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Do electromagnetic fields affect the growth of the plants?
Question Date: 2017-02-27
Answer 1:

To my knowledge, no. I don't believe there is any discernible effect.

Answer 2:

I once judged a school science fair, and the other judges wanted to give a prize to an exhibit that said seeds sprouted better on one side of the magnet than the other. I was shocked, because I don't think that's true. So I argued with the judges and asked, 'Did the students count the number of sprouts on the north vs the south pole of the magnet? How many times did the students do the experiment?' Just because something seems to be true when you try it once, that doesn't mean it is true! That exhibit didn't win a prize.

There are scientific articles, though, that say electromagnetic fields affect the growth of plants. I don't know how good the research is, because there is a lot of research that other scientists are not able to repeat or reproduce.

I searched through a lot of scientific articles, and finally I found one group of articles that I think is true: If you microwave soil, you kill the plants and microbes in it! You can easily believe that's true if you have a microwave oven.

Research is especially difficult if there are only small changes in what you are measuring. People worry about electromagnetic fields from their cell phones but we use our cell phones all the time, and we still seem to be healthy. In fact, the National Institutes of Health says the only thing those electromagnetic fields do is to produce a bit of heat, which is not a problem. Here's where you can read [a lot!] about this:

read here

Answer 3:

That’s not really my field (hahaha, field), but it looks like there are a bunch of studies out there that show that they do. They might increase early growth, but also mess with the formation of roots, for example. This is one of those research questions that can lead to many more questions: How strong does the field have to be? Does the orientation of the field matter? Are different plants affected more than others? This would be a great science project.

Here’s an article that’s not too technical, but might give you some good ideas:

click here .

Here’s another one:

click here .

What kinds of questions do you think you could test for yourself?

Thanks for asking,

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