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Friday, January 7, 2011

The Current Debate Part V:The Infrared Spectrum and Implications for Paranormal Investigating


See Parts I, II and III of the Current Debate under July 2010 heading, Part IV under January 2011 heading to learn about AC vs. DC power, atoms and electrons, and a description of how electricity works in the human body.
By Robin M. Strom-Mackey"The Infrared spectrum may be important to ghost hunting because this area of the electromagnetic spectrum seems to be, according to Steiger, where the greatest number of paranormal manifestations occurs."
A Simple Explanation of Electromagnetic Energy
Electromagnetic energy is a combination of electrical impulses and magnetic force coupled together. The two forces move together in waves. The lower end of the spectrum has looser waves with the crests further apart. At the low end of the spectrum, and not shown on this graph are the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electro-magnetic fields of AC power, which we use to power most of our electric appliances. Above that (shown below) are the Intermediate Frequency Fields (IF) with the wave crests closer together. This is the radio wave and microwaves portions of the spectrum. The infrared spectrum is just below what is visible light to humans. Just beyond the visible light spectrum are the ultraviolet rays. Undoubtedly you’ve heard of ultraviolet rays in connection with using sunscreen on a hot day. These light rays are faster moving and thus have more energy which can be harmful to exposed flesh.

Electricity can be static. For instance, when you break the electrical circuit by turning off a light switch, the electrons that would normally be shifting down the circuit from one atom to the next stall out and merely rotate around their own nucleus. Magnetism can also be static. Consider the magnets you use to pin important pictures to the refrigerator. However, when electricity and magnetism become coupled, and when one of these forces change, it causes a change in the other force. Both begin moving together in waves -electromagnetic waves. The magnetic and electric fields of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular to each and to the direction in which the wave is moving. Electromagnetic waves appear impervious to such concerns as gravitation or friction. Once created, an electromagnetic wave will continue moving forever unless it becomes absorbed by matter (nasa.gov).
The Infrared Spectrum and Implications for Paranormal Investigating
Infrared light has a wave range just as visible light. The wave length of the farther region of infrared (i.e. closer to microwave) are about the distance of a pin head. Nearer the visible light spectrum, infrared wavelength is about the distance of a one celled organism. The infrared light band can be divided into three regions: Near IR, Middle IR and Far IR depending on their wavelength measurements. The infrared waves in the Far IR region are thermal in nature. Hence, while we cannot see infrared waves as visible light with our eyes, we can feel it in the form of heat – or thermal radiation. The warmth released by a radiator or the heat coming off a sidewalk on a hot, summer afternoon are examples of infrared waves. Thermal IR cameras work in this region recording the thermal heat waves. The NEAR IR waves emit light waves versus heat. (Nasa.gov)

The infrared spectrum may be important to ghost hunting because this area of the electromagnetic spectrum seems to be, according to Steiger, where the greatest number of paranormal manifestations occurs. Many cameras, both video and still, come with the ability to work in near darkness using an IR setting. It should be noted that these cameras work in only the Near IR region, that region closest to the visible light spectrum that we can see with our eyes.
Many digital cameras are still sensitive to both the visible light spectrum and the Near IR region, even when not placed in a specific IR setting. This can account for photographs taken that show an anomaly not witnessed when the photograph was taken.
To determine if your camera is sensitive to Near IR light waves, Haunted Chicago suggests using a TV remote. The end used to direct the television works on the Near IR spectrum. Thus, when depressed and pointed toward a camera the light rays should be visible if the camera is sensitive to this region.
The thermal properties of energy given off by Far IR infrared waves, might also account for temperature fluctuations that are reported so often during or slightly before paranormal manifestations. Odd fluctuations in temperature are often noted during paranormal activity – in particular odd cold spots. According to Steiger these cold areas can demonstrate a measurable drop of anywhere from 10 to 40 degrees. It should be noted that during this temperature dip, temperatures don’t fall throughout the entire building, nor even the entire room, but appear to be localized to one small area. Steiger accounts for this oddity by explaining that entities are attracting to themselves the “condensation of free electrons in the environment. (Steiger, pg. XI).”
By free electrons Steiger means the naturally produced air ions. These ions are created when an atom of a natural gas loses one of its electrons, creating a positively charged molecule and a negative free floating electron. Steiger seems to suggest it is the gathering of these “free electrons” by the entity that it uses to fuel itself. Steiger contends that the movement of dispersed electrons to a specific spot would cause the momentary feeling of chill in the surrounding areas. It is also why many investigators use ion detectors during investigations.
The third similarity, Steiger contends, is found in the infrared spectrum, the area just below visible light.
Based on research and discussions it appears that entities, ghosts, spirits etc. are more sensitive to being seen in IR light than UV light. This is in line with another theory that ghosts move very quickly through our space. A high speed object would be better illuminated with a low frequency/long wave light source than a high frequency/short wave source. It is also possible that whatever the composition of ghosts is (including ectoplasm) is more sensitive to reflecting IR light.
Resources
Electromagnetic Spectrum (1996) http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/dir-013/_1941.htm
Retrieved January 6, 2011.
Jennifer. Infrared Imagery Springfield Paranormal Research Group

Layton, J. How Does the Body Make Electricity - and How Does It Use It? http://health.howstuffworks.com/human-body/ Retrieved January 11, 2011.

Magnetic Flux Definition http://www.answers.com/topic/magnetic-flux#ixzz1AMTK2txP Retrieved January 7, 2011.
Rowlett, R. How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurementthe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/dictG.html retrieved January 6, 2011

Steiger, B. (2003) Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places
Visible Ink Press. Canton, MI.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum: What are Electromagnetic Waves? (2007) http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/waves2.html Retrieved January 6, 2011
The Appearance on Electronic Video Capture Devices of Anomalous Images That Are Normally Not Visible to Humans. (1998-2002) http://www.hauntedchicago.com/research.htm. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
Types of Electromagnetic Fields http://corrosion-doctors.org/Voltage/electromagnetic-def.htm#various_forms Retrieved January 6, 2011.
Using Alternate Light Spectrums for Paranormal Investigations (2003-2011) Long Island Paranormal Investigators. http://www.liparanormalinvestigators.com/light.shtml Retrieved January 7, 2011.

Electromagnetic Energy Disruptions and Paranormal Activity

By Robin Strom-Mackey
Brad Steiger in his book Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places explains briefly that documentation over years of paranormal investigating have repeatedly reported three distinct similarities: electromagnetic field disruptions, temperature changes and infrared spectrum manifestations.
Probably of no surprise to seasoned investigators are the documented occurrences of low-level electromagnetic field disruptions. These mainly fall between the 3 to 100 mliligauss (Mg) range the lower range wherein our own bioelectric bodies function. He believes these fluctuations are the, intangible “biomagnetic” field that comprises a “ghost (Steiger, pg. XI).” Basing his theory on the work of Brian Schill, (The DNA of Ghosts) he suggests that when a body dies, the bioelectric energy they possess is released. Remember, if you will, the scientific theory that energy is neither created nor destroyed. If this is true than the energy produced by our bodies may depart in the form of low frequency raw electromagnetic energy that usually disperses into the local environment. However, under unusual circumstances [my emphasis] this same energy may,
“’through covalent bonding, remain in the local environment and attach itself to a certain place or object that the person was attached to in life, or any place that has an electron deficit . The energy may, upon rapid release from the physical body (such as an accidental death tragic situations, or a rapid natural release, etc.) coagulate within the local environment over a short period of time, perhaps only a minute or two, and amass to such a degree that the greater portion that was originally in the body has now become self-aware outside the body (Schill).’ Psychological forces of conscious will may also trigger this type of reaction. When self-awareness occurs, there is generally a degree of confusion because of the new form that the person is in, one of pure energy rather than a physically manifested body (Steiger, pg. XI).”
These low-scale electromagnetic disturbances, occurring at the outset of paranormal phenomena might further explain why electronic devices suddenly stop functioning.
Resources
Steiger, B. (2003) Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places
Visible Ink Press. Canton, MI.


Part IV: The Current Debate; Electromagnetic Energy and Gauss Meters

See also Part I-III of the Current Debate under the July 2010 heading, Part V under January 2011 heading cover topics: AC vs. DC power, the atom and electron, how electricity flows though the human body and the infrared spectrum.
By Robin Strom Mackey
When embarking upon a series of articles about which EMF detector to choose for ghost hunting, I admit, I had never considered how in depth my research would become. What I did not understand at the outset, and hence what many people probably misunderstand about the electromagnetic field, is that different types of electromagnetic energy are not actually disconnected from one another, but are merely a portion of the larger spectrum of electromagnetic energy. Hence the microwave with which you warm your soup is simply on a different part of the spectrum from the type of ultraviolet light that causes your sunburn. The type of EMF detector you choose and purchase is calibrated not to read different types of energy, but to measure a certain part of the spectrum. Deciding which EMF detector to buy, therefore, becomes a matter of determining what portion of the spectrum you wish to measure.
Definition of Electromagnetic Energy
Electromagnetic energy is a combination of electrical impulses and magnetic force coupled together. The two forces move together in waves. The lower end of the spectrum has looser waves with the crests further apart. At the low end of the spectrum, and not shown on this graph are the Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) electro-magnetic fields of AC power, which we use to power most of our electric appliances. Above that (shown below) are the Intermediate Frequency Fields (IF) with the wave crests closer together. This is the radio wave and microwaves portions of the spectrum. The infrared spectrum is just below what is visible light to humans. Just beyond the visible light spectrum are the ultraviolet rays. Undoubtedly you’ve heard of ultraviolet rays in connection with using sunscreen on a hot day. These light rays are faster moving and thus have more energy which can be harmful to exposed flesh.


A Simple Definition of Electromagnetic Energy
Electricity can be static. For instance, when you break the electrical circuit by turning off a light switch, the electrons that would normally be shifting down the circuit from one atom to the next stall out and merely rotate around their own nucleus. Magnetism can also be static. Consider the magnets you use to pin important pictures to the refrigerator. However, when electricity and magnetism become coupled, and when one of these forces change, it causes a change in the other force. Both begin moving together in waves -electromagnetic waves. The magnetic and electric fields of an electromagnetic wave are perpendicular to each and to the direction in which the wave is moving. Electromagnetic waves appear impervious to such concerns as gravitation or friction. Once created, an electromagnetic wave will continue moving forever unless it becomes absorbed by matter (nasa.gov).
Measuring the Electromagnetic Field
The electromagnetic field is measured by wavelength. Wavelength is the measurement of the top or crest of the waves from one wave to the next. The shorter the distance between waves the faster the wave is moving and the more energy it is giving off.



That energy is being expended is obvious, but what might not be obvious is that waves moving at different velocities and with differing wavelengths give off energy differently. For example microwaves and the farther region of the infrared spectrum give off thermal energy, energy we can feel as heat.

Frequency is another term for measuring wavelength and refers to how fast or slow the waves cycle in a second. Consider the radio wave for example. The distance between one crest of a wave and the next is the size of a building. Hence in one second one wave will have traveled by – or cycled through. Hence wavelength and frequency are interrelated; the larger the wave the lower the frequency or the fewer waves that will go by in a second. Conversely the closer the wave’s crests are to one another the more waves which will cycle by in a second and the higher the frequency. (Corrosions-doctors.org).
Common Terminology and Measurement Units
Undoubtedly you’ve seen these terms before, but probably never knew what they meant or what they measured. Below I’ve tried to compile a list of terms that will come in handy when trying to determine what an EMF detector measures.

Electric fields are measured in voltage (volts per meter). The higher the voltage the stronger the electrical field. Actual electrical current is not necessary to measure voltage. In other words electrons need not be moving down a circuit to be measurable. The human body generates weak electricity between 10 to 100 millivolts to power the heart and the central nervous system. This is not enough to power so much as a television which requires 25,000 volts to create a picture on TV.

Magnetic fields are measured in amps (amperes per meter A/m). Unlike an electric field, which can be measured even when current is not actually flowing, a magnetic field is created from the motion of the electricity moving in a circuit.
Because electricity and magnetism are intertwined the two can be measured using a related quantity measurement called a microtesla (µT).
A gauss unit is actually a measurement of the magnetic flux density, just as is the microtesla (µT) which is often the preferred measurement system in science.
Hertz is a measurement of the number of waves, called cycles that pass per second. AC power cycles through at an Extremely Low Frequency rate of 60 Hertz per second. Intermediate Frequency Fields (computer screens and anti-theft devices) measure around 300 Hz to 10 MHz Radio Frequency Fields (cellular telephone antennas and microwave ovens) measure from 10 MHz to 300 GHz (Corrosion-Doctors.org).
Hertz Units Conversions
1 Hertz is a frequency of 1 cycle per second.
1000 Hertz = 1 kilohertz kHz
1,000,000 Hertz = 2 Megahertz MHz
1,000,000,000 Hertz = 1 Gigahertz
Watts refer to a measurement of electromagnetic waves in the radio wave region of the spectrum. Because the magnetic wave and the electric wave are so close together at this frequency they are measured, “as two components of an electromagnetic wave.” The power density of that wave is measured in watts per square inch (W/m2), to describe “the intensity of these fields (corrosion-doctors.org).”



Gauss Meters and Flux
Gauss meters, which you may have noticed advertised on the web, measure the strength of a magnetic field. A gauss unit is actually a measurement of the magnetic flux density, just as is the microtesla (µT) which is often the preferred measurement system in science.
Magnetic Flux is the strength of the magnetic field in a specific region measured perpendicular to the flow. Near the poles the field and force are strongest, becoming progressively weaker away from the poles. The term flux is used because there seems to be a motion or flow as magnetism moves out of the north (+ area) pole, does a circuit and returns to the south (-) pole.
Sprinkling iron fillings on a piece of paper held over a magnet demonstrates this circulating pattern succinctly. Specific patterns form, and these patterns are called lines of induction. The direction of the filings demonstrate in which direction the magnetic field is flowing and the density (the number of lines passing through a unit area) shows the strength of the field (answers.com).


The Gauss Meters work by giving off a tiny electrical current when they come in contact with a magnetic field. The current is amplified so that a meter is capable of showing the number of gauss units. Remember magnetic field strength, unlike electric field strength, cannot be measured unless it is coupled with electricity and moving in electromagnetic waves.

Resources
Electromagnetic Spectrum (1996) http://www.its.bldrdoc.gov/fs-1037/dir-013/_1941.htm Retrieved January 6, 2011.
Jennifer. Infrared Imagery Springfield Paranormal Research Group

Layton, J. How Does the Body Make Electricity -- and how does it use it?

Magnetic Flux Definition http://www.answers.com/topic/magnetic-flux#ixzz1AMTK2txP Retrieved January 7, 2011.
Rowlett, R. How Many? A Dictionary of Units of Measurementthe University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
www.unc.edu/~rowlett/units/dictG.html retrieved January 6, 2011


Steiger, B. (2003) Real Ghosts, Restless Spirits and Haunted Places
Visible Ink Press. Canton, MI.


The Electromagnetic Spectrum: What are Electromagnetic Waves? (2007) http://science.hq.nasa.gov/kids/imagers/ems/waves2.html Retrieved January 6, 2011
The Appearance on Electronic Video Capture Devices of Anomalous Images That Are Normally Not Visible to Humans. (1998-2002) http://www.hauntedchicago.com/research.htm. Retrieved January 7, 2011.
Types of Electromagnetic Fields http://corrosion-doctors.org/Voltage/electromagnetic-def.htm#various_forms Retrieved January 6, 2011.
Using Alternate Light Spectrums for Paranormal Investigations (2003-2011) Long Island Paranormal Investigators. http://www.liparanormalinvestigators.com/light.shtml Retrieved January 7, 2011.