AND TECHNICAL ASPECT QUESTIONS
Many abductees are mentally traumatized by their experiences. Has
the psychiatric community recognized this alien caused mental
Yes. There is even a name for the syndrome now. The following is an
article about the problem and it’s treatment:
Post Abduction Syndrome
Description of an
Proposed by Rose Hargrove, RN
This proposal of a new and emerging syndrome will attempt to define
cluster of symptoms and behaviors that develop in some individuals
response to the alien abduction phenomenon.
Post Abduction Syndrome (PAS) (Westrum, 1986) is an anxiety
disorder that is closely related to Post traumatic Stress Disorder (APA,
1994). It is characterized by the reexperiencing of abduction
memories, fragments, or distortions of those memories and is
accompanied by symptoms of increased anxiety and by avoidance of
stimuli related to abduction memories or abduction related events.
affected person may experience levels of anxiety that interfere with
functioning in personal, occupational, or social areas.
The requisite feature of Post Abduction
Syndrome is the development of distinctive symptomatology in
to the experience of the alien abduction phenomenon which is often
ongoing in contrast to Post traumatic Stress Disorder or Acute
Disorder (APA, 1994) where the sterner is usually a discrete and
limited occurrence that is not repeated in the individual’s
in most instances is the result of the sense or memory of being
away by force or without consent by extraterrestrial or
entities and the associated physically intrusive or invasive
these alleged entities.
The Abductee will have a perceived fear of
or threatened death, serious injury (APA, 1994), threat to their
integrity. They may witness the abduction of another person, may
about or have close association with the abduction experiences of a
family member or other closely associated person. The person’s
to the events must involve intense fear, helplessness, or horror (APA,
1994). In a child or adult with underdeveloped personality
structure, the response may manifest as disorganized or agitated
Persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event characterized by
flashbacks (APA, 1994)
Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma (APA,
Denial of the event
Labeling the event something else-”black out,” being lost, etc.
Phobic avoidance of areas or situations where contact occurred.
g from sleep at the time contact occurred-sleeping in the
Emotional reaction to literature, pictures, or videos about alien
e.g. turning over books with a picture of an alien or UFO which may
include avoiding them. (Bryant, 1991)
Numbing of emotions and responsiveness characterized by inability to
feel intimacy, pleasure, or to express emotions-emotional
(APA, 1994, Bryant, 1991)
Diminished interest or less participation in previously enjoyed
May have a sense of foreshortened future - no expectation of normal
life events or normal life span.
May fear abduction with no return or lengthy abduction.
Anxiety symptoms that persist-hyper-vigilance, exaggerated startle
response, irritability, and panic attacks (APA, 1994)
Note: PAS differs from PTSD in that as the abductions may have
occurred since early childhood it is difficult to determine
the trauma began as in PTSD where [in which]? there is a discrete
and identifiable traumatic event.
Anxiety symptoms include but are not limited to: (APA, 1994)
Sleep disturbances — difficulty falling or staying asleep Hyper
vigilance Exaggerated startle response Sleepwalking Vivid nightmares
Panic attacks Alien phobia Restlessness Worry and rumination
Duration of the symptoms is longer than one month.
Specifiers - The specifiers may be used to specify the onset and
duration (APA, 1994).
Acute: This specifier should be used when the symptoms are present
for less than three months.
Chronic: This specifier should be used when the symptoms last
three months or longer.
Delayed Onset: This specifier would indicate that at least six
months have passed between the traumatic event and the onset of
Associated Features and Disorders
In contrast to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder where survivor guilt
may be present, there may be guilt at being different, or of
contributing to the factors that cause the abductions to occur
either to the subject or to family members.
The following manifestations of PAS may present:
Reluctance to enter into relationships.
Phobic avoidance of situations that remind the person of abduction
as: elevators, escalators, doctor’s offices, physician’s procedures
women avoid gynecological exams or become extremely anxious when
gynecological procedures are performed), dentist’s chairs and
procedures. (Jacobs, 1992) Persons with PAS may engage in avoidance
of medical care to the detriment of their health. Parents may
experience guilt and anger at the possible involvement of their
children or grandchildren.
Occupational difficulties-may have loss of job due to constant
obsession with remembered abductions activity and level of PAS
symptomatology. (conversation, Jacobs, 1999)
Self destructive and impulsive behaviors. Social withdrawal
Personality changes Panic disorders Agoraphobia.
Obsessive-compulsive Disorder or repetitive behaviors or rituals.
Depression Somatization Disorder Substance Abuse/Dependence-in an
effort to self-medicate to reduce anxiety or sleep which may start
at an early age. Constant searching for answers to questions they
may not be able to voice (conversation, Jacobs, 1999). Abductees may
feel some part of their psyche is alienated from itself due to
inaccessibility of memory of abduction experiences or partial or
distorted memory of abduction.
Some remedies abductees may employ are:
Joining fundamentalist religious groups (Bryant, 1991). New Age
spiritual groups. Self-help programs. Altered states therapies.
Repeatedly returning to areas where abductions occurred (Bryant,
1991). The person may develop an obsessive interest in aliens and
UFOs. (Bryant, 1991). The person may seek help from the
psychotherapeutic community only to be labeled as mentally ill.
Evaluation of PAS
Suggested laboratory tests (APA, 1994). Serum glucose, calcium,
phosphate levels, thyroid studies and electrocardiogram. Urinary
catecholamine levels may help exclude other disorders. Urine drug
screen may be useful.
Insomnia, trembling, muscle aches and soreness, muscle twitches,
clammy hands, dry mouth, generalized tachycardia and subjective
sense of palpitations, dizziness, hyperventilation or difficulty
breathing, urinary frequency, dysphagia, abdominal pain, diarrhea,
possible hypertension, in females gynecological problems, possible
positive pregnancy tests with unexplainable missing fetuses,
unexplainable appearance of strange lesions, scars, bruises, or
burns (especially genital) (conversation, Jacobs, 1999), abdominal
tenderness, abdominal adhesions, malposition of ovaries, joint or
back pain without memory of physical injury, sinus problems, and
possible eye irritations.
Specific Culture and Age Features
Young children may vividly recall monsters who come into their
bedroom at night. Children, adolescents, and adults may develop fear
of going to bed at night and fear sleeping in their own bedroom.
(conversation, Jacobs, 1999). Children might express their abduction
experiences in their art work or style of play. (Bryant, 1991).
Children also might express the fear that they might be taken away
from their parents by the aliens. There exists also the real
possibility the children could be taken from their parents by social
service agencies if parents openly divulge their own abduction
experiences. Often children report that they have been told by the
aliens that the aliens are their real parents. (This has been
frequently reported by children and adults re-experiencing childhood
memories and in fact may be a ploy to gain the child’s cooperation
as children of a young age are more difficult for the aliens to
control.) (conversation, Jacobs, 1999).
Children might harbor the
belief that they will not grow up to be adults. Children might also
be exposed to witnessing the abduction of their parents generating
feelings of shock, intense fear, and anger that their parents are
unable to protect them. They may also harbor the belief that they in
some way caused their parents or siblings to be abducted. Children
may grow up with a strong sense that they do not belong there and
that the Earth is not their “real” home, or that one or both of
their parents are not biologically related to them. (conversation,
It would be difficult to assess cultural variables as this
phenomenon has not been studied in mainstream psychology and in the
Western World persons who report their abduction activity are
usually regarded as having psychopathology (Jacobs, 1992).
the case of omit?] indigenous peoples, abduction reports are
regarded as a sign of contact with the spirit world or magical
PAS may occur at any age and the length of the disorder may vary
from three to six months to several years. The frequency of
abductions and the variable of conscious memory of abductions may
influence severity and resolution. The disorder can develop and
often does in the absence of other psychopathology.
Reduction of anxiety and treatment of depression are primary
considerations. In those individuals for whom denial is not
essential for the maintenance of a functional life-style restoration
of memory may lead to normalization of their life-style.
Hypnotic regression must be approached with great caution utilizing
appropriate screening and with an attempt to minimize confabulation
Currently hypnotic regression with a competent
hypnotist/therapist/researcher is the method of choice
(conversation, Jacobs, 1999).
A support system is an essential factor in the resolution of PAS.
Individuals with frequent and intense abduction activity may
approach normalization, however when activity is intense symptoms of
PAS may increase (Jacobs, 1992).
An important factor is sleep. Sleep disorders are a common
occurrence in the abductee population caused by sleep phobia and
very active abduction activity. Sleep deprivation when prolonged can
result in decreased serotonin levels predisposing the person to
clinical depression and compromise of the immune system
(conversation, Jacobs, 1999).
Most abductees are unaware of their abductions and those with
awareness regard their experiences as spiritual or occult phenomena.
the population of abductees that are aware of or suspect that
are occurring, some will regard their experiences as spiritual
another portion of abductees will view their experiences as
a portion of those will develop clinical symptoms of PAS.
American Psychiatric Association: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual
of Mental Disorders. Fourth Edition, Washington, DC, American
Psychiatric Association, 1994
Post Traumatic Stress Disorders: A
Handbook For Clinicians. Edited by Tom Williams
Disabled American Veterans, 1987.
Healing Shattered Reality:
Understanding Contactee Trauma. Alice Bryant and Linda Seebach,
M.S.W. Tigard, OR: Wildflower Press, 1991.
Secret Life: Firsthand
Accounts of UFO Abductions. David M. Jacobs, Ph.D. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1992.
The Threat. David M. Jacobs Ph.D. New York:
Simon & Schuster, 1998
How can I tell for sure if I have been abducted? I don’t remember
any aliens but I do get nosebleeds from time to time.
There are many signs that have been reported by people that have
been definitely abducted. Melinda Leslie has compiled “58 common
indicators of UFO encounters, or abductions by alien beings.”
Many millions of people, it seems, have had encounters with alien
beings. Many of those people do not realize that they are having
experiences because of suppressed memories. Their awareness is
to an occasional paranormal incident that seems to confuse them more
than anything else.
Some people are not ready to know for sure,
feel a deep need to know if they are involved with the beings.
This is a list of 58 common indicators shared by most UFO abductees.
It is based on known research on the subject and on personal
has been compiled to help you determine if you are an abductee.
course there may be other explanations for these occurrences and
this is in no way an absolute means of knowing if you are an
abductee. If you or someone you know does fit many of these traits
listed here, PLEASE seek the help of a qualified researcher of
therapist. This list is not in any particular order.
Ask yourself if you :
Have had unexplainable missing or lost time of one hour or more.
Have been paralyzed in bed with a being in your room.
Have unusual scars or marks with no possible explanation on how you
received them (small scoop indentation, straight-line scar,
marks, scars in roof of mouth, in nose, behind or in ears, etc.)
Have seen balls of light or flashes of light in your home or other
Have had a shocking UFO sighting or several sighting in your life.
Have a strong “marker memory” that will not go away (i.e.: an alien
face, an examination, a needle, a table, a strange skinny baby,
Have seen beams of light outside your home, or come into your room through a window. Have had many dreams of UFOs, beams of light, or
Have a cosmic awareness, an interest in ecology, environment,
vegetarianism, or are very socially conscious.
Have a strong sense of having a mission or important task to
sometime, without knowing where this compulsion is coming from.
Have a secret feeling that you are “special” or “chosen,” somehow.
Have had unexplainable events occur in your life, and felt strangely
Have had several strange psychic experiences - such as knowing that
something is going to happen before it happens.
For women only:
Have had false pregnancy or missing fetus (pregnant,
and then not)
Have awoken in another place than where you went to sleep, or don’t
remember ever going to sleep (i.e. waking up with your head at the
of your bed, or in your car)
Have had a dream of eyes such as animal eyes (like an owl or deer),
remember seeing an animal looking in at you. Also if you have a fear
Have awoken in the middle of the night startled.
Have strong reaction to cover of Communion or pictures of aliens.
Either an aversion to or being drawn to.
Have inexplicably strong fears or phobias (i.e. heights, snakes,
large insects, certain sounds, bright lights, your personal security
Have experienced self-esteem problem much of your life.
Have seen someone with you become paralyzed, motionless, or frozen
time, especially someone you sleep with.
Have a memory of having a special place with spiritual significance,
when you were a youngster.
Have had someone in your life who claims to have witnessed a ship or
alien near you or has witnessed you having been missing.
Have had, at any time, blood or strange stain on sheet or pillow,
no explanation of how it got there.
Have an interest in the subject of UFO sightings or aliens, perhaps
compelled to read about it a lot.
Have an extreme aversion towards the subject of UFO’s or aliens
don’t want to talk about it.
Have been suddenly compelled to drive or walk to an out of the way
Have the feeling of being watched much of the time, especially at
Have had dreams of passing through a closed window or solid wall.
Have seen a strange fog or haze that should not be there.
Have heard strange humming or pulsing sounds, and you could not
identify the source.
Have had unusual nosebleeds at any time in your life. Or have awoken
with a nosebleed.
Have awoken with soreness in your genitals that can not be
Have had back or neck problems, T-3 vertebrae out often, or awoken
with an unusual stiffness in any part of the body.
Have had chronic sinusitis or nasal problems.
Have had electronics around you go haywire or oddly malfunction with
no explanation (such as streetlights going out as you walk under
TV’s and radios affected as you move close, etc.)
Have seen a hooded figure in or near your home, especially next to
Have had frequent or sporadic ringing in your ears, especially in
Have an unusual fear of doctors or tend to avoid medical treatment.
Have frequent or sporadic headaches, especially in the sinus, behind
eye, or in one ear.
Have the feeling that you are going crazy for even thinking about
sorts of things.
Have had paranormal or psychic experiences, including intuition.
Have been prone to compulsive or addictive behavior.
Have channeled telepathic messages from extraterrestrials.
Have simply heard an external voice in your head, speaking to you,
perhaps instructing or guiding you.
Have been afraid of your closet, now or as a child.
Have had sexual or relationship problems (such as an odd “feeling”
that you must not become involved in a relationship because it would
interfere with “something.”)
Have to sleep against the wall or must sleep with your bed against
Have a fear that you must be very vigilant or you will be taken away
Have a difficult time trusting other people, especially authority figures.
Have had dreams of destruction or catastrophe.
Have experienced many things in this list, and recall your children
parents speaking of similar experiences.
Have the feeling that you are not supposed to talk about these
Have tried to resolve these types of problems with little or no
Have many of these traits but can’t remember anything about an
abduction or alien encounter.
Have insomnia or sleep disorders that are puzzling to you.
Have had dreams of doctors or medical procedures.
Additionally, the aliens will make mistakes you might spot, like
returning you to your home with your underwear or nightgown on
inside out or backwards. They have also returned abductees to the
wrong location, such as in the woods a mile from their home. They
returned my wife with her rings on the wrong fingers.
How can the aliens levitate people or cattle onto their ships?
Living creatures cannot be magnetized and lifted up into a hovering
UFO as abductees claim?
Living creatures can indeed be magnetized and lifted. A world famous
scientist has duplicated that capability already. A hundred years
you told anyone that machines could think or that men could fly to
Moon, they would think you were crazy. But those things have been
done as science has progressed.
We have not accepted what the aliens
can do using their advanced technology because it seems impossible
us. It is becoming possible. In April 2001 it was announced in the
that astronomers had seen signs of negative gravity (repulsion) in a
galaxy 10 billion light years away. Who would have thought that
negative gravity was possible? Einstein did. Now it has been
in fact. There are so many things that we don’t know. We are
The following article was written by Nobel Prize
winning scientist Andrey Geim. He has magnetized living creatures
like frogs, and even magnetized drops of water, then lifted them
The following is reprinted with the permission of The American
Institute of Physics and Andrey Geim. Copyright 1998, American
Institute of Physics.
By Andrey Geim
From Physics Today
Though it seems counterintuitive, today’s research magnets can
levitate seemingly nonmagnetic objects, thereby opening an
door to microgravity conditions. If you were to tell to a child
with a horseshoe magnet and pieces of iron that his uncle has a much
bigger magnet that can lift everything and everybody, the child
probably believe you and might even ask for a ride on the magnet. If
physicist were present at such a conversation, he or she -armed with
knowledge and experience - would probably smile condescendingly.
physicist would know well that only a very few materials, such as
nickel, are strongly magnetic, while the rest of the world’s
not; or to be precise, the rest of the world is a billion (109)
times less magnetic. This number seems obviously too large to allow
common substances (water, for example) to be lifted even by the most
powerful magnets; a billion fold increase in magnetic fields can be
found only on neutron stars. In this case, however, knowledge and
experience would mislead the physicist: In fact, all materials can
be lifted by using magnetic fields that are rather standard these
days. In principle, even a child can be levitated by a magnet, as we
shall see below.
FIGURE 1: LEVITATING NUTS - EXPERIMENTAL SETUP. The
object, in this case a hazelnut (inset), is placed in the 3.2 cm
bore of a 20
T Bitter magnet. When the field in the center is about 16 T, the
gradients at the levitation point (near the top of the inner coil)
right to cancel the pull of gravity at the molecular level in this
There, the applied field is about 10 T and the
becomes a weak magnet, having an induced field of about one gauss.
This implies a surprisingly large current (about one amp)
the nut’s shell, but the current represents the summation of induced
microscopic currents in atoms and is not dissipative. Thus, living
creatures are not electrocuted when levitating.
Our twice-cheated intuition
The photographs that accompany this article show a hazelnut (see
inset in figure 1, which shows the experimental setup), a frog
(figure 2), and a globule of water (figure 3) all hovering,
levitating- in a magnetic field of 10 T. This field strength is only
several times more than that of existing permanent magnets (about
1.5 T) and only 100 times or so stronger than that of a typical
refrigerator magnet. One need just open a textbook on magnetism to
realize that such fields can lift “nonmagnetic” materials.
Indeed, the magnetic force acting on a material of volume V with
susceptibility c in a magnetic field B is F = (MŃ)B where the
moment M =(c /m0)VB. This force should compensate the gravitational
force mg = r Vg (r is the material density and g is the
acceleration) and, hence, the vertical field gradient Ń B2 required
lifting has to be greater than 2m0g (r/c) (here we use “lifting” to
distinguish it from “levitation,” which means stable floating).
the readjustment of electron orbits in magnetic field, all objects,
“nonmagnetic” ones, exhibit diamagnetism, which determines the
possible limit of their magnetic response. Standard handbooks show
for the great majority of materials, the ratio c /r is close to 10-5
per cubic centimeter. Lifting such materials thus requires a
gradient on the order of 30 T2/cm. Assuming l » 10 cm as the typical
of a high-field solenoid and approximating Ń B2 » B2/l, one finds
fields of about 10 T are sufficient to lift practically any
Our intuition is twice cheated: First, we tend to neglect the
increase of the lifting power with magnetic field; second, the
field actually required to lift a piece of iron is just a few gauss,
than the field in the bulk of a horseshoe magnet. Diamagnetism was
discovered by Michael Faraday in 1846, but no one at the time
that it could lead to any appreciable effects.
William Thomson (Lord
Kelvin), referring to levitation as the problem of “Mohamet’s
had this to say:
“It will probably be impossible ever to observe
phenomenon, on account of the difficulty of getting a magnet strong
enough, and a diamagnetic substance sufficiently light, as the
forces are excessively feeble.” 1
Fields strong enough to lift
materials became available during the mid-20th century. In 1939,
Braunbeck levitated small beads of graphite in a vertical
Graphite has the largest ratio c /r known for diamagnetics (8x10-5
cm3/g); today, this experiment can be repeated using just a strong
permanent magnet, such as one made of neodymium, iron and boron.
Leaving aside superconductors (which are ideal diamagnetics), first
levitated by Arkadiev in 1947, it took another fifty years to
the possible levitation of conventional, room temperature materials.
1991, Eric Beaugnon and Robert Tournier magnetically lifted water
a number of organic substances.3 They were soon followed by others,
who levitated liquid hydrogen and helium
4 and frog eggs
5. At the
time, Jan Kees Maan and I rediscovered diamagnetic levitation at the
University of Nijmegen, in collaboration with Humberto Carmona and
Peter Main of Nottingham University in England. In our experiments,6
we levitated practically everything at hand, from pieces of cheese
and pizza to living creatures including frogs and a mouse.
Remarkably, the magnetic fields employed in these experiments had
already been available already for several decades and, at perhaps
half a dozen laboratories in the world, it would have taken only an
hour of work to implement room-temperature levitation. Nevertheless,
even physicists who used strong magnetic fields every day in their
research did not recognize the possibility.
For example, when my
colleagues and I first presented photographs of levitating frogs
(figure 2) many of our colleagues took them for a hoax, an April
FIGURE 2: A FREE-FLOATING FROG, in the bore of a 20 T
magnet, as in figure 1. Other than the disorientation that comes
weightlessness, the frog -or indeed any living organism - seems to
suffer no adverse effects from exposure to such field strengths, as
discussed in the text.
However counterintuitive the magnetic lifting of
seemingly nonmagnetic objects may be, there are more surprises in
store for the physicist looking into diamagnetic levitation. Try,
for example, to levitate a piece of iron: You will find you can lift
it easily with a horseshoe magnet, but you will not be able to float
it, whatever tricky configuration of magnets you design.
To understand this state of affairs, it is useful to recall
theorem, which says (as recently reformulated by Michael Berry) that
stationary object made of charges, magnets and masses can be held in
space by any fixed combination of electric, magnetic and
gravitational forces.6, 7
The proof is simple: The stable equilibrium of a test
(or charge) in an external field would require its total energy
electrostatic and gravitational) to have a minimum; but that is
because the energy must satisfy Laplace’s equation, whose solutions
have no isolated minima (or maxima), only saddles. Earnshaw’s
appears to be so thoroughly forgotten that on many occasions I have
offered schemes that would supposedly allow stable levitation of
permanent magnets or paramagnetic substances.
The original theorem
can be extended to the case of magnetized materials: Paramagnetic
substances cannot levitate (unless placed in more strongly
paramagnetic media, making them effectively diamagnetic). Only
diamagnetic materials can flaunt the rule.1, 6 Surprisingly,
recognized this back in 1847. Just eight years after Samuel Earnshaw
put forth his theorem - and showed qualitatively that diamagnetic
substances could be stably held in a magnetic field.
fails because diamagnetism, a quantum phenomenon, cannot be
approximated by any configuration of classical magnets, as
considered in Earnshaw’s theorem. Alternatively, one can say that
diamagnetism involves electron motion around nuclei and, therefore,
it is not a fixed configuration required by the theorem.
Just because an object can levitate does not mean that it will when
in a strong enough magnetic field. The right conditions are
subtle; for instance, even an increase of only a few percent in
field will normally destabilize levitation and cause the object to
diamagnetic object can levitate only close to an inflection point of
the vertical component of the magnetic field, 6 where d2BZ/dz2 = 0. Note
that this is a purely geometrical condition, which does not depend
on the field strength.
The spatial extent of the region of stable
levitation is typically a small fraction of the magnet’s size - just
2 centimeters for our half-meter Bitter magnet, for example.
Accordingly, the field strength must be carefully adjusted to
compensate for gravity at that particular point. If the field is
slightly weaker than required, the object falls; if stronger, the
field is horizontally unstable and only the magnet walls stop the
object from moving sideways and then falling.
A gentle touch or
airflow can easily destroy the levitation. Those who have tried to
levitate high-temperature superconductors would probably raise their
eyebrows, adjustments of both spatial position and field strength
are required since they encounter no problems. However,
superconducting levitation takes advantage of magnetic flux lines
being pinned inside a superconductor; this is what makes floating
superconductors such a familiar sight. Eliminate pinning, and once
again careful adjustments of both spatial position and field
strength are required.
Unique features, exciting uses
The idea of diamagnetic levitation is so attractive that, when first
learning about it, experimental physicists naturally start thinking
- if only
for a brief moment - about employing the effect in their particular
research. Indeed, superconducting magnets with a room-temperature
bore are relatively cheap these days, - a reasonable, basic setup
about $ 100,000. -making access to the levitation affordable even
individual research groups.
With respect to possible applications,
features of diamagnetic levitation are really unique. First of all,
levitation provides a frictionless suspension whose parameters (such
rigidity) can be controlled at will by adjusting the field profile.
feature makes it possible to design, for example ultra-sensitive
gravimeters and other geophysical equipment where sensitivity to
variations in the gravitational field is required.
Along with the
simplicity and flexibility of such instruments, the absence of flux
and the possibility of incorporating optical detection schemes make
them an attractive alternative to devices based on superconducting
The most distinctive advantage of room-temperature diamagnetic
levitation, however, is that - unlike any other known or feasible
technique including superconducting levitation
9 - the suspension is
distributed uniformly over the bulk. In fact, for a homogeneous
in a field with profile B2 µ z, gravity is canceled on the level of
individual atoms and molecules, which makes it possible to closely
simulate microgravity conditions right here on Earth.
mind that this is still not an ideal weightlessness: Deviations are
(1) an unavoidable field gradient in the horizontal direction
(because Ń B=0)
(2) a distortion of the field by the presence of a
magnetized object (on the order of m , or 10-5)
(3) a possible
anisotropy of the diamagnetic susceptibility
Nevertheless, for a
multitude of applications, the simplicity and accessibility of such
ground-based “space” research outweighs the possible complications
with these relatively small corrections. After all, the simulated
microgravity is as close as we can - probably ever - approach science
fiction’s antigravity machine.
Watching a levitating water drop in a
magnet (as in figure 3), one inevitably starts thinking about
weightless fluid dynamics, not on board a space shuttle
10 but simply
laboratory. Containerless crystal growth, also a frequent subject of
space research, is another obvious application to consider.
Or take, for
example, diamagnetically suspended gyroscopes. In our own recent
experiment, we could observe Earth’s rotation using a small plastic
ball levitated in a-magnet and spun by a laser beam. Not a great
achievement in itself, but already our first attempt has shown error
drifts of just 0.1% of Earth’s rotation, a record low for any type
Figure 3: WEIGHTLESS FLUID DYNAMICS
is one area in which research might exploit magnetic levitation,
as exemplified by this hovering globule of water.
Magnetic microgravity seems to
well even for complex biological systems. Several groups of
biophysicists, - such as those led by James Valles of Brown
Karl Hasenstein of the University of Southwestern Louisiana and
Braun of the University of Bonn (Germany) , have already begun
of plant and animal responses to such magnetically simulated
Biological systems are astonishingly homogeneous with
respect to diamagnetic levitation: Seemingly diverse components such
water, tissues, bones and blood differ in their values of c /r by
several percent,11 which implies that gravity is compensated to
than 0.1g throughout a complex living organism. Further, even if
paramagnetic molecules and ions are present, as in blood, they
only to the average susceptibility; their strong response to the
smeared out by temperature (mBB << kT), Brownian motion and a much
stronger coupling to the surrounding diamagnetic molecules.11
the alignment of very long biomolecules along the field direction is
magnetic effect most likely to obscure true microgravity in complex
systems.12 Fortunately, one can always check for this and other nonmicrogravity effects by placing a system in an identical, but
horizontal, field gradient or in a homogeneous field of the same
An interesting example of how the diamagnetic force can be exploited
an attempt to show that in space a magnetic field can replace
gravity as a
guide for plant growth: A germinating seed needs to know in which
direction to grow so that it can successfully emerge from the soil
its limited resources are exhausted. Hasenstein’s ground-based
experiments13 indicate that even a small permanent magnet can
provide enough guidance for a growing plant on board of a spaceship.
As for possible, and as yet unknown, adverse effects of strong a
4 constant magnetic fields on living systems (a subject of interest
own), such effects are unlikely to be strong. In researching medical
applications, volunteers have spent up to 40 hours inside Tesla
whole-body magnet without any obvious ill effects11 and further similar
experiments currently under way at Ohio State University also
indicate no danger at least up to 8 T, according to John Schenck
from the General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center,
in Schenectady, New York.
So, when the researchers from Brown
University found an abnormal development of frog embryos in
artificial microgravity, they probably rightly attributed it to the
influence of weightlessness rather than to the magnetic field.
Finally, let us return to the child who wanted to levitate. However
provocative, it is instructive to discuss this possibility: After
leader of a religious sect in England offered 1 million pounds for a
machine to levitate him in front of his congregation.14
field required to keep a uniform value of ŃB2 increases with volume.
The existing Bitter and superconducting magnets are capable of
levitating objects a few centimeters in diameter. According to
magnet designers from the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in
Tallahassee, Florida, existing technology can accommodate objects up
to about 15 cm.
However, levitating a human would require a special
racetrack magnet of almost 40 Tesla and about one GW of continuous
power consumption. So, while the use of diamagnetic levitation is
bound to become increasingly popular among scientists, the child and
the priest will perhaps have to use less impressive but more
conventional methods of levitation like a helicopter.
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and Magnetism, London, MacMillan (1872)
2. W. Braunbeck, Z. Phys. 112, 735 (1939).
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4. M.A.Weilert, D.L.Whitaker, H.J.Maris, G.M.Seidel, Phys.Rev. Lett.
77, 4840 (1996).
5. J.M.Valles, K. Lin, J.M. Denegre and K.L. Mowry, Biophys. J. 73,
6. M.V.Berry , A.K.Geim, Eur. J. Phys. 18, 307 (1997).
7. T.B. Jones, J.App.Phys. 50, 5057 (1979).
8. D.E.Smylie, Science 255, 1678 (1992).
9. E.H. Brandt, Science 243, 349 (1989).
10. R.E.Apfel et al, Phys. Rev. Lett. 78, 1912 (1997).
11. J.F. Schenck, Annals NY Acad. Sci. 649, 285 (1992).
12. For a review, see G. Maret, Physica B 164, 205 (1990).
13. O.A. Kuznetsov, K.H.
Hasenstein, Planta 198, 87 (1996).
14. To see the letter, visit
the World Wide Web.
I think I am being abducted on a recurring basis but my memories are
suppressed and when I sense someone in my bedroom, I am paralyzed
with fear and can’t move. Is there some way I can find out if this
is something other than bad dreams?
If you think you are having night visitors of the alien persuasion,
there are some things you can do to confirm it. There are police
equipment supply companies that sell spray cans of a clear fast
drying compound that glows under a black light. The spray is usually
used to catch employees red handed who are suspected of stealing
from a company if they touch something they are not supposed to.
you sprayed that material on your bedroom floor, it would show
tracks both in and out of your bedroom under a black light. A
cheaper way to do it would be to use talcum powder. If it was
disturbed or tracked around by strange feet, you will have your
answer as to visitors. The talcum powder is visible though.
could evade it by floating if they saw it and figured out what you
were up to. If you have any of the classic abduction symptoms (nose
or ear bleeding, strange body bruises or marks) there is a strong
probability you are being abducted. Going through a hypnotic
regression session with a qualified hypnotherapist will usually
reveal hidden abduction memories.
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