Human Subject Effects on Torsion Pendulum Oscillations: Further Evidence of Mediation by Convection Currents

Richard Hammerschlag, Ann Linda Baldwin, Gary E. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Context When a human subject sits beneath a wire mesh, hemispheric torsion pendulum (TP) a rapid-onset series of oscillations at frequencies both higher and lower than the fundamental frequency of the TP have been consistently observed. Objective This study was designed to replicate and extend prior findings that suggest the human subject effect on TP behavior is due to subject-generated, heat-induced convection currents. Design Effects on pendulum behavior were tested after draping an aluminized “space blanket” over the subject and by replacing the subject with a thermal mattress pad shaped to approximate the human form. Setting Experiments were performed in a basic science university research laboratory. Main Outcome Measures Real-time recordings and Fast Fourier Transform frequency spectra of pendulum oscillatory movement. Results The space blanket blocked, while the mattress pad mimicked, the human subject induced complex array of pendulum oscillations. Conclusions Our findings support and strengthen previous results that suggest the effects of human subjects on behavior of a torsion pendulum are mediated by body-heat-induced air convection rather than an unknown type of biofield.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)436-439
Number of pages4
JournalExplore: The Journal of Science and Healing
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Biofield
  • Convection
  • Torsion pendulum

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analysis
  • Nursing(all)
  • Chiropractics
  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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