How Magnetism Affects Humans
How Magnetism Affects Humans
Researchers have discovered that prolonged exposure to certain magnetic fields can alter the electrical activity of the heart, as evidenced by an electrocardiogram which records restoration of electric potential with each heart beat.
Electric charges moving around can create magnetic fields, with magnetism also associated with elementary particles like electrons.
Magnetism is the force that causes objects to either attract or repel each other. Every substance, including humans, contains a magnetic field generated by moving electric charges called electrons circling around its nucleus of atoms and conferring each atom its magnetic properties.
Some living things, like bacteria and some mollusks, can detect magnetic fields. When this happens, these organisms use these magnetic forces as navigation aids; scientists call this phenomenon magnetoception.
The Earth is protected from solar particles by an impenetrable shield of gases known as its magnetosphere, however some particles do pass through and hit atoms in Earth's atmosphere, creating electric currents which produce light displays known as aurorae which can be seen both north and south hemisphere.
Researchers have recently discovered that certain metals, such as iron and nickel, possess magnetic properties. These substances are widely used to manufacture electronic devices as they create stable magnetic fields; however, when these fields become too strong, materials break down and electricity begins flowing through them much like in lightning strikes.
Medical researchers have discovered that mild static magnetic fields can have profound effects on human brains in various ways. These magnetic fields resemble those created by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce detailed images of the human brain and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), which delivers pulses of magnetic energy directly to specific areas of the brain to treat neurological disorders.
Human brains contain an internal magnetosensory system that allows us to sense changes in magnetic fields. Like tilted mirrors, this allows us to sense when magnetic fields move; for instance, when turning our heads. Stuart Gilder of Ludwig-Maximilian University Munich describes this system as being far more sophisticated. Studies have demonstrated that when exposed to strong magnetic fields, cells in our brains produce small electrical impulses when responding to changes in the environment - providing another important means by which to assess our surroundings.
Magnetophosphenes is the term given to this flickering sensation even in complete darkness, caused by brain cells responding to visual stimuli like flashing lights at a light show or airplane propellers. Researchers have identified which brain cells produce it. It turns out these are also cells which respond to visual stimulation such as flashing lights from light shows or airplane propellers.
These signals travel down blood vessels and through your nervous system, where they can affect behavior. When facing the magnetic north pole for instance, blood molecules carrying essential nutrients to your organs are more likely to travel along that direction rather than elsewhere due to its magnetic field.
Scientists have conducted extensive studies on turtle brains to verify these responses are due to magnetism. They discovered certain scenarios triggered a drop in alpha brain waves (produced when not processing sensory information). If humans also respond positively to moderate static magnetic fields, it would show we possess a full magnetosensory system.
The Earth's magnetic field does not directly impact human physiology; rather, it affects our electrically powered technology and may pose risks for pilots flying at high altitudes and astronauts living on or in space - however this risk stems from magnetism's radiation rather than direct effects on people using its technologies.
Maximilian Hell, in the 17th century, used carbon steel magnets shaped into body parts and magnetism therapy as a cure for ailments. His ideas inspired Franz Anton Mesmer who believed that body fluids had polarity that misalign between positive and negative energies caused diseases; Mesmer used external magnetic forces as well as animal magnetism from his hands to treat clients successfully.
Magnetism's latest application employs magnetic fields produced by electricity; these types of fields are known as Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields (PEMF) or Static Magnetic Fields (SMF). A recent double-blind study examined the effects of PEMF and SMF exposure in two volunteer groups - one receiving placebo exposure while the other was exposed to an actual 60Hz 12.5mT magnetic field for 32 min - on physiological changes and eight subjective symptoms, yet no reliable effect could be identified in either group undergoing exposure either way.
Magnetism is the force of electromagnetic energy produced by moving electric charges, manifested as electromagnetic force or energy fields. Magnetism manifests in many forms ranging from an electric current flowing in a conductor to electrons orbiting around an atom nucleus; even particles of matter contain intrinsic dipoles derived from quantum-mechanical spin.
When properly aligned, intrinsic dipoles create a flow of energy which can improve blood circulation. Hemoglobin molecules in red blood cells bind oxygen for transport throughout the body but if their positions become off balance they can become blocked; placing a magnet near the body allows hemoglobin molecules to align more efficiently and create an energy flow which transports it all cells at the same time.
Magnetite, an attractive mineral found in lodestone (an early magnet) discovered by ancient humans, attracts iron nails and metallic objects like magnetite does today.
Magnetic fields can also be generated by various electrical devices, like MRI scanners. A magnetic field, however, only affects its immediate vicinity; when placed near your head or within close proximity of it, however, it can trigger changes to your autonomic nervous system that cause nausea, loss of balance, or metallic taste in your mouth known as magnetophosphenes.