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Magnet Info

No. Venus (even though it has liquid in its core) does not have a magnetic field because of its slow rotation, making the liquid not electrically conducting.

Mars does not have a magnetic field, although measurements by space probes have found magnetically active spots because of the iron found in the surface rocks.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 02:05 AM | Permalink

People suffering with depression may have a new shot at relief thanks to magnetic therapy.

According to a news report, non-invasive magnetic pulses are being tested as a treatment for clinical depression, which affects about 19 million Americans.  The theory behind the treatment is that the magnetic pulses encourage the release of serotonin and dopamine, which affect the pleasure centers of the brain and counteract the symptoms of depression.

Clinical trials report that the procedure, which is performed in 40 minute increments over several weeks, successfully affects a third of participants. 

Posted by Jay Roberts at 07:20 PM | Permalink

This weekend, NASA's Cassini spacecraft will be treated to quite a show: the interplay between the magnetic fields of Saturn and Titan, the ringed planet's largest moon.

NASA calls the flyby scheduled for 12/12/09 "prime measuring time" as the Cassini will pass by at a distance of about 3,000 miles.

Cassini previously encountered Titan in 2005.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 11:16 PM | Permalink

German and New Zealand researchers have made an intriguing discovery about European robins.  The birds, which rely on magnetic orientation to help them navigate during migration, use part of the visual center of their brains for said magnetic orienteering, essentially meaning that the songbirds can 'see' the Earth's magnetic field.  The scientists deactivated the area in surgery, and then tested their orientation.  After the procedure, the robins relied on the sun and stars to navigate.  

The researches say that the findings can be useful in successfully relocating endangered bird populations or in student electromagnetic radiation.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 10:02 PM | Permalink

We're always on the lookout for new advances in magnetism, and this is certainly an interesting application of it.  Researchers have been tracking pollution using magnetism from an unexpected source - leaves.

It sounds like King Midas has been wandering around the forest, but truth isn't as fantastical as it sounds.  Smog, smoke and other polluting emissions produce iron oxide particles, and those particles have a tendency to get stuck to the surface of leaves.  So, in truth, it's not the leaves themselves that are magnetized, but the metal particles attached to them.

The study shows that foliage near highways is up to 10x more magnetic than wooded areas away from pollutants.  While there's not an immediate or apparent way to use the findings of the study to fix the environment, the potential for further research and data collection is significant.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 03:07 PM | Permalink

According to a pair of papers published in Science, researchers may have discovered the existence of a magnetic monopole.  According to the papers, spin ice crystals appear to exhibit tiny north magnetic points and separate south points.

The idea of a magnetic monopole has existed only as a hypothesis since Maxwell's work on magnetism in the 1860s, however inconclusive research over the intervening years has led many to posit that they do not actually exist. Since the 1930s, scientists have theorized that the discovery of monopoles could lead to a greater understanding of the quantization of electric charge.

Spin ices themselves are another thing that science couldn't prove until not too long ago (1997, to be exact).  The crystals contain 'spins', magnetic moments arranged on a tetrahedral lattice.  When spin ices become excited, the north and south moments appear to behave independently of one another as monopoles.  With further research, these monopoles could lead to advances in electric circuit design and the creation of magnetic memory.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 09:29 PM | Permalink

General Electric announced a new MRI machine this week that can make the the procedure more comfortable and accessible for two segments of patients – the claustrophobic and the obese.

MRI technology, or magnetic resonance imaging, uses a magnetic field to scan a patient and produce internal images of the body. MRIs are normally performed in a narrow tube because the machine's super-conductive magnets need to be as close to the patient as possible in order to preserve image quality. GE's new device, which was designed in the US at the company's Milwaukee, WI and will be manufactured in nearby Waukesha, features a wider table to accomodate patients with a larger build or patients who suffer from claustrophobia without sacrificing image quality. The new devices are in the same price range as normal MRI machine, around $1.5 million.

Read the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's coverage of the announcement here.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 09:26 PM | Permalink

If you're a history buff, or just are wondering about the history of magnets and how long the practice of using therapeutic magnets has been around, browse through this time line ranging from the first reported discoveries of magnets to today's therapeutic magnet science.

     2500-3000 B.C.The discovery of magnets was first documented around during this time period. There are several reports about how this happened ~ one is that they were discovered in Asia Minor in a land called "Magnesia", where the earth was full of iron oxide which naturally attracted metals to it. The local citizens named that special substance "Magnetite".

     2500 B.C. Another report is that there was a young Greek shepherd named Magnes who was climbing Mount Ida. He was wearing sandals with iron nails in them, as was common in his day, and he noticed that it was extremely difficult to lift his feet off the rocky mountainside. Mount Ida was found to contain a high percentage of "Lodestone", which is the first known magnetic material. Lodestone was named "Magnes" after the boy who discovered it and later became known as "magnet".

     2000 B.C. Chinese doctors continued the history of magnets - and still are today - by combining magnetic therapy with reflexology and acupuncture.

     350 B.C. Aristotle and Plato talked about the benefits of Lodestone in their work.

Cleopatra's Influence on the History of Magnets


50 B.C. Cleopatra, the first "celebrity" to use therapeutic magnets, slept on and also wore a Lodestone to keep her skin youthful.

     Middle Ages - Doctors used magnets to treat gout, arthritits, poisoning, baldness, to probe and clean wounds and to retrieve arrowheads & other iron-containing objects from the body.

     1400's A.D. A Swiss physician named Paraclesus recognized the therapeutic powers of magnets. He wrote medical papers on the benefits of using magnets to reduce inflammation in the body.

     1500's Dr. William Gilbert published one of the first books about magnetic therapy. He was also Queen Elizabeth I personal physician, and it is reported that she used magnets as therapy under his direction.

     1700's The history of magnets continued in the 18th century when Michael Faraday, the "Founder of Biomagnetics" discovered significant information about magnetic healing, aided by Dr. Mesmer [the father of hypnotism] and Dr. Samuel Hahnemann [the father of homeopathy].

The History of Magnets after the Civil War
     1800's - After the Civil War in the U.S., magnetic devices such as hairbrushes, insoles, salves and clothes were popular.

     1905 Dr. Kreft of Germany researched the beneficial effects of magnets on rheumatic disease, sciatica and neuralgia.

     1926 Dr Criles studied the impact of magnets on cancer cells.

     1936 Albert Davis tested the effects of north and south poles on magnets.

     1975 Isamu Masuda of Japan founds Nihon Kenko Zoushin Kenkyukai, the parent company of Nikken Global, one of the world's largest network marketing companies. This company changed the course of the history of magnets when it began its product line with therapeutic magnetic shoe insoles!

     1980's Other firms began marketing therapeutic magnetic products.

     1987 The history of magnets was again exploded when The World Health Organization performed a study that showed that there is no adverse reaction when applying magnets to cancer cells.

     1990 The University of Hawaii tested magnetic fields on patients with osteoarthritis.

     1992 Stiller and associates performed a randomized a double blind trial of wound healing in venous leg wounds.

     1999 New York Medical College tested magnetic shoe inserts on diabetic patients.

     2001 The University of Virginia tested magnetic mattress covers on patients with Fibromyalgia.

     2003 Nikken made an endowment of $2 million to the University of California, Irvine Medical Center for a renovated, state-of-the-art facility named the Nikken Imaging Center.

     2004 The University of Exeter and Plymouth tested magnetic bracelets on patients with Osteoarthritis.

Clinical research on magnets and their therapeutic value has blossomed in the last 10-15 years! Some of the organizations that are dedicated to this study are:

     The National Center for Compementary and Alternative Medicine. NCCAM is a division of the National Institutes of Health, which is the United States' top agency for scientific research on new or alternative technologies.

     The Magnetic Health Science Foundation, one of Japan's leading scientific organizations, is dedicated to research in the application of magnetism in clinical studies, diagnosis and treatment.

     The Bioelectromagnetics Society is an international group of scientists, physicians and engineers that promotes the exchange of ideas concerning the science of natural and applied electromagnetic fields.

Magnetic devices are now registered as prescribable medical devices in 54 countries worldwide.

Magnetic therapy is gaining popularity with athletes and celebrities [people who are known to be conscientious about their health] around the world. For example:

Shannon Miller, Olympic Gold Medalist and Nikken Wellness Consultant
Cherie Blair
Bill Clinton
Anthony Hopkins
Prince William
Queen Elizabeth II
Venus Williams
Michael Jordan
Andre Agassi
Jack Niklaus
Evander Holyfield


"Regular" people like you & me are rapidly discovering the benefits of magnet therapy also!
     In a 1999 survey of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis or fibromyalgia, 18% had used magnets or copper bracelets.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 12:01 AM | Permalink

Although the ancient Greeks and probably earlier peoples knew about magnetism and static electricity, not much was accomplished with these interesting phenomena until the Chinese began to use the magnetic compass for navigation around 1000 ce. Some of the basic laws of magnets were written down in 1269 and William Gilbert studied both static electricity and magnetism at the end of the 16th century. Then the subject was ignored by most scientists for a long time.

In the 18th century, Stephen Grey and Charles François Du Fay revived the study of static electricity, but it was not until Pieter van Musschenbroek received the first powerful electric shock (apart from those caused by lightning) in 1745 that the subject gained attention. Van Musschenbroek was one of the inventors of the... Read On........

Posted by Jay Roberts at 02:49 AM | Permalink

1. North poles point north, south poles point south.

2. Like poles repel, unlike poles attract.

3. Magnetic forces attract only magnetic materials.

4. Magnetic forces act at a distance.

5. While magnetized, temporary magnets act like permanent magnets.

6. A coil of wire with an electric current flowing through it becomes a magnet.

7. Putting iron inside a current-carrying coil increases the strength of the electromagnet.

8. A changing magnetic field induces an electric current in a conductor.

9. A charged particle experiences no magnetic force when moving parallel to a magnetic field, but when it is moving perpendicular to the field it experiences a force perpendicular to both the field and the direction of motion.

10. A current-carrying wire in a perpendicular magnetic field experiences a force in a direction perpendicular to both the wire and the field.

Posted by Jay Roberts at 06:06 AM | Permalink