essentials

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The Effect of Electromagnetic Radiation on Matter

Electromagnetic radiation consists of changing electric and magnetic fields. If it encounters matter various things may happen. 

The phenomena of magnetism and electricity were discovered and examined independently. Only later it was found out that these two fields were interwoven both with each other and with the domains of thermal radiation and visible light. They all belong to the realm of electromagnetism. 

For a long time it had been known from experience that an object can be heated by means of thermal radiation or light. However, only the understanding of nuclear physics could explain the mechanisms playing a role here. Particularly in connection with quantum physics which developed therefrom fundamental knowledge emerged. Today we know that electromagnetic radiation consists of tiny portions of energy (quanta or photons) which can be absorbed or radiated by matter.

The Influence of the Earth’s Magnetic Field on Living Organisms

The Earth provides for the living conditions in which life has developed for billions of years. These include, e.g., water, earth and air. But that isn’t all of it. For a long time we have been aware of the enormous significance the magnetic field has for life on Earth. The Earth’s magnetic field forms the so-called magnetic field lines which pick up the Sun’s particle radiation which is detrimental to our bodies and redirect it to the Earth’s polar regions. Apart from this known effect there are many observations suggesting that the existence and nature of the Earth’s magnetic field in the different places where we live also have an important relevance for our life processes.


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References

Books

[Becker 1994]
Becker, R.O.
Heilkraft und Gefahren der Elektrizität
Piper, München, 1994


Articles

[Moruzzi 1964]
Moruzzi, G.
The electrophysiological work of Carlo Matteucci. 1964
Brain Research Bulletin
1996;40(2):69-91.