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Questions tagged [electromagnetism]

Electromagnetism is the branch of science concerned with the forces that occur between electrically charged particles. Use this tag for anything related to electricity, electrical or magnetic fields (such as microwave radiation), etc.

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77
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3answers
9k views

Does Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) exist?

A recent article from Daily Mail cited the case of a woman claiming to be allergic to Wi-Fi, and that it could even kill her. This claim sounded ridiculous and absurd to me. Quoting parts of the exact ...
65
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1answer
9k views

Antistatic bracelet without a ground connection

Last winter in Japan, some of my friends were buying bracelets like this, that claim to prevent or reduce static shocks: Here is an advertisement picture describing how it is supposed to be used, ...
48
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1answer
7k views

Did Benjamin Franklin perform an experiment by flying a kite in a lightning storm?

Is there any credible evidence that Benjamin Franklin actually did his famous kite experiment?
33
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3answers
5k views

Can a television thrown in a bathtub kill someone?

In TV show or films, it seems that throwing any mains-powered electrical device (such as a television or radio) in a bathtub can kill the person in said bathtub. Can this happen? It appears to me ...
33
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1answer
2k views

Are electric zaps effective for exercising?

I've seen commercials of "TENS" (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) devices that you strap on to your stomach or thighs, which zaps you continuously making your muscles contract, supposedly ...
32
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2answers
36k views

Is it the current that kills you, not the voltage?

"It is not the voltage that kills you, it is the current" is an electricity safety tip I've heard many times. For example, here is an experienced electrician making the claim: The real danger with ...
30
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4answers
2k views

Do magnets have verifiable effects on humans?

Do magnets have statistically significant effects on humans? Some example claims are in the Wikipedia article on Magnet therapy. Which says: Practitioners claim that subjecting certain parts of ...
30
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1answer
2k views

Has anyone been caught using inductive coupling to steal power?

There are lots of references to the claim that people have stolen power through inductive coupling on the Internet: The most common claim it that it was a farmer somewhere that noticed electricity ...
29
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2answers
98k views

How much does wet sponge matter in electrocution process?

In Stephen King's novel The Green Mile and its film adaptation one of the characters (Eduard Delacroix) is getting electrocuted. Before the execution one of the correction officers instead of wetting ...
29
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1answer
68k views

Is leaving your AC fan (blower) on 24/7 during summer more efficient than leaving it on auto?

The AC guy that fixed my AC recently said I should turn my AC fan on 24/7 and this would increase the efficiency of my AC system. I looked it up and found this same claim in several places: City Data ...
28
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1answer
3k views

Does electricity grab?

It is said that if someone accidentally touches a powerful electric source, they get stuck to it and often die due to the same effect. Is it true, or it is just a perception of the affected person?
28
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2answers
25k views

Can you be electrocuted while taking a shower during a thunderstorm?

I remember growing up and my mom always telling me to not take a shower while it was thunderstorming. I've done it a few times but I always try to keep the water not flowing over my body in case it ...
27
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2answers
60k views

Will sticking a knife into a toaster electrocute me?

As a child, do you remember being told not to stick metal utensils into the toaster to unlodge toast? If by chance that utensil touches the wrong thing inside of the toaster, you could be easily ...
26
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1answer
8k views

Do Rife machines kill viruses and bacteria?

Supporters of the Rife machine claim that virus and bacteria can be killed setting the machine at the right electromagnetic frequency. Rife also reported that a 'beam ray' device of his invention ...
25
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6answers
4k views

Do organisms have electromagnetic fields?

I doubt that organisms have electromagnetic (EM) fields. If we did have such a field, then we would certainly be susceptible to having electric currents induced in us by stronger EM fields. Or worse, ...
25
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1answer
4k views

Is it possible to obtain current indirectly from power lines?

Can one obtain a sufficient amount of energy for a household's needs by indirect means (induction or otherwise) from nearby high-voltage power lines? Are there any documented cases of such attempts (...
25
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1answer
31k views

Does home-WiFi expose you to less radiation than using the 3G on your cell-phone?

Are there any studies that compare WiFi and cellular data usage, in the home, over time? Mainly I've heard that WiFi uses more battery (so it should emit more radiation) but OTOH it feels like 3G/...
24
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2answers
14k views

Are passengers inside cars protected from lightning because of the tires?

It's a common statement that passengers of a car are protected from lightening while inside because the car has rubber tires (which are insulators). An alternative theory often put forward is that ...
24
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3answers
25k views

Does the “Spike Buster” reduce electricity consumption?

My dad just bought a device that claims to reduce electricity consumption in the house. It is called a Spike Buster It is just a small box with a led that you connect to any socket in the house. It ...
24
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2answers
37k views

Is it possible to pick up radio signals from dental fillings?

I recently heard this claim referred to on House M.D. when the titular character is experiencing phantom sounds, and the show appeared to give the idea some credibility. So I decided to look it up, ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Does the amount of land needed to get the USA to zero-carbon electricity correspond to a small area of Texas?

After watching Elon Musk's presentation regarding the Tesla Powerwall, I had a question. On his diagram of the USA, he claims that a "tiny blue square" on the top of Texas that consists of solar ...
23
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3answers
5k views

Do tinfoil hats protect against any sort of radiation?

Delusional conspiracy theorists are commonly portrayed as wearing tin-foil hats to protect against mind-control rays from sinister organisations such as [goverments/aliens/NSA/CIA/FBI/liberals/...
23
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3answers
2k views

Does electromagnetic radiation from high energy power installations have negative effects on health?

Note that I'm not asking about high energy RADAR and telecommunications installations or similar systems which can cook small animals alive. I've heard lots of stories about negative health effects ...
21
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1answer
5k views

Does recharging a battery when it is only half-way dead decrease its life span?

One thing many manufactures of laptops and cellphones recommend is that you wait until the battery is completely dead before you recharge it or else it will slowly loose its maximum capacity or have a ...
20
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2answers
10k views

Is the Kinect IR laser safe?

The Microsoft Kinect uses an IR source (laser or just diode?) to project a pattern in order to get 3D data on what it's looking at. As low-power IR is invisible and intangible, many people have ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Do Hubbard Electrometers (E-meters) detect emotion about past experiences?

I saw a table set up for "Free Stress Test" that someone was sitting at looking forlorn because everybody was walking past. I asked how it worked and she got me to sit down with these two cans ...
20
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2answers
1k views

Do cellphone towers cause health issues?

Yesterday I got a request to install a cellphone tower on my building. The company is going to pay me fair amount but I heard that cell tower radiations cause some serious health issues. Are they ...
19
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2answers
3k views

Can WiFi waves cause headaches?

I saw there was a question about the harmfulness of WiFi waves, but i'd like to focus on the claims that they can cause headaches specifically; not the cancer-claims. Numerous people come up with ...
19
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2answers
11k views

Is electric muscle stimulation (EMS) training safe and effective?

Electric muscle stimulation (EMS) is touted as having the ability to strengthen muscles, reduce weight, minimize body fat and improve local blood circulation. During physical activity, your brain (...
18
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2answers
34k views

Do electric heaters with open heating elements “dry the air” or “burn up oxygen”?

There is a popular belief in Russia that electric heaters with an open nichrome heating element (red hot) "burn up oxygen" and "dry the air", unlike oil-filled ones. Is it true that a Joule heater ...
18
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2answers
4k views

Does Van Eck Phreaking work?

Does Van Eck phreaking perform as described, i.e. allow a person to observe what is being displayed on a given computer screen (notably a LCD) from a distance without having any physical connection to ...
18
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2answers
7k views

Are electric chairs powered by generators connected to the mains in the same building?

There's an episode in The Green Mile movie where the death row servicemen rehearse the upcoming execution that is done using an electric chair. One of them says (quoted from here): Roll on one. [...
18
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1answer
3k views

Does tying a knot in a power cord provide any protection against lightning?

Some 20 years ago, when I was 11 or 12 years old, I attended a weekend 4-H camp about electricity. I recall one of the instructors there informing us that the cheapest way to protect our electronic ...
17
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2answers
5k views

Does never charging a laptop battery to more than 80% capacity increase its lifespan?

In relation to Does recharging a battery when it is only half-way dead decrease its life span? I read an article about Maximizing the lifespan of a laptop battery where Samsung puts it: Most ...
17
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1answer
1k views

Is Vatican Radio causing childhood leukaemia?

It an ugly, long standing story in Italy: Vatican radio has huge antennas, not subject to Italian law, and the people living in the surroundings lament severe ailments such as leukaemia. The Santa ...
16
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1answer
1k views

Could a single nuclear EMP kill 90% of Americans within one year?

From the latest doomsday scenario: At a U.S. House of Representatives hearing on October 12th, experts warned that the greatest existential threat to the country may come from the detonation of a ...
15
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1answer
1k views

Are electronic power consumption “smart meters” an invasion of privacy?

I've recently seen some commotion online about "smart meters," electronic power consumption meters that are replacing the mechanical meters in some areas. My understanding is that these meters have ...
15
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1answer
2k views

Do Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL) create dirty electricity which can impact health?

According to this CBC Be Green report: 'CFLs [Compact Fluorescent Lamps] produce what is called "dirty electricity".' In an environment with dirty electricity, diabetics blood sugar will climb. It ...
15
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1answer
890 views

Fighting fire with electricity. Plausible?

The article "Fighting fire with volts: How water hoses could be replaced with electric wands" gives exciting news about possible new way of extinguishing fire, researched by Ludovico Cademartiri, Ph.D....
14
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1answer
1k views

Does a deep freezer use more energy when there is a layer of ice in it?

In light of the potential upcoming power shortages in Belgium, there are a lot of "tips" going around to save power during the cold months. One of them is to thaw out the ice in the deep freezer as, ...
14
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1answer
8k views

Can defibrillation revive a flatlined patient?

Wikipedia notes that the technical term for flatline is asystole and adds this comment: Despite defibrillation commonly appearing on medical dramas as a remedy for asystole, it is usually not done ...
14
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0answers
2k views

Can “Current Mohan” conduct high levels of electrical current through his body?

I saw this episode of Stan Lee's Superhumans featuring Raj Mohan Nair, also known as "Current Mohan". He seems to be able to conduct electric current through his body to power up household electrical ...
14
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1answer
563 views

Do ionizing hair-dryers reduce frizz and drying time?

The new wave in Hair Dryer technology involves marketing benefits based on Ionization. Is there any evidence for any of this though? Conair® Turbo 1875: "Ionic technology helps enhance your hair's ...
13
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3answers
4k views

Is it illegal to use freely produced hydrogen in place of costly/taxed natural gas and gasoline, or to produce electricity?

updated to include using hydrogen in place of natural gas/gasoline, instead of solely to produce electricity. Note that while this question is somewhat about law, lawyers cost money, and I don't ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Are microwave hot-spots real?

So, this was originally a part of this question, but from the comments it seems like it might be beneficial to branch it. I have been told that the microwave left "hot spots" — areas in a fluid ...
13
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1answer
563 views

Have any “blockages” ever been observed in the body's EM field?

Crystal healing techniques speak of blockages in the body's electromagnetic field. Electromagnetic fields can usually be measured and observed. So, it seems to me, if a body's electromagnetic field ...
12
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2answers
73k views

Can smartphone Apps detect EMF?

There are a couple of Android apps to detect EMF (for ghost hunting and for hazard-protection). I tried a free one which did not work. Some I can't seem to download. Has anyone tested them (against a ...
12
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3answers
5k views

Can 'resonant frequencies' kill cancer cells?

According to some guy called Anthony Holland, you can kill cancer cells with resonant frequencies: "Cancer Research", Novobiotronics; "Shattering cancer with resonant frequencies: Anthony Holland at ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Did cows in Germany blow up their own barn by farting?

As reported by Reuters, Flatulent cows start fire at German dairy farm - police Methane gas from 90 flatulent cows exploded in a German farm shed on Monday, damaging the roof and injuring one of ...
12
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1answer
1k views

Subway magnetic fields and laptop hard drives

I just heard a story of a guy who took the subway to transport his company's off-site data back-ups for storage. When the time came for restore after a disaster, the data was corrupt and erased. ...