The Effects of Magnetic Forces on
Bio 10 (6)
Question and Hypothesis
• My original question that I
originally came up for this project
was “Do magnetic forces affect
• To answer this question, I
hypothesized that plant growth
would be affected by magnets.
Furthermore, I hypothesized that
the roots would be repelled by
• The influence of the geomagnetic field on
the growth of plants was first realized in
1862 by Louis Pasteur. During his
experiments on fermentation, he
discovered that the Earth’s magnetic field
had a stimulating effect on plants’ growth
• Father of modern bio-magnetics Dr. Albert
Roy Davies received a patent in 1950 for
magnetically treating seeds to stimulate
• Magnetic forces are used in some areas
today in agriculture (such as Mundimex
Inc., or the country of Israel) primarily to
stimulate and enhance plant growth.
More Background Information
Starch grains can be seen in
plant cells as black dots:
• Plant roots contain starch molecules.
These starch molecules (along with
heavy fluid exerted in cells there,
known as “protoplasm”) help the
plant determine which way to grow
(they both detect gravity).
• Starch molecules can be affected by
magnetic forces via diamagnetism.
• Diamagnetism is a weak magnetic Magnet focuses a magnetic
force present when there are other force which repels starch.
magnetic fields. The weak magnetic (visual left, conceptual right)
force repels the other magnetic field.
• In order to check if my hypothesis was
correct, I decided to create an experiment
in which a plant grown under the
influence of a magnetic force would be
compared with the growth of the same
plant without a magnet.
• I chose to grow string bean seeds for this
experiment because they grow tall as well
• In one pot, I placed a bar magnet on a tilt
against one side facing upward. The other
pot was left alone. I then placed the soil
and planted a few seeds in each pot
(because not all seeds grow perfectly and
for periodic data collections).
After One Week:
• To test my hypothesis and gain
proper results, I made sure that
only one variable (the magnet)
was the only one being changed.
• I maintained a gave both plants
reasonable and equal amounts of
water at the same daily intervals.
• I also gave both plants an equal After Two Weeks:
amount of sunlight (8 hours) by
placing both plants under a timed
lamp. This would also ensure that
the plant would grow straight up
and not tilted towards the light
• After about two weeks of growing
both plants, significant
differences were found.
• Both plants were grown at the
same time (Nov. 22), but the
magnet plant germinated one day
before the control plant. Both
plants then grew at the same rate
for about a week. The magnet
plant then seemed to stop
growing a little while before the
control plant. In the end, the
magnet plant was about an inch
shorter than the control plant.
• After measuring its height above the
soil, I uprooted both plants to check
if the magnet affected the roots.
• The control plant’s root was an inch
long below soil level. The magnet
plant’s root was two and a half inches
long below soil level.
• The magnet plant’s root had a bump
slightly below soil level. The bump
was tilted toward the magnet. Also,
the tiny root hairs were all attracted
to the magnet. The control plant did
not have a bump and its root hairs
were spread in random directions.
• The data from this experiment • The plants that I grew both died
shows that the magnet attracted before they could reach this day.
the starch molecules found in the This might be due to the fact that
roots. halfway through the experiment
• The data from this experiment time span, they were exposed to
also shows that the magnet varying climates.
stimulated plant growth due to
the fact that the magnet plant
• After conducting this experiment,
I can conclude that plants are
affected by magnetic forces and
that some of my hypothesis was
• However, I can also conclude that
half of my hypothesis was
incorrect. The plant was attracted
to the magnet, not repelled by it
• Diamagnetism - Wikipedia, the • Magnetism in Agriculture--
free encyclopedia-- http://www.mundi.com/agrieng
• Sowing Seeds in a Magnetic • Do magnetic fields have an effect
Field- on plant growth?--