Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Electromagnetism and water.

  1. Aug 1, 2006 #1
    This is a problem that's been puzzling me for a while now, so hopefully somebody knows the answers to some of these questions. Can an electromagnetic field cause water molecules to move? Can changes in the intensity or location of an intense electromagnetic field cause water molecules to, even temporarily, change their momentum?

    The issue is that the Earth's E.M.F. is supposed to flip in the next decade, and with the Earth having such a significant surface layer of water, could that change cause the planet to spin slightly? There is a great abundance of evidence that Siberia was a temporate grassland only 12,000 years ago, and that it went into a rapid deepfreeze, which whiped out all the native plants and animals, creating today's Siberian wasteland. Are we about to witness a 10-15 degree shift in some, logical, direction?

    Hope to get some thoughts on this one.

    Peace,
    Sean Gratton :rofl:
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 2, 2006 #2

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    water molecules are polar, so yes, they will be affected by a very strong magnet (a falling stream of water will actually bend towards or away from a magnet if it's strong enough).

    As for what role they play in the Earth's spin, I cannot say.
     
  4. Aug 2, 2006 #3

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Sure can. Otherwise your microwave oven would be a doorstop.
     
  5. Aug 2, 2006 #4

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Total sensationalist crap. (File this in the same box as the "2006 Mars opposition".)

    It will probably change sometime in the next 10,000 years.
    It takes centuries, millenia or more to complete the change.
    It flips by first dropping to near null.
     
  6. Aug 2, 2006 #5

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    And during that 'near null' interlude, I want to be somewhere else... like very deep underground.
     
  7. Aug 2, 2006 #6

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Probably, you will (but not so very deep) :biggrin:
     
  8. Aug 2, 2006 #7

    Danger

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    If you spent any reasonable amount of time in GD, you'd know that I intend to achieve immortality. (And if I don't, I'm sure not going to be buried.)
     
  9. Aug 2, 2006 #8

    vanesch

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    That's now already 5 years in a row that I achieve immortality, so there's nothing special about it :wink: :rofl:

    (something tells me that I'm pulling this thread more and more off-topic, which I shouldn't do :blushing: )
     
  10. Aug 2, 2006 #9
    Anyway....

    Microwaves excite the vibrational modes of H20, no? I believe the effect on total drift velocity of a fluid is negligible. Water is polar, it has a dipole moment which can be affected by B field, but one must remember that orientation is is very important. 10^23 particles with random orientations will move around in random ways; no overall change to the Earth.
     
  11. Aug 3, 2006 #10

    DaveC426913

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    1] It would have to be a very specific freq. Not just any microwaves will do.
    2] The effect would not be to move the water,m but to heat it.
     
  12. Aug 3, 2006 #11
    Gulf stream changes have aparently been shown to coincide with changes in the earth magnetic field on occasion (historical). Im sorry but this is just hear-say as i cant be bothered to find my source.
     
  13. Aug 5, 2006 #12
    Funny that. The original message had to do with the effects of a magnetic field on the otherwise random momentum of the averaged water molecule.

    So we seem willing to grant that electromagnetism can 'move' water, based on the reliable refabrication that is the microwave oven, and we know that water molecules are highly polarized. But, be that as it may, given that the Earth's electromagnetic layer must drop to nil before flipping, it seems safe to say that there could be no possible transference of kinetic energy from the flipping field to the water molecules of the Earth, whether a spinning field can have an effect on the averaged momentum of a water molecule or not (regardless).

    Interestingly, in neuroscience we use positron emission tomography to map the brain, where, put simply, water molecules are polarized and released, causing quantifiable photon emissions, but, having done some research tonight, it seems obvious that the emission of these photons could not possibly change the overall momentum of the associated particulates, due to the conservation of momentum.

    But, given the evident macroscopic characteristics of water, I still can't help wondering how a polar reversal would effect the vast quantities of water available on our planet...not to mention the ice caps.

    :surprised
     
  14. Aug 5, 2006 #13
    The only issues here are that the Earth's electromagnetic field has undergone a 10% reduction in the last century, alone, and that phenomena in our universe tend towards exponentiation. :bugeye:
     
  15. Aug 5, 2006 #14

    LURCH

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    The so-called "caterpilar drive" proposed for submarines uses magnetic fields to accelerated water. The drive system itself has been proven, so the part relevant to this conversation is true.

    But the strength of the field required to ahve any noticable effect is far greater than that generated by earth's geodynamo. So no, I don't think te oceans will shift enough to have any effect one could observe without highly sensitive equipment.
     
  16. Aug 5, 2006 #15
  17. Aug 5, 2006 #16

    Gokul43201

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Actually, that has nothing to do with the polarity of the molecule. Water is repelled by a very powerful magnet because it is diamagnetic.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  18. Aug 7, 2006 #17

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    :bugeye:

    So my chemistry teacher misrepresented?
     
  19. Aug 8, 2006 #18
    I understand the polar nature of the molecule is what causes the water falling from a tap to be attracted to any electrostatically charged rod.
     
  20. Aug 9, 2006 #19

    Pythagorean

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    that's right, polarity has to do with electron bonds.

    electricity vs. magnetism.

    To save face, I'll just be taking e&m this coming school year. That should straighten me up; I thought for sure though, my chem teacher was using an electromagnet during our polarity section in general chem.
     
  21. Aug 13, 2006 #20
    Yes, I noticed this inaccuracy also. Polarity of a molecule has nothing to do with how it responds to a B-field. Electric dipole moments of polar molecules will align with an E-field...NOT with a B-field. The magnetic dipole moments (which have nothing to do with a molecules polarity) of molecules align with a B-field.
     
Know someone interested in this topic? Share this thread via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook

Have something to add?