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1. Lines of Energy (:37)

 

Clouds of photons circle all electrons. Electrons exchange photons with each other. The flow of photons create the lines of energy which we call electromagnetic fields.

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2. Mysterious Magnetism (1:40)

 

Magnetism ... its subtle force constantly shapes our universe, world and lives. And a conscious study of its power can give each of us a better understanding of how we can efficiently serve our highest goals. During our journey we will learn many more ways that magnetism plays in our lives.

We begin our magnetic journey with a piece called Our Magnetic Youniverse. It details our earliest attempts to define magnetism and the shocking discovery of its relationship to electricity.

Magnetic fields are to the metaphysician what sex is to the psychoanalyst. The analogy is a good one. Magnetism in our life is very important, but in most situations people prefer not to talk about it. Magnetism is simply too mysterious and elusive.

While magnetism puts its stamp on every form of radiation coming from our world and space, its effects are subtle and difficult to observe. This has created a lack of information which has up to now given theoreticians a good excuse to ignore magnetism. Today, that is changing. We are beginning to understand that gravity is not the only mover and shaper of our material universe ~ magnetism is also at work throughout our world, and the spiral arms of the Milky Way galaxy.

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3. Our Magnetic Youniverse: Discovery of Magnetism (2:58)

 

What are magnetic fields? What, for that matter, is magnetism? It’s a force that holds our child’s drawings on the refrigerator door, but it also affects the formation of stars, the evolution of galaxies, even our cells and nervous system.

Mention of magnetic rocks called lodestones, a magnetic compound of iron, appeared in Greek writings as early as 800 B.C., but for two thousand years little progress was made in understanding the phenomenon.


Michael Faraday
It wasn’t until the 19th century that physicists began to understand the mysterious force of a magnet. The notion of a magnetic "field" can be traced to Michael Faraday. The child of a blacksmith, he became one of the greatest experimental physicists of all time. A chance reading of the section on electricity in an early 19th century edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica stimulated his interest in science. He often sprinkled iron filings on sheets of paper placed over magnets and he would muse about the fascinating patterns the filings created. It was almost as if the filings were outlining invisible lines of force. He thought of these lines as defining a field pervading space around the magnet. A small compass needle would respond to the magnet if it was placed in this field of influence.

The connection between magnetism and electricity was first discovered by Danish scientist Hans Christian Oersted, when it was noticed that a magnet close to a wire responded when an electrical current passed through the wire. Within a few days he demonstrated that a magnetic field was created around any wire or substance carrying an electric current.

Within a few months it was discovered by Faraday that the opposite was also true: a moving magnet could cause a current to flow in a nearby wire. This discovery led to the development of the electric generator, which is the primary source of electricity on our modern world.

It is now understood that electricity and magnetism are intimately related. Today the Unified Electric Theory has led to the understanding of light and the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, which doctors and astronomers use to explore our bodies and the universe.

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4. Role of the Poles (2:45)

 

Among the changes that may await planet Earth in the relatively near future is a reversal of the orientation of its magnetic field, so that the north end of a compass needle would now point to geographic south. The geographic record indicates that many such reversals have occurred in the past and another flip-flop may be underway. Some scientists proclaim that we are already overdue for one.

Intervals between these reversals are quite irregular, ranging from 35 million years to several thousand years. The last known polarity reversal was some 730,000 years ago. During the past 150 years, the earth’s magnetic field has declined in strength by 10 percent. At this rate, a field reversal could occur in approximately 1500 years. Even with our present technology, it is difficult at best to predict these events.

In periods of heightened solar activity, such as the times of solar flares ~ which can increase the sun's radiation tenfold ~ the sun releases streams of highly energetic particles called solar cosmic rays. These cosmic rays have been linked to the formation of nitrogen oxides, which in turn can cause partial destruction of the earth's ozone layers. It is the ozone layers that normally prevent harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching the surface.

The earth’s magnetic field originates deep within the planet through complex interactions between its outer core ~ a thick fluid layer of molten iron alloy, its inner core ~ solid iron, and its rotation, producing a planetary dynamo. The earth’s magnetic field extends thousands of miles into space, forming a kind of cosmic cloak. The field is typically represented as lines of magnetic force that loop out from the physical South Pole and re-enter at the physical North Pole, forming the magnetosphere of the Earth. The magnetosphere is shaped by the pressure of the solar winds and generally maintains an overall bullet shape, blunt on the planet’s sunward side and then streaming out behind, forming the magnetotail.

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5. The Plasma Wind (3:01)

 

An average of four times a day, the entire magnetic envelope surrounding Earth contorts and releases billions of kilowatt-hours of stored energy. Such disturbances, called substorms, return the earth's magnetosphere to a more stable, low-energy state.

About one hour before a substorm, earth's field lines stretch and the magnetic tail swells as the merging of the solar and terrestrial magnetic fields transfers more and more solar wind energy to the earth's magnetosphere. The midsection thins in response, and plasma-filled field lines begin to squeeze together. As the magnetic field lines loop, touch, break, and reconnect, a magnetic bubble, or plasmoid is formed downstream. Jets of highly energized particles pour into the earth's ionosphere to power the aurorae.

During the main phase of the storm, the earth's stored magnetic energy is converted into kinetic energy through the merging of magnetic field lines deep in the magnetotail. This store of kinetic energy gives rise to one of the most spectacular and bizarre phenomena in the cosmos: the catapulting of an enormous egg-like structure of superheated plasma, away from the planet into space at speeds that can exceed two million miles per hour. The snap also hurtles electrons and ions from the magnetotail back toward earth along the magnetic field lines connected to the atmosphere at high latitudes. Bombarded by these electrons, molecules of atmospheric gases break up into atoms, emitting crimson, green, and purple arcs of auroral light in the process. After about three hours, the storm subsides and the magnetosphere returns to a less energetic state.

As the final set of tail lines meet, at the point halfway between the earth and the plasmoid, stupendous amounts of energy are released. Like a magnetic slingshot, the merged lines hurl the giant bubble of plasma ~ some 580,000 miles wide, and 92,000 miles high ~ tailward into the interplanetary space.

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Steve Suess (NASA/MSFC) prepared this figure, which shows the Sun's spiraling magnetic fields.

 

6. March 1989 Solar Blitz (3:12)

 

This year’s record solar flares created magnetic storms which collapsed the earth’s protective magnetic field within 12,000 miles of the planet’s surface ~ fouling satellite and ground communications, burning out power stations, triggering volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and disrupting the earth’s geomagnetic field.

Solar astronomers will not soon forget the events of March 1989, when the biggest flare in 30 years erupted on the Sun. Few people in the world realized it at the time, but during two weeks in March, the magnetic field that cocoons our planet suffered an unprecedented assault of wave upon wave of energetic particles from the Sun. The source of this storm was designated by solar astronomers as an active region 5395, a cluster of unusually bright solar flares in the Sun’s upper coronosphere.

The onslaught culminated on March 13th, when an enormous shockwave slammed into the earth’s first line of defense, the magnetosphere, with the force of a megaton bomb. The magnetosphere buckled and was driven back from its usual stand-off distance of 34,000 miles to within the orbit of the geostationary satellites, 22,000 miles high.

Radiation detectors on these satellites recorded wild surges as fast-moving solar electrons, protons and magnetic fields filled space that hours before had been calm. In the days following the March 13th blitz, earth’s magnetosphere continued to suffer hammer blows to its sunward face but finally held ~ 14,000 miles above us.

At the storm’s height, the magnetosphere had shrunk to half its usual size.

As the storm abated, the magnetic shield slowly inflated again. But there was more to come. For the next two weeks the chaos originating in active region 5395 did not let up. Several more times the magnetopause was driven inside the 22,000 mile geosynchronous distance: each time the onslaught was resisted.

Those weeks in March may have been earth's greatest test of its magnetospehric strength since human beings began to measure the influence of the Sun on our planet.

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7. Magnetism in the Biosphere (3:10)

 

Life came into being and has evolved in the presence of the geomagnetic field. The history of life on earth may have been governed throughout its whole span by a geomagnetic influence so subtle that it is only recently, we have even been able even to measure it accurately.

The geomagnetic field exists because of what goes on deep within the earth's core, and this field is additionally affected by extraterrestrial forces. The earth's biosphere, which is all the living organisms, and our atmosphere, react to these global magnetic and electric fields.

Living things having their own specialized needs attune their biological sensitivities to the geomagnetic field. Let's journey into the kingdom of the green diva ~ the plant kingdom ~ to get a sense of these sensitivities.

The Indian licorice plant is keenly sensitive to both magnetic and electrical stimuli; it is often used as a weather plant. Experiments have shown, licorice can predict cyclones, hurricanes, tornadoes, and even earthquakes.

Mugwort and chicory leaves will turn themselves towards the north magnetic pole. The roots of certain Native American cereal plants, and some weeds, consistently align themselves in a north-south direction, parallel to the horizontal force of the geomagnetic field. The germination of some cereals can be accelerated if their seeds are pointed towards the northern magnetic pole.

Vegetables grown in soil sifted with magnetized ferrous ore ~ magnetite ~ exhibit dramatically increased growth rates. And it has been demonstrated that thousands of volvox aureus ~ a tiny spherical plant, one of the simplest of all living organisms ~ can not only respond to a bar magnet, but also sense the lines of force in a magnetic field.

We are only just beginning to realize how the biosphere is exquisitely attuned to the energy fields of the earth. Forces do not have to be powerful, just appropriate. As we realize how sensitive living organisms are to these invisible and subtle fields of energy, we can only wonder how these electromagnetic fields of our power lines and home appliances affect our lives.

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8. Electrochemistry (1:26)

 

The scientific community seems at a crossroads on electromagnetic fields. Some researchers believe magnetic fields are much like cigarette smoking, a true heath problem that once was hotly disputed, while others argue that the associations between electromagnetic fields and health disorders are a meaningless statistical blip.

Scientists have several theories. One is that certain frequencies of oscillating magnetic fields, such as those from the 60 cycle current in homes and power lines, subtly interfere with rates of chemical reactions in biological tissues by upsetting the balances of salts or electric charges across delicate cell walls.

Under certain circumstances, the membranes of cells can be sensitive to even fairly weak externally imposed low-frequency electromagnetic fields. This should come as no surprise, as cells, especially those in the nervous system, make use of complex electrochemical processes in their normal functions.

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9. Magnetite in the Brain (1) (2:26)

 

During studies of bacteria that always face north, it was discovered that these tiny organisms contained a chain of tiny magnets, actually crystals of the naturally occurring magnetic mineral magnetite, or lodestone, as it has been called by ancient peoples. Further research determined these crystals to be present in the brains of whales, homing pigeons, dolphins, even salamanders, and we now know they are present in almost all types of living organisms.

Several conculsive tests with homing pigeons found this mineral tells the bird's brain the exact direction of the earth's magnetic field. The pigeon then uses this information to navigate with amazing precision.

Because the magnetic crystals are extremely tiny, they eluded scientists looking for them in humans. However, with the help of the electron microscope, magnetite crystals were indeed discovered in human brains. Biologists feel the particles probably play an orientational role and feel their discovery could help explain the link between cancer and the electromagnetic fields produced by power lines and appliances.

There is now persuasive evidence that under certain circumstances, power frequencies like those from electric transmission wires can produce a variety of changes in biological systems. Many researchers now call for the prudent avoidance of unnecessary exposure to manmade magnetic fields.

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10. EMF-Busters in the Home (1:45)

 

Because our modern society runs on electricity globally, there is no place we can go to completely escape manmade electromagnetic fields. Even remote areas have some exposure to these fields beamed internationally. However, as with other hazards, our greatest exposure happens at home, the place where we have the most control. Here are some things you can do to reduce exposure to manmade fields in your home.

Position yourself at least five feet away from the tv screen.

Keep electric alarm clocks at least three feet from your sleeping position.

Minimal use of electric razors and handheld hair dryers is advised.

Adjust your desk so your head remains at least six feet away from halogen or florescent lamps.

Stay at least arm’s length from your computer screen, and at least three to four feet from nearby terminals.

Move your bed if it is located near where the electric power line enters the house.

Remember ~ keep your distance from the most powerful emitters of electromagnetic fields in your home. Electromagnetic fields travel right through walls; an appliance in one room can affect the health of those sleeping in another room.

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(2)

 

11. Sea of Subtle Energies (2:28)

 

As you can see, we find ourselves in a sea of subtle energies ~ cosmic, planetary, technological and human. All these forces shape our personal experience, but not always in the most positive way. If we are to remain healthy and balanced, we must acknowledge the existence of these energies and work in harmony with them.

The geophysical, climactic, and political upheavals which we are experiencing today are physical manifestations of these subtle energies and are proof that our planet is in a time of great transition and stress. This is a time to slow one's pace and observe … a time to go within, stilling all voices along the way ... a time to breathe deeply and relax all tensions. It is a time to discover one's inner guide and teacher, a time to ask for help within … a time to listen and be guided, a time to let go and trust in a god force.

A daily ritual of inner communication and rapport with our higher or soul self will give us entry into the subtle realms and help us to work with these energies. It sill allow us to have a greater understanding of nature, its workings, and the role of this planet and the universe. It will lead to a harmonious relationship with those numerous forces of which we now know so little.

If we acknowledge the existence of these subtle energies, create a daily ritual of stillness and going within, and trust in a higher guidance, we will in time find ourselves magnetically attracted to that which creates balance and health.

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12. One Can Only Wonder (1:35)

 

We live in a swirling sea of magnetic forces, smaller fields contained within ever greater fields, expanding throughout infinity. As our understanding increases about the wonders and dangers of magnetic fields, a new picture of the universe emerges ~ one of a vast cosmic interdependence and connectedness. From first cosmic dawning to the last electron's feeble light, the whole universe is a complex of coils within coils, spirals within spirals, magnetic fields within magnetic fields.

The stars are interconnected with each other, exchanging particles and gases constantly, all flowing along magnetic field lines which are the arteries of the galactic body. The galaxy's coiled field lines diverge into intergalactic space where they ultimately connect to other galaxies. Do these tendrils of energy act as the nervous system of the universe, relaying information from star to star, galaxy to galaxy, on and on? One can only wonder.

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13. A Closing Message: The Magnetism of Love (1:25)

 

Love is a powerful magnetic force, in and of itself. In its purest form, love is unconditional and universal, and is demonstrated through service.

When we consciously begin to control magnetic emanations from the heart or solar plexus, outer spiritual accomplishments can be observed. The first step is to become "alone" by giving up attachments. This occurs through deepening the love nature to others and acting as a soul, rather than as a personality.

Whenever the forces of human intelligence and love are joined together, the magnetism of this action increases goodwill energies which are present. This union of intelligence and love creates an incredible power through which great, positive change can be effected.

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Learn more about the solar flare maximum that occurred in 2002

 

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(1) Magnetite in the Brain, for more information see Iron Biomineralization in the Human Brain
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(2) Adapted from "The Return of the Golden Mean" by Bernard Xolotl
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