Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 43.djvu/224

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assistant. Where they did not know they tried to guess, and with ludicrous results. Habitually they produced results exactly opposite to those which should have occurred, had the magnetic current had any influence whatever as a causal agent. I will now go further, and will affirm that there never was, any more than there now is, the slightest ground for believing that the most powerful magnets are capable of exercising any such influence as Dr. Luys and others are in the habit of assuming that they can exert over the animal organism. Opportunely enough, I find in the New York Medical Journal of the 31st of December a report of the experiments made by F. Peterson and A. E. Kennelly, with the most powerful magnets in the Edison laboratory, of which Mr. Kennelly is the chief electrician. Very powerful electro-magnets of 2,000 to 5,000 C.G.S. units to the square centimetre were employed. Not only was no visible effect produced in the polarization within the magnetic field of the hæmoglobin of blood, or in the circulation in the web of the frog's foot, but when a dog was placed for five hours under the influence of a magnetic field with an intensity of from 1,000 to 2,000 C.G.S. units to the square centimetre the dog was in no way affected and was very lively when liberated. A photograph is given of a boy sitting in a cylinder two feet in diameter and seven inches deep, upon which a set of field magnets converged: he was in no way affected. The next experiments were made by introducing the head into the field of a very powerful electro-magnet (2,000 C. G. S. units). The current could be turned on or off the coils of the electro-magnet without the knowledge of the subject. No effect on consciousness, sensation, circulation, respiration, or tendon reflex could be perceived. The subject was quite unable to say when the current was turned on or off. The last series of experiments were made with an electro-magnet in which the current was reversed two hundred and eighty times a second. No effect whatever was perceived when the head was introduced within the magnetic field of this potent instrument. The authors conclude that the human organism is in no wise appreciably affected by the most powerful magnets known to modern science; that neither direct nor reversed magnetism exerts any perceptible influence upon the iron contained in the blood, upon the circulation, upon ciliary or protoplasmic movements, upon sensory or motor nerves, or upon the brain. The authors further observe that they find it difficult to understand why magnetism appears to have no influence whatever upon the human organism. The experiments of like kind recorded by Sir William Thomson and in Pflüger's Archiv gave equally negative results.

The complete exposure which the results of my experiments effected of the valuelessness of the so-called magnetic effects on