in the same

position they don't actually follow the

wave it's the same thing with the water

particles the wave moves through them

but doesn't actually carry the particles

along with it this roughly illustrates

the difference between waves and

particles a particle has mass and other

measurable properties like charge while

waves don't waves typically but not

always need to move through some other

medium that's why for instance in space

no one can hear you scream

no sound because there's no air for the

sound waves to move through but that

brings us back to lights basically light

has shown itself to possess energy and

momentum which are properties of

particles and not waves and yet light

has no mass which is like rule number

one for anything that behaves like a


so basically Einstein said fine otball

hit what is very obviously a bad

rendition of a german accent which in

turn prompted physics to turn on his

head in 1929 Gilbert Lewis named these

massless light particles photons and

thus quantum mechanics was born so why

do we need to cover all that well

because photons and their crazy

properties are the basis of dr.

Strange's magical powers throughout the

film dr. strange uses light both as an

offensive weapon as well as a defensive

tool manifesting Mondelez of light as a

shield to move and repel objects

it's crazy rights though maybe not so

much you can in fact move objects using

only lights you know the wind blows into

a sail and pushes it forward well you

can actually do something similar with

light because as we just discussed light

has momentum so let me introduce you to

solar sails large light weight mirrored

surfaces currently being used in space

to move objects long distances basically

the light hits one side of the sail

which has a mirrored surface that mirror

reflects away the photons coming from

the Sun but in the process the momentum

of the photons is transferred to the

sail just like wind on a boat and in

space where there's no friction to slow

you down those small bits of momentum

start to build up and that's only one

way that light can move objects there's

also what's known as the photo phoresis

effect when an atom is heated on one

side by photons the gas molecules on

that side of the particle get super

excited we're in the sunlight we're

gonna get a great tan that causes them

to move faster and as a result they

bounce off that side of the particle

surface at a higher velocity creating a

force that pushes that atom away from

the light and this isn't just

speculation scientists have recently

tested the photo freeze this effect on

tiny objects moving nails beads and even

blocks with nothing but the power of

lights so how does this apply to eggs

benedict well throughout dr. strange we

see this on a massive scale for instance

in this moment from the trailer we see

the villain castelia Sehorne as the ball

of light that essentially

pushes the particles of dr. strange and

the rest of the building outward in

other words the front half of Benedict

heats up really quickly from the intense

light and the photo phoresis effect does

the rest causing a ripple effect as

objects repel outward towards lower

illuminated areas what's happening on

the atomic level is that the gases

around the Benedict's cumberbund face

particles are getting so excited with

this intense light energy that they

start hitting him with an intense amount

of velocity so much velocity in fact

that he gets sent flying against the

wall but photons aren't just limited to

moving matter they can also create

matter that's right objects made from

massless light particles seems like it

makes no physical sense and yet in a

recent study Harvard and MIT students

managed to coax photons to binding

together into molecules per scientist

Mikhail Lucan quotes they created a

special medium in which photons

interacted so strongly that they began

to act as though they had mass and

banded together end quotes the end

results like creating three-dimensional

structures like crystals sound familiar

well it should because dr. strange is

filled with crystal imagery

for instance when dr. strange first

meets the ancient one the first thing he

sees is light coming from a crystal like

pattern theirs doesn't make any sense

well actually dr. it makes perfect sense

the photonic light tangles itself up

with the atoms in the air so much so

that the properties of the atom get

passed on to the photons at that point

the photons basically become an atom

creating solidified light a light

crystal what you're walking through is a

light crystal that is being shattered

and if that just sounds like a weird

theory a weird scientific theory it's

actually happened in real life as a

group of scientists back in 2013 already

created solidified crystals made purely

of light forget Swarovski and it's

silver crystals I want my light crystals

and mind you this isn't the only crystal

image that we see in dr. strange either

with strange

practicing alone in this chamber the

first thing he magically forms is you

guessed it a crystal wall no accident

Marvel did their homework on this one I

don't know about you but knowing a

little bit more about the science behind

these seemingly magical moments makes me

appreciate the scenes in the movie a

whole lot more

it's just commendable filming guys hold

on and that finally brings us to the

moment that we've all been waiting for

how do they get those cities to topple

over one another in a strictly

scientific way the key here is to listen

to what the ancient one tells Doctor

Strange when they first meet me honish

Fuji she claims that there are two keys

to their powers harnessing energy which

they do via photons and then secondly

shaping reality this is a very careful

choice of words the ancient one doesn't

say that she changes reality just that

she's shaping it

thus reality doesn't change only your

perception of it does it's the essence

of a magic trick from the vantage point

of the audience the bunny really does

come out of the Hat the car disappears

in midair and the woman is cut into

Criss Angel gets paid to do whatever

Criss Angel does the magician has shaped

reality so the audience is led to

believe and the impossible so how do you

shape reality to create upside down in

sideways cities the key here is in the

Marvel logo which for dr. strange looks

like a pattern you'd see in a

kaleidoscope right well you are right

the patterns you see in a kaleidoscope

are one version of water known as

fractal fractals are basically geometric

patterns that infinitely repeat

themselves at smaller and smaller sizes

think of a snowflake and how the same

shape is repeated over and over in every

section of the flake well marvel is

dropping hints all over the place that

fractals power the universe of Doctor

Strange popping up all over the movies

trailer when Doctor Strange enters the

Ancient Ones layer he steps across a

platform modeled after a t-square one of

the most famous recurring fractal

patterns in history the light month

allow the ancient one first shows dr.

strange yet another fractal repeating

circular images even the roof above

Strange's head in the scene where he

wields his light whip is a fractal and

it's these images that serve as the

biggest clue as to how dr. strange pulls

off his greatest trick because you know

what else creates naturally occurring

fractals crystals we already know that


crystals create repeating images as we

see in this scene look closely and you

see that there's not just one but

multiple benedict cumberbatch mmm

be still my nerdy Sherlock loving heart

the upside down and sideways cities are

the exact same only at a much larger

scale these cities aren't actually

upside down or sideways they only appear

that way through a refracted repeating

image within a crystal it's important to

note that the upside down and sideways

cities aren't any different from each

other their exact replicas of one

another the same buildings the same cars

the same landmarks can be found in each

city that's because there's actually

only one city only our perception has

been altered so we see multitudes of

intermingling cities this also explains

why the cities start to distort at the

edges of the image these distortions

prove that what we're looking at aren't

actual cities on top of each other but

merely reflected images of one city

reality hasn't changed only its

perception has that being said how dr.

strange can interact and battle in a

crystal refraction is perhaps a theory

best save for another day

who knows maybe they explain that one in

the movie full disclosure this is being

written and edited edited edited edited

the week before the movie comes out so I

haven't seen it yet lastly if this scene

is explained in the movie and this is

all redundant information then screw you

screw you marble thanks for not inviting

me to an early showing of the movie you

invited markiplier does he have a film

channel no who has a film channel and is

talking about your movie me giving you

lots of promotion for your movie for

free me but new the sign fight matpat

who has to rewatch Andrey watch again

the trailer a bunch of times in order to

analyze the science of the movie it's

fine not bitter hopefully they don't

explain this in the movie otherwise this

whole episode might be a moot point

could be super embarrassing for me

alright I digress let's wrap this thing

up long story long if there's one thing

this video has shown is that Kevin Feige

'aa Ridge '''l statement is a hundred

percent correct that even though we can

explain away the magic of dr. strange

using crazy quantum theories the science

behind it all is in

magical and impressive whoever the

science researcher is at Marvel props to

you man in fact you know what here

actually let me look it up I just went

on a rant about being overlooked so I'm

not gonna overlook you science

consultant for Marvel Studios Adam Frank

astrophysics professor at University of

Rochester hue sir your name may be

overlooked by the millions of moviegoers

waiting for that post-credits warm a

joke Adam but today the millions who

hopefully watch this episode will come

to know the true magician behind the

scenes and that is you so thank you Adam

Frank for bringing accurate science to

some of the world's biggest films for

that it might not win the Oscar like my

boy leo but instead let me give you the

next best thing the theorists seal of

profound work hashtag thank Frank we're

with pride Adam as you've done your part

in making the world a slightly smarter

place with science and that is pretty

darn magical but hey that's just a

theory of film theory and cut

congratulations you're now smarter about

quantum mechanics in the Marvel Universe

impress your friends with those

knowledge bombs why don't you now if you

watch this long it means you probably

like the Marvel movies and if that's the

case then you've probably really liked

the Deadpool movie based on the number

of views it got you may have even seen

my Deadpool video about how to kill the

guy in case you missed it I'm gonna

leave a link to it right here but you

know what you probably haven't seen yet

wisecracks video on the philosophy of

Deadpool which not only has one of the

most click Beatty thumbnails in the

history of youtube I mean I love you

guys but seriously bright-yellow and

click me you've done me so proud but

also has some awesome analysis of the

movie tying it to classical literature

and dissecting what it means not just

for the Marvel Universe but what

Deadpool means for the entire movie

industry these days it's incredible I

was watching this video and I'm like

yeah that is awesome that makes so much

sense which is usually a good reaction

to have when you're watching a video and

that's why I really like sharing their

stuff with you guys because I love their

videos and I think if you like this

channel you're gonna like their videos

too these are guys that deserve way more

love on their videos so please click

right here on Deadpool's left buttcheek

to check them out

Deadpool will thank you for it he'll

also enjoy you rubbing your mouse over

his left butt cheek it will be very

pleasurable to him he'll probably make

some sort of sexual innuendo anyway with

that I'm done

next week we move away from Marvel and

move on to Pixar for a wall-e theory

that will decimate you I'm excited about

it I will never watch that movie the

same way again and honestly it was my

favorite Pixar movie to begin with so

I'm excited about that one hopefully

we'll see you next week post-credits

shwarma joke i don't know what the joke


i once again was not invited to the

early showing so there you go


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