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Earth's Magnetic Field

emfWhy We Need the Earth’s Magnetic Field

We are all under the influence of the Earth’s geomagnetic field. Since this is good for us, it is appropriate to pose the question: How is this field generated?

According to the “Dynamo Theory,” first proposed by Albert Einstein shortly after he published his theory of special relativity in 1905, the Earth’s geomagnetic field is created by the movement of electroconductive fluid through the magnetic field of the Sun.

At extremely high temperatures near the center of the Earth – 1043° K – electron spin of iron atoms becomes random and non-magnetic.  Therefore “magnetized liquid iron” deep beneath the Earth’s surface cannot be the source of our planet’s magnetic field.  However, iron in the Earth’s liquid outer core, at a depth of approximately 2900 km, is a conducting fluid.  That is, the hot liquid iron easily conducts electrons. When such a fluid flows (with motion) across an existing magnetic field (from the Sun, in this case), electrical currents are induced which, in turn, generate a magnetic field.  The new magnetic field reinforces the existing magnetic field, producing a “Dynamo” effect. Dynamo is another word for an electrical generator. In this case, the dynamo refers to a magnetic field generator.

In summary, the Earth’s magnetic field is caused not by magnetized iron deposits, but by induced electron flow in hot iron liquid deep within the Earth’s core.

We can consider Earth as a gigantic magnet which forces compass needles all over the world to align with geomagnetic north and south.  Both north and south magnetic poles exert force upon one another. This force decreases as distance from the pole increases. Therefore, the strongest magnetic fields are at both poles (approximately 66 microTesla) and the weakest of the Earth’s magnetic field strengths is noted at the equator—the furthest distance from both poles (only 26 microTesla).

Several thousands of years ago, the Earth’s magnetic field was quite strong at 200 microTesla. Now it just manages to reach an average of 50 microTesla. Scientists estimate that even at 1,000 A.D., the field strength was still 100 microTesla.

According to NASA our solar system’s star, the Sun undergoes a pole reversal (or “pole flip”) every 11 years at the peak of every sunspot cycle.  The next of the Sun’s pole reversals will be 2012.

Earth’s magnetic poles also flip, but with less regularity. According to NASA data, consecutive reversals are spaced 5000 to 50 million years apart.  NASA states that the last reversal happened 740,000 years ago. With the progressive weakening of the Earth’s field in the last 1000 years we may surmise, by extrapolation, that there may be a natural pole reversal (flip or “jump”) sometime in this or the next millennium. Some researchers think our planet is overdue for another one, but nobody knows exactly when the next reversal might occur.

The Zero Field

Nature abounds with evidence of the importance of the Earth’s magnetic field for the health and survival of organisms. Whales, pigeons, geese, and even honeybees navigate by the magnetic field. Vegetation is highly responsive to magnetic fields. Apparently all mammals make use of the Earth’s natural magnetic fields for survival and health, based on results of studies of the zero field.

A zero field is a space defined as the absence of any magnetic fields.  It is a place where the intensity and strength of a magnetic field equals zero. Such a space is created by screening natural and artificial fields from flowing by the use of mu-steel (msteel).

In one study of the zero field, mice spent 4 months without any electromagnetic influences.  It was found that the mice aged much faster compared to age-matched controls who lived under exactly the same conditions with normal access to the Earth’s magnetic field.  In this study the mice blocked from the normal magnetic field had an increased tendency to form tumors. Furthermore, pathological changes were noted in the livers, leukocytes, kidneys and urinary bladders of these animals. Their fur became coarse and rough; their sex drive was significantly decreased. The mortality of these magnetic field-deprived animals was significantly increased overall the control group. (Warnke U. Der Mensch und die 3. Kraft, S. 136, Popular Academic Verlagsgesellschaft 1994)

The Zero Field and Flicker Fusion Frequency in Humans

In human subjects, who for reasons of safety were only allowed to remain in the zero field for a few weeks, important deficits in neurophysiology were noted.

The flicker fusion frequency is the point at which the eye sees an increasingly rapid flashing light as a continuous beam. Put another way, flicker fusion frequency, also known as flicker merging frequency or flicker fusion rate) is the number of frames per second required to reproduce motion in movie film or video. Early movies were typically shot at 16 frames per second (16 Hz), and the flicker was very noticeable. Today’s movies are typically shot at 24 frames per second (24 Hz) and high definition television (HDTV) is shot at 60 full frames per second (60 Hz).

Humans have a maximum flicker fusion frequency of 60 Hz (or 60 “pictures per second” seen by the eye,) (Winkler 2005) and a minimum flicker fusion frequency just above 14 Hz (or 14 frames per second). In other words, at frequencies of 14 Hz, most people can detect flicker.  It gets more difficult to detect flicker at higher frequencies. For example, TV is broadcast at 60 half frames per second in the United States.

The effect of the zero field on the visual system in humans is this: when exposed to a zero field, the flicker fusion frequency sank to a mere 8 frames per second (8 Hz) within a very short period of time. (Warnke, 1994)

The Zero Field and the Perception of Pain

Zero field studies show that a deficiency of magnetic field exposure lowers the threshold of pain perception.

Animals and humans have an endogenous opiate system that utilizes special chemical neuropeptides called endorphins. Endorphins are opiate-like substances with strong pain-relieving properties. Endorphins also elevate mood and trigger pleasure centers of the brain. Most of us are familiar with the “runner’s high” associated with endorphin release. Endorphins are so-named because they bind to the same receptors on the surface of the cell membrane that bind to morphine.[1] Hence the name “endogenous morphine,” or end-orphin.

When the body is in pain or suffering from emotional or psychological stress, large amounts of endorphins are released.  Endorphin release is responsible for the fact that people who sustain major trauma do not feel immediate pain.

In controlled experiments the deficiency of exposure to normal magnetic fields produced intolerance to pain in mice.  Mice that were allowed to have normal exposure to the Earth’s magnetic field exhibited no intolerance to pain. (Choleris 2002)

In human studies, the negative effects of depriving the body of normal magnetic fields were reversed by providing magnetic field strengths of a mere 0.5 microTesla. (Stewart L, Persinger M.  Int J Neurosci 2000; 100 (1-4): 91-8.) The fact that this analgesic response was reversed by Naloxone, which blocks endorphins, proves that magnetic fields stimulate endorphin release in the body. (Prato 1995, Thomas 1997, Robertson 2006)

Outer space is an environment very magnetically dissimilar to Earth. Beyond the Earth’s atmosphere (the “ionosphere”) there is a significant reduction in electromagnetic forces.  As the result of our growing knowledge of the beneficial health effects of the Earth’s magnetic field NASA, the Russian space program and others equip their space capsules and space suits with magnetic field generators to simulate those on Earth (50 microTesla).  Prior to the discovery of the vital importance of magnetic fields to health in space travel, and prior to properly equipping spacecraft cosmonauts were returning to Earth very ill, with all their strength and energy depleted.

Magnetic Field Deficiency Syndromes

After evaluating more than 11,000 human subjects Japanese researcher K. Nakagawa concluded that a large part of Western civilization is suffering from a lack of magnetic field—an epidemic of magnetic field deficiency—caused by the natural weakening of the Earth’s magnetic field.(Nakagawa K. Japan Med J 1976; 2745, December 4.) It manifests itself as chronic tiredness, insomnia, back pain and headaches as well as a lack of energy.

Is it possible that fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other disease processes involving pain and fatigue are, in reality, magnetic field deficiency syndromes?  Is it possible that  “new illnesses” associated with modern society are due to a deficiency of exposure to the Earth’s magnetic field rather than some chemical or hormonal imbalance, deficit or overload?  Do magnetic field deficiency syndromes exist?

Nakagawa has identified the fact that the human body requires sufficient levels of magnetic energy for optimal health. Our lifestyles, living quarters, modes of transportation and work environments are not conducive to receiving adequate exposure to the Earth’s field.

[1] Morphine and heroine are the most important pharmaceutical counterparts to endorphin and other endogenous opiate substances.

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