EMF Health-effects Research

Microwave absorption by magnetite: a possible mechanism for coupling nonthermal levels of radiation to biological systems.

Kirschvink JL,

Bioelectromagnetics 17(3):187-194, 1996

The presence of trace amounts of biogenic magnetite (Fe3O4) in animal and human tissues and the observation that ferromagnetic particles are ubiquitous in laboratory materials (including tissue culture media) provide a physical mechanism through which microwave radiation might produce or appear to produce biological effects.

Magnetite is an excellent absorber of microwave radiation at frequencies between 0.5 and 10.0 GHz through the process of ferromagnetic resonance, where the magnetic vector of the incident field causes precession of Bohr magnetons around the internal demagnetizing field of the crystal.

Energy absorbed by this process is first transduced into acoustic vibrations at the microwave carrier frequency within the crystal lattice via the magnetoacoustic effect; then, the energy should be dissipated in cellular structures in close proximity to the magnetite crystals.

Several possible methods for testing this hypothesis experimentally are discussed. Studies of microwave dosimetry at the cellular level should consider effects of biogenic magnetite.

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