Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Experiments With Magnets And Plants - 2010

In 2010, I wanted to plant some flowers again.  I wasn’t thinking of doing an experiment when I started; I just wanted to plant some flowers.  So I planted some Brown Eyed Susans in recycled containers that plants are sold in.

Immediately after the fact, I thought I should use some magnets.  Since magnets help plants grow, I came up with a hypothesis and experiment.

Davis and Rawls state that the south pole of a magnet will help plants grow.  And the north side will impede the growth.  The pole that faced the plants was the south pole.  I put the magnets close to the tray.  If the magnets did help the plants, then the plants closest to the magnets should grow fastest.

Again, everything here was the same.  All the seeds came from the same package.  All the soil came from the same package also.  The magnet used was a type N42, 1 inch square, by 3/8 inch thick.  Magnetized axially.  If you lay it down, the top is south pole, and the bottom is north pole, or vice versa.

You can see the results here.  The magnet is in the white 35mm film container.   

As you can see, the plants closer to the south pole of the magnet, grew faster, than the ones further away.  As I expected.  Proving the thesis. 

KJ Magnetics actually has a really cool calculator to estimate the magnetic force at various distances.  

If we enter in the magnet's specs, and calculate the force against a single steel plate, at .5 inch, the force is estimated at 1.79 pounds.  At 1 inch, it is .24 pound.  At 1.5 inches, only .04 pound.  At 2 inches, only .01 pound.

After they sprouted, I transplanted the flowers down by the wash, as in the previous year.  Again, at that point, the experiment stopped being a rigorous experiment.  I expect the soil is different just a few feet away.  And the amount of sun on each plant every day was different.   

See my other post, for the experiments in 2009, and more commentary.

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