For a while, I’ve had this sitting on my hard-drive and I decided to finally share it. This picture was taken of an actual book that was published and put up for sale at a bookstore. If you’ve never been to a new-age type store, people love buying magic crystals to do all sorts of things. There are a ton of healing and power crystals that absolutely saturate Amazon and similar sites. One common theme is a fear of modern technology creating energy fields that harm humans. While some cases exist where ionizing radiation has made its way into residential areas (check out medical isotope loss if you ever want to read some chilling stories), generally anything referring to “electromagnetic pollution” is just fearmongering. It’s a common concern though especially if you don’t understand the relationship between magnetism and the environment.
Anyway, let’s check out this article from a book on power crystals. Nevermind spending money on “Norton” or “Avast!,” you can just perform a ritual to protect you from malware.
Keeping Away Computer Viruses With Malachite Malachite is a transformational crystal that lets you live life more intensely under its influence. Some people believe it will become one of the most prized healing stones of this century. Malachite is reputed to help with spiritual development and inner journeying; it is also very protective-those who use it regularly say that it breaks into pieces when danger is near. Placed on your desk, malachite will soak up some of the electromagnetic pollution emitted by your computer and other appliances. You can make it your own personal guardian against viruses that can attack your computer via the Internet and email. Its healing energy can be an added repellent to any new viruses that are attacking software programs and can be used alongside your dedicated anti-virus program. The stone dispels negativity, absorbing any radiation and pollutants that leak into the atmosphere. Pick up your stone and hold it firmly in your hand to feel its power and purifying abilities. Ask it to soak up any negativity from your office space and send out strong, positive energetic rays around your computer to keep it virus-free. Circle the stone around the computer twice daily, morning, and late afternoon. Cleanse the stone after each use under running water, or see pages 149-153.
I don’t think it takes an electrical engineer to tell you that this is entirely garbage.
Since that book does make mention of “electromagnetic pollution,” I might as well talk about that.
It is not inaccurate to say that everything electric that we use emits electromagnetic fields. This is a very well understood process.
Everything starts when a power source causes a voltage potential to exist between two points. This causes electric current to flow if there’s a path for it to flow along like a wire or circuit board trace. When current flows, an electromagnetic field is produced around the wire. This was discovered by Michael Faraday in 1831. Since then, we’ve characterized electromagnetic fields extremely well. We can bend them to suit our purposes, create them to transmit information, and block them where necessary. There are entire branches of engineering and physics devoted to this.
That being said, everything that is sold that you might have in your home or office has to meet FCC emissions standards. Nothing is allowed to produce harmful electromagnetic interference that could impact the operation of other electronics. FCC testing runs $5,000-$20,000 per test and is very thorough. If it is sold in stores, it can’t negatively impact the operation of other electronics.
What about impacting the human body?
Keep in mind that electromagnetic fields do not affect the human body much at all. A good example of this is a MRI machine. That device uses a ton of electricity to polarize hydrogen in your body’s cells so that a low strength radio-frequency signal is emitted and recorded. MRIs are completely safe despite the fact that they concentrate a massive electromagnetic field around your body. In fact, MRIs produce an electromagnetic field many orders of magnitude greater than anything you’ll find in your daily life. They’ve been extensively studied with no ill effects discovered.
I’d love to write about how malachite wouldn’t do much to protect you even if there was a danger; however, that’s not strictly true. Malachite has a high dielectric constant which means that it’s pretty good at reducing the electric field propagation through itself. I can’t find any hard numbers for the magnetic permeability so I can’t speak to that. Regardless, you’d have to coat whatever you were concerned with in malachite for it to really do anything significant. Maybe a malachite suit of armor? You’d do much better to construct a Faraday cage around yourself if you were the hyper-paranoid type. The unfortunate side effect of that would be that there’d be no WiFi inside and I don’t think any of us could survive that doomsday scenario.
Hopefully this has prevented at least one person from buying into what amounts to literal magic.