Ions and magnetic magic

If you will take a closer look at all of the posts that are already here, you will see that we are mainly focusing on bringing you some knowledge, facts and news about the rare earths, their application and recovery. You will also see, appearing from time to time, some information about magnets, their varied applications and recycling processes. They definitely are a source rich in many interesting elements that can be recovered and used again, but have you been ever wondering how the generated by them magnetic field can act on different matter? Do you know how a magnetic field can be powerful? What it can modify, influence, cause? The story hidden behind a small, shiny and shaply cube that you can normally see is much deeper that you can imagine…and believe me, there is a magic in it!

Today, I would like to take you…under water. No worries! it will be just for a while, and you will not get wet, promise! Why water? Because this is the most mysterious thing ever! Especially, exposed to an external magnetic field generated either by simple permanent or high-tech superconducting magnets. I would guess here that thinking about water itself you can barely imagine any relation with it and magnetic field; I mean: you put water between the poles of a magnet, and what do you see? Nothing! I agree, but can you imagine that there are many processes going on into the liquid? Let’s take a look at my favorite article:

Magic with Magnetism

by Alden P. Armagnac (Popular Science June 1944)

Can a magnet take water to pieces? No, say physics textbooks. Yes, says Prof. Felix Ehrenhaft, former director of the Physical Institute at the University of Vienna, who now carries on his research in New York. If he should turn out to be right his findings in the realm of magnetism promise practical applications as far-reaching as the dynamos, motors, transformers telephones, and radio that have stemmed from Faraday’s fundamental research in electricity. For his “impossible” experiment, Dr. Ehrenhaft employs the simplest of apparatus. Two shiny rods of pure Swedish iron, sealed in holes through opposite sides of a U-shaped tube, resemble a setup familiar to high-school students for breaking up water into hydrogen and oxygen gases by passing electricity through it. And that is exactly what would happen if Dr. Ehrenhaft attached electric wires from a battery to the rods. But he does no such thing.

Instead, he uses the iron rods as pole pieces, or ‘north” and “south” ends, of a magnet – either an electromagnet or a permanent magnet. Bubbles of gas rise through the twin columns of acidulated water, to be collected and analyzed. As might be expected, nearly all of the gas is hydrogen, liberated by a commonplace chemical interaction between the iron rods and the dilute sulfuric acid, one percent by volume, in the water. But the phenomenal part of the experiment is that oxygen also turns up, Dr. Ehrenhaft recently told the American Physical Society. To be specific, it is found in clearly measurable proportions ranging from two to 12 percent of the total volume of gases. When the gases obtained with a permanent magnet are separated, the larger proportion of oxygen is found above the north pole of the magnet. After rigorous precautions – including short-circuiting the magnet poles with wire, so that the poles will be at the same electric potential – Dr. Ehrenhaft concludes that there is only one place the oxygen can possibly come from. And that is from water decomposed with a magnet! Without a magnet, pure hydrogen is evolved.


There is an interesting sidelight to this experiment. A strong permanent magnet of the Alnico type suffers a marked loss of strength – say, 10 percent in 24 hours – after being used to decompose water, Dr. Ehrenhaft observes. In fact, makers of the magnets, which are supposed to last for years without material change, have viewed what happens to them with astonishment and dismay. But no fault lies with their products. Energy from an electric battery is used up in decomposing water, and it would be only reasonable to expect energy stored up in a permanent magnet to be drained likewise.

What gives the utmost significance to the reported feat of breaking up water with a magnet is the fresh evidence it offers for the existence of “magnetic current,” or a flow of magnetically charged particles, which has been suspected by noted pioneers and which Dr. Ehrenhaft now maintains he has proved. Confirmation of this amazing discovery would point to a possible future rival of electric current, perhaps capable of being harnessed in undreamed-of ways. Needless to say, the scientific world will require a whole lot of convincing, since Dr. Ehrenhaft’s conclusions flatly contradict long-established beliefs. As every schoolboy is taught, a magnet has a north pole and a south pole. Break it in two with a hammer, and each piece will have a north pole and south pole of its own. No law forbids you to imagine a magnet with only one pole, and the idea comes in handy in certain electrical and radio calculations. But as for actual fact, you cannot have one pole without the other, an experimenter named Peter Peregrinus believed, he demonstrated it to his satisfaction, using a loadstone, in the year 1269, and prevailing opinion has backed him up ever since. (As we know now, the loadstone that he floated on a platform in water simply turned until its north pole faced the south magnetic pole of the earth, and vice versa. It showed no observable excess of north or of south magnetism – and hence the conclusion that the two were always equal.)

But would the dictum of “no separate magnetic poles” still hold true in a far more delicate test – say, if you substituted microscopic particles of iron or other magnetic metals, as tiny as particles of smoke, for the massive chunk of rock that Peregrinus used ? Dr. Ehrenhaft has tried it. In an air gap between the north and south poles of a magnet, he sets up what he calls a homogenous magnetic field, that is, with the lines of magnetic force absolutely parallel. In this field, he finds, the metal particles move toward the north or south pole, reversing their direction according to the direction of the magnetic field. On the particles, he concludes, there must be an excess of north or south magnetic charge. Expanding the terminology of Faraday, he calls the particles magnetic ions. They are the single magnetic poles shown at the lower right of the colored drawing. Instead of bearing plus or minus electric charges, as familiar ions do, they carry north or south magnetic charges. Now, just as traveling electric ions form an electric current, why shouldn’t traveling magnetic ions form a magnetic current? See for yourself another of Dr. Ehrenhaft’s startling experiments, and draw your own conclusions.

This time the heart of the apparatus will be a small glass cell, fitted as before with pole pieces of pure iron that dip into water containing one percent of sulphuric acid. An electromagnet, turned on or off at will energizes the poles. From a projector, a powerful beam of light converges upon the narrow gap between the pole pieces, and a low-power microscope, mounted horizontally, reveals what happens there. Adding a camera provides a permanent record. You begin with the Magnet turned off. Looking into the eyepiece of the microscope, you see streams of bubbles rising from both pole pieces. They are of hydrogen gas, liberated by the same chemical action as in the first experiment. Throw the switch that turns on the magnet, and the scene abruptly changes. Stopped dead in their tracks, some of the bubbles cling to the pole pieces. Others leave one pole and travel to the other. Dr. Ehrenhaft calls special attention to bubbles moving downward against their own buoyancy, impelled by some unseen force stronger than gravity.

Meanwhile a spectacular phenomenon has been developing – a miniature merry-go-round of gas bubbles between the faces of the poles and parallel to them. Incapable of being shown adequately in a time exposure, the effect nevertheless appears plainly as a white blur, when the upper magnetic pole is given a conical shape for photographic purposes. Visual observation, shows striking details. If copper particles, say, have been added to the acidulated water, they will rotate in the same plane as the hydrogen bubbles, but in the opposite direction. For both, the speed of the whirligig depends upon the strength of the magnetic field. Reverse the polarity of the magnet, and each set of particles spins in the opposite direction.

Here are no wild-eyed theories, but perfectly demonstrable facts. Any skeptical physicist has a standing invitation to see them with his own eyes at Dr. Ehrenhaft’s laboratory, placed at his disposal in the New York City quarters of the famous Carl Zeiss optical firm. How to account for the phenomena remains a challenge to science, unless Dr. Ehrenhaft’s conclusions are to be accepted. See how neatly they would draw an analogy between well-known electric effects and new-found magnetic effects: Bubbles or particles that travel between pole pieces of a magnet behave just as if they were magnetic ions, or clusters of them – repelled by like magnetic poles, and attracted by oppositely magnetized poles. This corresponds exactly with the way that “electric” or ordinary ions interact with positive and negative electrodes. And as for the ring-around-a-rosy behavior of the hydrogen bubbles and copper particles, Dr. Ehrenhaft concludes that these are electrically charged particles – ordinary ions – rotating about a magnetic current. This would be an exact counterpart of the classical conception that magnetism rotates about a current-carrying electric conductor.

Now the staggering implications of Dr. Ehrenhaft’s observations begin to unfold. Existence of such a thing as magnetic current, once established, would pave the way for industries as gigantic as those that the discovery of electricity led to in its time. A “gold rush” for practical applications might be expected. Patents for them would command fabulous sums, since inventions employing magnetic current would be basic. What form they may take, no man can foresee, and Dr. Ehrenhaft cautiously declines to hazard a guess. Yet a visitor to his laboratory cannot resist the temptation to let his imagination run free. New kinds of motors and generators? Better ways to transmit power? Transformers that will work on direct current instead of alternating current? Atom smashers? Radical methods of seeing things in the dark, and through microscopes and telescopes? Ways to tap power from the magnetism of the earth itself? And, in your home, substitution of magnetic current – who ever got a shock from it? – for electric current? Pure dreams, all of them, today – but some of them, perhaps, realities of 2044.

Before magnetic currents could be put in harness, of course, a myriad of questions about their behavior remain to be studied and answered. So far, no one knows whether they can be led through wires, like electric currents, as well as through conducting liquids. If so, the wires might be of entirely different materials than the best conductors for electricity. Likewise, the most effective insulators for magnetic current might be substances totally unlike those used for electrical insulators. The whole subject offers as vast a field for pioneering research as electricity did a century ago. And now, as then, an amateur experimenter puttering in his basement stands as good a chance of making an epochal discovery as does a distinguished scientists in a great laboratory.

Lanthanides and homeopathy



Homeopathy, homeopathy… I am going to bet, I have already heard this word before…but where? At which occasion? Circumstances? And why do they involve lanthanides in it? How these two can be related to each other? Hmm, interesting….let’s find out something more!

But before coming to the point, it would be a good option to remind or even better, to get to know, what the homeopathy is and how we get deal with it, right? So, here we go: Have you ever heard something like ‚Äúlike cures like‚ÄĚ (1)? No? Me either! But now I can tell you that is a general idea of the homeopathy. From a medical point of view, homeopathy is a philosophy (oh! this explains this term‚Ķ) and practice, based on the assumption that a body can be healed by itself‚Ķ now I am looking around myself, wondering whether I possess some superpowers that I have not known about before, and trying to find a connection to any of the knowing superheroes (sorry, I was growing up in the times of blue, little guys who were used to live in the mashrooms, and some happy bears, living in the clouds and driving hovercraft or similar, so coming up with a precise relation is rather difficult here‚Ķ). But then, I am reading further and what I am learning just pushes me down and disappoints, because in the end I see, I am not that special‚Ķmaybe even better, fame is a big problem nowadays.

Homeopathy is a smooth, gentle, holistic way of healing. It is concentrated on a person as an individual, treating some specific physical and emotional symptoms. In order to stimulate a body‚Äôs own healing process, a remedy closest to individual symptoms are prescribed (2). The homeopathic treatment was invented by a German physician, Samuel Christian Hahnemann (1755-1843), who had become dissatisfied with the medicine of those times. Many, many years Hahnemann‚Äôs search in improving medicine was unsuccessful, until he took a small amount of cinchona bark, which contains quinine, the drug used to treat malaria, and developed the symptoms of malaria. From this observation he developed homeopathy‚Äôs first law, ‚Äúlet likes be cured by likes‚ÄĚ – drugs which cause specific symptoms can be used to cure diseases which cause the same symptoms (3). People have used homeopathy to maintain health and treat a wide range of long-term illnesses, such as allergies or depression, but also minor injuries.

How it is related to the use of lanthanides? Oh, you will be surprised‚Ķ Homeopathic remedies derived from the elements of the Periodic Table are needed when we feel something is lacking in the structure of our lives. Lanthanides and some of their compounds have recently entered into regular use in homeopathic medicine and many homeopathic practices. The introduction of lanthanides and their salts into clinical use was based on the inspired, or rather genius idea of deriving their homeopathic potential from the chemical properties of lanthanides as they appeared in the classical periodic system. They are chemically very similar and generally occur together, but they are never found in their pure form, so for a long time have remained hidden. With atomic numbers ranging from 57 to 71, the lanthanides lie beyond silver (47) and precede gold (79), and are usually printed at the bottom of the most common periodic tables. The full homeopathic significance of this position becomes evident after reading ‚ÄúThe secret of Lanthanides‚ÄĚ by Jan Scholten, where the explanation of the framework of elements surrounding the rare earths is discussed. The book describes the use of the Lanthanides and their salts in health and disease. It describes persons in a Lanthanide state and the cure with homeopathic potencies. In 79 case histories, the author shows how the therapeutic results in many contemporary illnesses that are very difficult to treat traditionally can be improved by these remedies: auto-immune disease, migraine, dyslexia, etc..


In general, the seven rows and eighteen columns or stages of the periodic table of the elements are described in great detail as to their fundamental, distinguishing characteristics with respect to specific mental, emotional, physical, and general symptoms and themes. According to Scholten the 4th, 5th and 6th horizontal rows (‚Äúseries‚ÄĚ) in the periodic table reflect problems related to personal life performance. The 4th row is known as the Copper series and is task-oriented. The 5th row is the Silver series and is related to possibility of speaking and writing, creative expression and new ideas. The 6th row is the Gold series, assigned to power, influence and responsibility. Lanthanides placed in 3rd column are associated with autonomy and self-actualization, which in combination with the 1st and 2nd column may result in confusion, irresolution and indecision (4). They may improve intuition and sensitivity to the most essential things in our lives, but also promote a sense of internal power to influence different live aspects and thus, help in taking up life-changing decisions without hesitation. In the end we feel more reflective, peaceful, calm and self-actualised.

Homeopaths who know Lanthanides, appreciate them for their strength and depth of therapeutic action, and for that of the often compared even with the feats of Hercules – Nemean Lion, Hydra Lerneyskaya (won it with his nephew Iolaya), wild boar Erimanfsky, Kirineyskaya deer, birds Stimfaliyskie (Samarium), Augean stables (victory by force of mind), the Cretan bull (the Minotaur), the horses of Diomedes, a belt Hippolyta (Hippolytus – the queen of the Amazons), the cows of Geryon, the apples of Hesperides (forced, as a Titanium Atlanta to keep on his shoulders the firmament), hell dog Cerberus, Rab omphalitis (award in a contest of archers was Iola – daughter of King Evrita, but victory in the race did not give Hercules her…). At the end of the story of Hercules soul is purified, becomes immortal, and he is on Mount Olympus, which is reconciled with Hera (5).

The Lanthanides will soon become just as irreplaceable for modern medicine as they have become in modern technology. A major theme of these elements is self-determination and the inner need for independence, which also reflects a major issue of the present time.


Find out more at:

(1)¬†¬† Homeopathy ‚Äď overview:

(2)   Plant and Chemical Homeopathy

(3)   Homeopathy:

(4)   Lanthanides and self-actualization:

(5)¬†¬† Rare Earth Elements ‚Äď Lanthanides:



The wind farms ‚Äď green or not?

In the rush of finding an alternative renewable sources of energy, particularly for the replacement of ¬†fossil fuel, wind gets a lot of attention as the next cheap and environmental friendly energy source. Regarding the European wind technology¬† we can surely say ‚Äď a great success story! Over the passing years it has evolved from an industry making small and simple machines into a technology capable to compete with the conventional forms of power generation. It is obvious that development of the wind farms plays and will play a major role in the shift towards renewable energies. Why then there is still so much controversy around this subject?





Looking around different services, portals, and any other kinds of information about the wind energy we can easily find many positive arguments and advantages of this renewable energy source. Reading a huge amount of them, I am admiring our potential of doing something big from something really small, our creativity and imagination, and I smile to myself, thinking that among all of these we are still fair with everything around, even nature. I say great! and go further. After a while I am smiling less… I am discovering another side of the wind farms, I would even say, the darker one…

Wind energy, the fastest-growing power resource in the world, maybe does not leach pollutants or gobble up finite resources, but wind turbines generate noise and can pose a hazard to birds and other wildlife. It is apparent that the wind turbine issue has become very polarized with widely varying positions being adopted. The opponents of wind farms claim that building such wind turbines zones will blight the regional view, kill birds, and harm fishing and tourism. As an example the offshore wind turbines can be given. They require solid foundations that are usually made of heavy posts driven into the seabed with a hydraulic hammer. With each hammer action, energy is transmitted into the surrounding water as sound. Unfortunately, it is more recognized as noise that has negative effects on some species, such as whales, dolphins and porpoises. It damages hearing and driving away prey species what is definitely adverse from the environmental point of view.





Another issue concerns our health, because some of the wind farms are relatively close to the population centers. Human-health impacts are mostly related to continuing sleep disruption, fatigue, annoyance producing increased levels of stress and/or psychological distress, headaches, tinnitus, earache, difficulties with balance, cognitive impairments, hypertension, palpitations, nausea, and compromised quality of life. All of these cause that the wind farms provoke people’s fears and anxieties about new technologies and this is a really bad sign for the future…

In other hand, people in favor of the wind farms believe that the benefit of using wind energy is much greater than all the negatives hiding behind. It is plentiful, renewable, widely distributed, and uses very little land. Wind energy, when compared to coal, oil and gas is less harmful to the environment. It produces zero tons of carbon dioxide a year, which is the gas associated with global warming.

It is definitely difficult to judge if the wind farms are green or not, having so many controversial statements around. Like all the forms of renewable energy, also wind has its advantages and disadvantages. We may feel confused, because probably we do not find any strong argument that can convince us to be in the green wind energy team or contrary, in opposite one. Nevertheless, birds can easily change their flight route and easily avoid obstacles. People can easily adapt to the wind farms as they adapted to the horseless carriages 100 years ago. If these are the only concerns that hold you back to say yes, the wind farms are green! you should also consider that there is also no reason to think that the wind technology, which is already great, will not improve its performance over time. Why? Just look what has happened with computers and communications in the past years…






Interested? Read a little bit more then:

  1. Wind power controversy
  2. Wind energy development ‚Äď environmental concerns
  3. Wind farms controversial


How dangerous are strong neodymium magnets?

Dear Reader,

All of us use the magnets in a daily life, but do we really pay an attention on that? When you switch a cell phone to vibrate mode, the fast movement and corresponding sound that you hear in a consequence is caused by a miniature Nd magnet inside the phone. If you are a teenager or huge fan of high-tech or addicted from music, I am almost sure that you have the most modern headphones ever, but did you know that this great sound quality as well as a full spectrum of bass is improved by Nd magnets? Yes, this is one of their applications as well. Regarding very popular since a while term ECO, users of hybrid and electric vehicles should know that their cars often use high-strength Nd magnets to power the vehicles’ DC motor. Moreover, wind turbine generators depend on NdFeB magnets in order to produce electricity. Besides these we can find Nd magnets in office supplies, jewelry, toys, machines, tool, etc.. They are simply around us! But do we really know how to use them properly? Do we really know what are they capable of? Do we take into account that they may be dangerous?

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