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 "magnetisation".

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 magnetisation.

Perhaps others would like to try this.

Mark Sylvester
United World College of the Adriatic, Duino, Trieste, Italy.
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