Physical Magic is the magical discipline centered around the ability to manipulate the nature and properties of matter and energy. The many disciplines that branch from this group allow Magicians to manipulate heat, light and other radiation, sound, electricity, gravity, magnetism, and the structure of atoms.
This group is the area of magic that focuses on matter and energy. Physical magic is described as gruesome and disgusting by Eliot and Janet when Quentin and Alice are able to get inside the Cottage.
- Telekinesis: Eliot Waugh discovered his magical abilities when he was able to telekinetically push Logan Kinear in the path of a bus, killing him. Quentin Coldwater was able to cause a deck of cards to float through the air before forming a replica of Castle Whitespire during his entrance exam into Brakebills University
- Fire Manipulation: Alice Quinn was able to set a voodoo doll on fire in an attempt to cure Penny Adiyodi of the curse caused by the Virgo Blade.
- Cold Manipulation: Ice and cold-related magical proficiency. This is Janet's discipline. It allowed her to make animated swans of ice during a party, as well as utilize Sorrow and Sorrow, her twin magical staves.
- Flight: The ability to levitate, hover, and fly unsupported while having full control over trajectory and velocity. While not inherently a discipline on its own, this ability manifests naturally for Physical Kids and can be trained to varying degrees of proficiency by its user. Despite its frequent and casual appearance in the series, unsupported flight (flight without a physical medium) is said to be a Major Arcanum, requiring a high degree of magical capability.
- Phosphoromancy: Alice Quinn's discipline allows her to bend light to a number of effects. It's said to be a very clean and technical discipline, as Professor March stated. This form of magic can be used to refract light to render an area invisible, redirect and focus it to burn objects and to freeze single photons in mid-air.
- Mending: An innate skill to repair objects. This branches off into Major Mending, the ability to repair objects on a larger scale, and Minor Mending, the repairing of objects on a smaller scale. The latter is Quentin's discipline in the series, as well as a subject he teaches during his time as a Professor at Brakebills.
- Eliot Waugh
- Margo Hanson
- Quentin Coldwater
- Alice Quinn
- Kady Orloff-Diaz
- Charlie Quinn
- Emily Greenstreet
- Richard Corrigan