Tag Archives: subatomic signals

Listening to Subatomic Signals (My back yard attempts at a DIY proton precession magnetometer)

Some years ago, I was stunned to read that hydrogen protons can actually be heard with a (relatively) simple audio amplifier. At that time I was reading about magnetometers – devices that measure magnetic fields, and came across the “Proton Precession Magnetometer.” These things work by using a big electromagnet to magnetize a bottle of water (or other hydrogen-rich fluid). When the magnetizing current is switched off, the hydrogen protons inside will wobble about (“precess”) as they re-orient with the Earth’s magnetic field. This produces an electromagnetic signal which can be picked up by a coil of wire around the bottle, amplified and heard. The frequency of this signal tells us very accurately, how strong the Earth’s magnetic field is. Continue reading

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