Home » Uncategorized » The Geophysical Letters research article has nothing to do with the Hum

The Geophysical Letters research article has nothing to do with the Hum

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This may be remembered as a low point in science reporting. The original article is solid science and fascinating in its own right, but somewhere between the author’s pen and the mainstream press, something went badly off the rails. Let’s restrict ourselves to just one issue: frequency and period of waves.

There are essentially two types of waves: longitudinal (or compression) and transverse. Sound and mechanical shock waves travel as the former, whereas electromagnetic (EM) waves, such as light, x-rays, microwaves, radio, etc, travel at light speed as two intersecting transverse waves, one magnetic, the other electric. There are two main types of seismic (earthquake) waves, one of them longitudinal and the other transverse. Everything that follows applies to all waves.

The frequency of a wave tells us how many times per second something is occurring. For example, if you strike the “A” key above Middle-C on the piano, you hear a dominant tone of 440 Hz (Hertz). That means that the air in your ear is vibrating (compressing) 440 times per second. Lower frequencies have a lower pitch, and visa-versa. FM radio waves – which are not sound waves – are vibrating or oscillating at tens of millions of times per second.

The word “Period” has a specific meaning here, which was lost on the science reporters. For those with a little physics, recall that T=1/f; that is, the period of a wave is the reciprocal of its frequency. In simple language, the period of a wave is the time between wave vibrations. In the above example with the “A” note on the piano, the frequency (f) is 440 Hz. The period (T) is 1/440 = 0.0023 seconds. That does not mean the wave lasts that long, it means that a wave compression hits your ear every 0.0023 seconds.

Now that we have covered that, look at the reporting of the article. The reporters’ claim was that seismic waves “last from 15 to 300 seconds”. That is not what the authors said – they said that the period of the waves varied from 15 to 300 seconds. For those who have a little math background, you’ll notice that we can rearrange the formula to be f=1/T. So in the case of these seismic waves, the frequency of these waves vary from 0.0033 Hz up to 0.066 Hz. The human auditory system begins recognizing vibrations as tones or hums at around 20 Hz.

The Hum has not been solved. But we are getting closer, and I intend to get to the bottom of it despite the bad reporting.


  1. SGVH says:


    …extreme hazards of ultra low frequencies [ULF] … electromagnetic radiation causes electrical induction, by polarizing and depolarizing of all nerves and muscles, forcibly overriding and coupling to the bioelectrical system of everything biological, and flipping on and off the switches of the body like a strobe light, literally billions of times a second, while shredding the DNA irreparably.

    The “polarizing & depolarizing” & that “flipping on & off the switches of the body” sounds like something that would cause internal organs (inner ear, too) to vibrate! He continues:

    …long before these frequencies were
    rebranded as convenient wireless devices able to surveil and radiate, they were originally designed to do this as military weapons of mass destruction, also at ultra low frequencies.
    …900 megahertz and 2.4 gigahertz were designed to and are best suited to induce a myriad kinds of health damage.
    Partial comment by “Xyila” on April 7, 2013 at 1:33 pm, from reader comments at this page:

    I think “Xyila” may be Curtis Bennett, Thermal Radiation Expert, Electrician, & Expert Legal Witness in British Columbia, as he writes with that same wording & teaches Continuing Education Credits re Radiation for doctors at IHF. Bennett’s site is ThermoGuy.com .

    A person named “Vigilant Dave” elaborated re the “ultra low frequencies” [ULF]:

    “…the harmonics of the 60 cycle power frequency caused by the switched mode power supply (SMPS), e.g. 120 cps, 180 cps, 240 cps, and so on … are the ‘ultra low frequencies’ Xyila probably had in mind.”


  2. SGVH says:

    BTW, I agree 100% with your article title! & notice you’ve been busy lately (a burst of posts. 🙂


    While shopping for a shielded USB cord recently, I came across this AV-forum discussion from 2010.

    I put the pertinent portion in bold which is exactly what Dave Stetzer* says is the cause of all the “Dirty Electricity” being dumped into the Power Grid beginning after the 1973 Middle East Oil Crisis when ALL THINGS ELECTRIC were thenceforth equipped with “Switch Mode Power Supplies” (SMPS); & which MIGHT also explain SOME people’s “Hums (??):

    LDEVRIES: Sun. May 9, 2010 – 12:10 AM:
    I must admit, that I deviated into general EMC/ RFI reduction…

    Because I have a lot of RF receiving & transmitting equipment in my workshop I tend to decouple everything to reduce all noise because if I don’t, the fundamental noise, harmonics & inter-modulation products will get me sooner or later.

    As far as the fundamental design it is a bit of a black art, and you will need a noise proof room (I forget the name) and equipment which produces less noise than what you are trying to measure. There are special measurement labs who can do this.

    Now for a rant! For those who had the pleasure of using a HF communications receiver 50 years ago, it was heaven, lots of signal & little noise. These days you hear crud from switch mode power supplies and every conceivable electronic gadget made in China which does not comply with any EMC standards.

    I think it would be fair to say that 50 years ago every home probably had only one oscillator (LO in BC receiver) generating a detectable signal. These days each home probably has 100-200 or more oscillators all producing noise and the number of inter-modulation enormous

    Not allowing electronic gear on air craft is all about avoiding EMC issues. Whilst two pieces of independent equipment may not cause a problem, the inter-mod products between them could easily cause malfunction of navigation or communication equipment.

    Sorry to get on this rant! The OP opened this can of worms!

    Another guy replied:
    –“You’re thinking of an anechoic chamber. Those cost quite a bit to rent, but I found preliminary testing in building basements quite useful.”

    Then the LDEVRIES guy replied to that:
    –“I think they are just called ‘RF shielded rooms,’ but they can be anechoic as well. Anechoic means ‘neither having nor producing echoes/reflections.’ So some radiation tests can be made as well. Anyway $$$$$$$’s are involved… hi hi!”


    *Dave Stetzer, Stetzer Electric Company, Former Military Top Secret Crypto/Electronics & an Electrician. Interviews online at YT, etc., all very informative.
    –He also says that at the bottom of every cell tower is a big box or small room/shed that is FULL of tons of electronic equipt. & that ALL of that is also dumping tons of “Dirty Electricity” into the Power Grid.
    –He says there’s really nothing wrong with the Grid itself, but that it’s all the ELECTRONICS usage that has mushroomed over the past 40-50 years that is causing the Grid (& all of us) problems.


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