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The Effects of Magnetic Forces on Plant Growth

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					The Effects of Magnetic Forces on
          Plant Growth




                    Robert Furatero
                         Bio 10 (6)
Question and Hypothesis
     • My original question that I
     originally came up for this project
       was “Do magnetic forces affect
               plant growth?”
      • To answer this question, I
      hypothesized that plant growth
       would be affected by magnets.
     Furthermore, I hypothesized that
       the roots would be repelled by
              magnetic forces.
               Background Information
•   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
    processes.
•   Father of modern bio-magnetics Dr. Albert
    Roy Davies received a patent in 1950 for
    magnetically treating seeds to stimulate
    plant growth.
•   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.
                       Experiment Design
•   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
    as quickly.
•   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).
             Experiment Procedure
                                       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
  source.
                Experiment Results
• 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.
                    Experiment Results
•   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.
Experiment Results
                       Data Analysis
• 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
  germinated first.
    Conclusions
• After conducting this experiment,
    I can conclude that plants are
   affected by magnetic forces and
   that some of my hypothesis was
                correct.
• However, I can also conclude that
       half of my hypothesis was
  incorrect. The plant was attracted
   to the magnet, not repelled by it
                           Sources
• Diamagnetism - Wikipedia, the      • Magnetism in Agriculture--
  free encyclopedia--                  http://www.mundi.com/agrieng
  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dia     3.html
  magnetism
• Sowing Seeds in a Magnetic         • Do magnetic fields have an effect
  Field-                               on plant growth?--
  http://liftoff.msfc.nasa.gov/new     http://www.madsci.org/posts/ar
  s/2003/news-seeds.asp                chives/2006-
                                       08/1156020024.Cb.r.html

				
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posted:6/23/2012
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