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There are many different materials suitable to make a broom, however only brooms that are made of broomcorn and straws are the most sought after. Note that all broom-squires are muggles and back then witchcrafts are banned, but let's get straight to my question: despite these brooms are aerodynamically flawed, why broom made of broomcorn can fly at much higher altitude than the straw one? A veteran witch who owned 6 of each brooms claimed the broomcorn flies at least 10 times much higher than the straw.

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    $\begingroup$ Brooms were traditionally made from birch twigs... $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 1:47
  • $\begingroup$ Weren't they also made from Broom (Cytisus scoparius) ? $\endgroup$
    – CSM
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 12:00

4 Answers 4

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The first thing you need to do is understand that flying brooms, being magic, are not constrained by the physical attributes of the bristles, but by symbolic issues.

Along this line, broomcorn grasses typically grow 6 to 15 feet high, as opposed to about 3 feet high for ordinary straw. So clearly it is in the nature of broomcorns to try to reach farther above the ground than straw does. Since the essence of flying is to rise above the ground, it seems obvious that the basic nature of broomcorns is better suited to flight than straw.

It also suggests that broomcorns harvested from the tallest plants will make the best flying brooms.

Oh yes, and make sure to get the symbolism right. Flying brooms are ridden with the bristles forward, regardless of what aerodynamics says. The reason is that the flying broom is a symbolic horse, and the bristles represent the head.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't see why the bristles couldn't represent the tail. So cultural variation, or even variation between individuals seems possible. Symbolism is all in the mind. $\endgroup$
    – towr
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 15:38
  • $\begingroup$ How do we harvest the bristles off the broomcorn if they are so high up? Checkmate atheists. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 16:15
  • $\begingroup$ But wouldn't this mean that straw obtained from places with higher altitude would fly higher? $\endgroup$
    – Josh Part
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ @JoshPart Nonono, that's just circumstance! It doesn't matter where the grass ended up, all that matters is how hard the grass itself is trying! $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 20:10
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    $\begingroup$ @towr - it's seen in making hobbyhorses for children from brooms. If the bristles are backwards, the toy horse is basically dragging its butt on the ground. $\endgroup$ Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 21:42
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Like Canvas vs. Metal:

Broomcorn is specifically cultivated for the stiff bristles they are able to be made into. Brooms made from stiffer bristles are best suited for outdoor sweeping tasks and are very durable. Straw, being softer, can be used to make brooms better suited for indoor use as well. while more versatile as a broom material, straw would naturally be less able to tolerate heavy abuse as the material is not as strong.

So to extrapolate this to the application of flying brooms, Straw would be similar to the canvas wing on a biplane - easy to work with, flexible, simple to maintain, possibly more maneuverable. Broomcorn would be closer in function to a metallic wing on an airplane - strong, rigid, potentially less flexible but well suited for high speeds and high altitudes.

To relate this to magic, the broomcorn fits the correspondence principle of sympathetic magic. The greater strength and rigidity of the broomcorn (as well as the name correspondence pointed out by Mary) mean the broomcorn would naturally be more attuned to high speed, high altitude flight. If aircraft exist in your world, this would only reinforce this tendency as the broomcorn would more closely resemble the metal wings of higher speed/altitude aircraft.

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It is like why a Stradivarius violin sounds so much better.

Maybe you can't tell that it does, you tin eared Philistine. Or you can't get my Strad you borrowed (I saw you wash your hands, so you should be good for about 5 minutes) to sound as good as I make it sound. Don't feel bad - you are you and you have to work with what you have got. Strads are the best. The old master had secret things he did that no-one can now do. I know because people in the know know. It is like my $10,000 titanium bicycle. It is really fast because it is titanium. Here, lift it! But first wash your hands again because you touched your nose.

So with the broomcorn brooms. Witches who know and understand broomery can get them to perform things that regular brooms just cannot do. All the cool witches have a broomcorn broom. Maybe they have some sort of second rate broom that they use for sweeping too, but real flying requires broomcorn.

You might propose to blindfold these high level witches and have them test various brooms to see if they can tell the difference. The witches who can tell the difference will not let themselves be blindfolded for such tomfoolery. The only people you can get to participate in tests such as these are other plebians (like you) and it should be obvious that such as these could not tell the difference, blindfolded or no.

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    $\begingroup$ Cleaning out the attic two weeks ago, we found an old painting and dusty violin. The Appraiser said what you have there is a van Gough and a Stradivarius. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 16:13
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The name is the thing and the true name is the true thing. Obviously broomcorn is what you make proper brooms from.

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    $\begingroup$ A good kernel of an answer, but (I think) would benefit from elaboration. $\endgroup$
    – Tom
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 2:00
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    $\begingroup$ If a tin whistle's made of tin, what's a fog horn made of? $\endgroup$
    – Caius Jard
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 16:09
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    $\begingroup$ ...or there's Wednesday Addams' classic comment about Girl Scout cookies... $\endgroup$
    – Martha
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 18:22
  • $\begingroup$ And let's not forget mineral versus baby oil! $\endgroup$
    – No Name
    Commented Apr 4, 2022 at 20:13

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