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High power magnets question

  1. May 16, 2015 #1
    I recently purchased a couple dozen 1 inch round high powered magnets as a gift for my nephew.

    I was playing with them the other day and noticed a fluttering feeling as I put them near my heart... and noticed there were several parts of my body that I could feel repelling or pulling as the magnets neared them.

    I searched the Internet and couldn't find anything about this subject.

    That's why I am here.

    Anyone know anything that could explain these effects?

    There are about six points on my torso, my groin, two spots on each leg, one spot on each arm and my head.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 16, 2015 #2
    Very unlikely to be caused by the magnets.
    Last edited: May 16, 2015
  4. May 16, 2015 #3
    It's not my imagination.

    I put one of them on a string... you can visually see it pulling towards my body.
  5. May 16, 2015 #4
    To be more specific, the problem here is that you are operating/moving the magnets yourself. So, you know when they get close to the spots you believe react to it. That is the perfect recipe for a psychosomatic response.
    As an anecdote, when I was a TA in college, my department got a call from an older lady who was complaining about a boy who was pointing a laser pointer through her window. She said that whenever the pointer was on her torso, she felt the warmth.
    Problem is, laser pointers are by design so weak, they don't warm up things. Her response was a classic psychosomatic response since she saw the dot on her torso.
  6. May 17, 2015 #5
    Well, I didn't come here looking for a reason something I was perceiving is not real.

    Instead... I'd like some ideas on what it in fact may be.

    Just suppose for a minute what effects I think I am seeing and feeling are real and measurable as I think they are.

    I've never heard of magnets having that kind of effect on a body... yet there it is.
  7. May 17, 2015 #6
    Well, the problem now is, there *is* no physics reason to believe that for example a magnet can influence heart function. People step into MRI machines thousands of times per day, and the magnetic field intensities are around 1.5 Tesla. And they walk out of it completely unharmed. The strongest neodymium magnets you can buy are around 0.5T, right on the surface. Given that one's heart is buried under a solid layer of material (bones, muscle, fat), there's probably less than 0.1T at the heart even at the best of circumstances. That's already an order of magnitude lower than MRI machines, and those already don't do anything to the human heart.
    I know you've not come here to be told you're imagining things, but this is a physics forum, so we won't make up theories on the fly either. Magnetism and induction (the process of a magnetic field creating an electric current in something) have been established for over 200 years.

    Regarding the magnet being pulled towards you, if you wear clothes containing metal, that could possibly happen.
  8. May 17, 2015 #7


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    I suppose it might be interesting to see a video but I agree with what others have said. Were you sitting on a chair with any metal in it?

    Blood contains iron BUT it's mostly locked up in the haemoglobin which is actually diamagnetic...


    Have you ever had surgery? Google suggests that the vast majority of implantable devices made after 2007 are MRI safe (eg non magnetic). Before that?
  9. May 17, 2015 #8


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    Hang the thread from the ceiling, also from the same hook hang a plastic bottle on a longer string to establish a plumb line, take a photo of the magnet suspended off the vertical showing attraction to you.
  10. May 29, 2015 #9


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    Water is diamagnetic and is weakly repelled by a strong magnet. The effect is very small but can be observed with a shallow dish of water and a very strong magnet. Humans are mostly water. A number of other materials are diamagnetic as well. A vibrating feeling could be present if there are unshielded a.c. fields -- e.g. from a nearby power transformer or very nearby power cable -- near the strong magnet. The vibration would be of the magnet, however, and not of a body part.

    I work with a large superconducting magnet and have had people swear they can feel the field. They continued to feel the field even when the magnet was de-energized (turned off).
  11. May 29, 2015 #10


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    There's no reason to react like that. PF is a good source of practical and theoretical knowledge. When you "come here" with a very unlikely account, we are bound to be skeptical - which is how Science works. If you really want to prove or disprove for yourself, whether or not it is a genuine effect then you need to involve a simple blind test with another person, in which they have a magnet or similar piece of metal concealed in a container and you have to guess whether or not the magnet is there, based on any effects you may 'feel'. Progress to a double blind test and a positive result would be worth publishing in one of the Journals. Personally, I don't believe your experience was 'real'. Sorry
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