Home » Uncategorized » The Physics of the Hum – Part Two

The Physics of the Hum – Part Two

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Follow World Hum Map and Database Project on WordPress.com

This is not a scientific journal article – rather it is an educational resource (relying on widely agreed upon sources) – for people who want to understand what I am suggesting.

Please read Part One if you haven’t done so.

As a 20-year teacher of physics, I was surprised I had never been taught about geomagnetic conjugates. If you put paper over a bar magnet and then sprinkle iron filings over it, you can see the magnetic lines of force. Each point on one pole of the magnet is connected to another point on the other pole of the magnet. This other point is called the “magnetic conjugate”. Well, the Earth is a big magnet, and the exact same thing applies: wherever you are in your hemisphere on the planet, you are magnetically connected to a specific place in the opposite hemisphere. A physical demonstration of this came when scientists used the HAARP facility in Alaska to make a focused blast on the ionosphere with a high frequency wave. This wave created a secondary VLF radio disturbance which ran at the speed of light up the magnetic force lines way up into space, and then landing a few seconds later at a buoy floating at the geomagnetic conjugate point in the Southern Ocean, located between New Zealand and Antarctica.

In other words, a large VLF signal anywhere on Earth creates a mirror signal at its geomagnetic conjugate point. This adds yet another layer of VLF energy at various locations on Earth, interacting with each other, and creating unpredictable interference patterns of varying intensity. My current working theory is that the world Hum is a biological reaction to interaction between tissue and pulsed radio frequencies between 3 kHz and 30 kHz; that is, the VLF radio band. A full statement of that theory can be found here.

The propagation of VLF radio signals is of course further complicated because of mountain ranges, ice pack, and possibly other geographical features. And of course don’t forget the ground wave, the sky wave, and the line of sight wave, as described in Part One. If you need a review of EM basics, look at this.

At some point I need a radio engineer to comment on whether basic VLF receivers can in fact detect if one is, for example, standing at a radio antinode or otherwise, and whether instruments can indicate if one is experiencing pulsed (or roughly modulated) VLF signals.


  1. jimvandamme says:

    I suggest getting amateur radio operators involved. There are lots of them scattered throughout the world, they like to experiment and hunt elusive radio signals, especially bounced off ionosphere layers, and need a good excuse to justify their hobby to their spouses. Many have good electromagnetic and electronics experience. (Well, some don’t, just enough to pass the basic tests.)

    VLF signals can be readily identified by frequency and call sign. They are usually unique to reduce interference. There sure are a lot of them:

    As for receivers, those can be pretty crude due to the low frequency. Antennas are a bigger (literally) problem although untuned loopsticks and long wires might be OK. The modulation is low rate so usually it can be picked out by ear (morse code) or audio recorded for later study. If you need extreme sensitivity, broad bandwidth, or calibrated quantitative measurements, you need an A/D board that you can integrate long time and run math-stuff on (FFT). The cost goes up exponentially with bits & bandwidth.

  2. Glen, reading your lines is very exciting. Thank you!

    The humm is always there, I never suspect that I have a health issue, my 5-7 year old children can also hear it. It humms in its own nature, goes up, down, pulses, and even stops sometimes. Bad, if I get upset, because, If I am rightly remembering, about ten years before, I never remember such a noise. There was peacefull silence on earth. What have we done? Or what has caused it? Surely, other living entities are also suffering from it.

    I am wishing you all the best, good work!

    Sölétormos Asli

  3. Pat Coleman says:

    This might be an interesting experiment: your map show some hum hearers in Japan. The eastern part of Japan uses 50 Hz electric power. The western part uses 60 Hz power. It looks like a relatively short trip from a location where the hum is heard in the 50 Hz zone, to a spot where the hum is heard in the 60 Hz zone. It would be interesting to know if hearers detect a difference in the hum in the two zones.

  4. Georg C. L. says:

    Hi Glen! We should definitely take into account what is called “electrosmog” in its widest sense. I’ve read the paper of Panagopoulos et al from 2002, and every low frequency up to some 10 kHz can have biological effects. So also “the grid”, and all kind of harmonics emanating from house hold devices are contributing. The newer paper from 2014 from Panagopulos regarding “Polarization” now links high frequency to this low frequency range. This all fits together on a hypothetical basis.

    Best wishes, Georg C. L.

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