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Permanent magnet affects water?!!

Date: Fri, 30 Aug 1996 16:12:19 +0200 (METDST)
From: Mark Sylvester
Subject: magnetising water?

One of my students has come back from the summer with his IB Extended Essay
work for my perusal, and I find myself mystified: he claims to have
"magnetised" water.

He presented me with his apparatus: the outer iron armature of a motor, with
its coil in place, with the rotating part replaced by a plastic cylinder
with inlet and outlet tubes. Inside this goes a soft iron cylinder filling
most of the space, so that the water has to flow round it.

He presented me with his results: (i) he claims that the flow rate of the
water decreases markedly when a current flows through the coil (ii) he
measured density and refractive index and found no change after the water
had passed through the device (iii) he did controlled measurements of
conductivity and found a clearly detectable drop in this parameter after the
water had been "magnetised". The  water gradually reverted to normal over a
few days.

Next he presented me with his reference. This is a "normal looking" science
book in terms of density of text, diagrams and formulas. I am unable to
evaluate it beyond this because it is in Russian. The title translates
roughly as "Magnetising of Water Systems" and the author is V. I. Klassen.
Publisher is Moscow "Chemistry" 1982. The student is unable to explain very
clearly what he understands from this book, but says the effect has
something to do with the bond angle in the water molecule changing. I am
mystified and skeptical.

I've asked him to reproduce his measurements in our lab: in the meantime,
can anyone enlighten me as to what this effect might be? Is there a
reference in English, or at least a name for the phenomenon that I might
follow up?

Mark Sylvester

Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 23:50:18 +0200
From: Mark Sylvester 
Subject: magnetised water

Some time back (September 96) I wrote to this list asking if anyone had come
across the claim which a student had found in a Russian text to the effect
that some physical properties of water are changed by passing the water
through a magnetic field.

I thought I'd give the results of the measurements he subsequently made (for
his IB Extended Essay):

His experiment was properly controlled as far as I could tell. Distilled
water passed slowly (drop by drop) through a rubber tube connected to a
burette and was collected in a beaker. First a control sample was collected
with no B present, then the tube was placed between the poles of a strong
permanent magnet and the "magnetised" sample collected. The two B values
used were measured as 0.11T and 0.16T (using a Hall probe). 15 measurements
were made for each field strength.

Conductivity of the samples was measured with an instrument borrowed from
the chemistry lab. This showed a clearly distinguishable decrease of 30% on

Surface tension was measured with the traditional Jaeger's method, and this
took up most of the student's time: here there was an increase of 2% on

Perhaps others would like to try this.

Mark Sylvester
United World College of the Adriatic, Duino, Trieste, Italy.
Created and maintained by Bill Beaty. Mail me at: .