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I have been
convinced since the 1990s that organisms are quantum coherent (see  The Rainbow and the Worm, The
Physics of Organisms, ISIS publication); and more recently, that the quantum
coherence of water is the basis of life (see  Life
is Water's Quantum Jazz, ISIS Lecture), It is very exciting, therefore, to
find that a quantum electrodynamic theory of coherent water may explain the
energetics of life itself (see  Quantum Coherent
Water & Life, SiS 51), as well as a special class of biological
effects due to extremely weak electromagnetic fields (so-called non-thermal EMF
effects), and possibly homeopathy.
field (EMF) effects are by definition those due to very low intensity fields
that do not heat up the cells or tissues of organisms such that a rise in
temperature could be detected. Such effects lie at the heart of the debate over
the health hazards of EMFs from the extremely low frequency electricity mains supply
to the radio waves and microwaves used in mobile telecommunication (see  Non-Thermal Effects , SiS 17).
waves and the electromagnetic spectrum
waves propagate through empty space at the speed of light, i.e., 300 000
kilometres per second, and include the light that enables us to see, which
vibrates at frequencies of about 1014 cycles per second. They have
both an electrical component and a magnetic component vibrating at right angles
to each another.
The entire electromagnetic spectrum is extremely wide, ranging from
waves that vibrate at less than one cycle per second, or one Hz (Hertz) – named
after Heinrich Hertz, the German physicist who discovered electromagnetic waves
in 1888 – to 1024 Hz. The corresponding range of wavelengths –
speed/frequency – is from 3 x 108 metres to 3 x 10-15 metre.
Above the visible spectrum are the ultraviolet rays, X-rays and g-rays, the
‘ionising’ radiations that break molecules up into electrically charged
entities, and known to damage DNA, causing harmful mutations.
Below the visible range are the non-ionising electromagnetic
radiations, the safety of which has been debated for well over half a century.
our regulators to this day, there is no conceivable mechanism whereby the very
low intensity EMFs emitted by mobile phones and base stations or high tension
power lines could have any biological effects, because the energy involved is
below that of the random molecular motions of a system at thermodynamic
equilibrium. I add the emphasis because everyone who has studied physics or
chemistry at school will have recognized that organisms are anything but
‘systems at thermodynamic equilibrium’, so any regulator using that argument is
grossly, if not wilfully ignorant, and should be immediately disqualified as a
In conventional (equilibrium) thermodynamics, the energy of a system
is nkT, where n is the number of
molecules in the system, k is Boltzmann’s constant (1.3807 x 10-23 Joule per Kelvin) and T the absolute temperature in degrees Kelvin; this random
‘thermal’ energy is evenly distributed throughout the system and unavailable
for doing work. So, any incoming energy less than kT - the kinetic
energy of an individual molecule - is below the ‘thermal threshold’ at which
useful work could be done, and can hence have no effect.
The ‘thermal threshold’ is a fallacy arising from the assumption
that living organisms can be described in terms of conventional equilibrium
thermodynamics; whereas by general consensus they are open systems meticulously
organised and maintained far away from thermodynamic equilibrium. Useful
work is done everywhere within the system because coherent energy is
being mobilised for growth and development and for the myriad activities that
life entails. In such systems, extremely weak electromagnetic fields with
energies below the thermal threshold can indeed have macroscopic effects
because these fields affect an astronomical number of molecules
simultaneously engaged in the same activity – typically 1017 to
1020 molecules for a human weighing 70 kg.
Organisms are indeed coherent to a high degree, even quantum
coherent, as research in my laboratory first revealed nearly 20 years ago . Living
organisms are liquid crystalline; all their molecules are aligned and polarized
along the major body axis, and moving coherently together, including
especially the 70 percent of water that forms dynamically coherent units with
the macromolecules, and without which the macromolecules cannot function at all
[1, 2]. Furthermore, organisms and cells, as well as molecules rely on electric
and electromagnetic fields for intercommunication (see  The Real
Bioinformatics Revolution, SiS 33), which is how living systems from
bacteria to whales can function as perfectly coordinated and coherent wholes.
intriguingly, the EMF effects often deviate from classical dose-response
behaviour; in other words, they depart from the usual assumption that effect should
go up linearly with field intensity, until a point of saturation. In
particular, some effects can only be observed at a specific range of intensities,
and disappear at both higher and lower levels. These intensity and frequency
‘windows’ simply stretched the imagination of many in the scientific community,
and so the tendency is to dismiss those effects altogether, even by some of
those who did experiments on non-thermal EMF effects.
Ion cyclotron resonance
The archetypal example of non-thermal EMF
effects that exhibit both frequency and intensity windows was discovered in the
laboratories of Carl F. Blackman  and Abraham R. Liboff  in the 1980s. In
their experiments, they combined a static (DC) and an alternating (AC) magnetic
field, which caused an increase in the concentration of free calcium ions in
nervous tissues, in the form of a very narrow ‘resonance’ peak in the AC
magnetic field, with the maximum corresponding to the ‘cyclotron frequency’ of
Ions in a static and uniform (DC) magnetic field will typically move in
a circle with a cyclotron frequency, fc determined by its
charge q, mass m, and the strength of the magnetic field B:
= (qB)/2pm (1)
An AC magnetic field that
matches the cyclotron frequency gives special ion cyclotron resonance
effects. Ion cyclotron resonance effects were extensively investigated in a
number of laboratories . The calcium cyclotron frequency was found to affect
the calmodulin (calcium-binding protein) regulation of calcium ion
concentration in solution and a host of biological functions: the motility of
diatoms, the rate of cell proliferation in culture, melatonin synthesis in the
pineal gland, calcium concentration in lymphocytes and thymus cells, the
germination and growth of seeds, etc.
resonance was extended to other ions such as potassium on the rate of cell
proliferation, and lithium and magnesium on animal behaviour.
Zhadin’s research team at the Institute of Cell Biophysics of the Russian Academy of Science in Moscow attracted serious attention to the phenomenon when they
showed that the ion cyclotron resonance could be demonstrated for a simple
amino acid dissolved in water .
Ion cyclotron resonance for amino acids
Zhadin’s team used a solution of glutamic
acid (0.33 g/litre) in water adjusted to pH 2.85 with dilute acid in an
electrolytic cell. A cubic cell (2 x 2 x 2 cm, 8 ml in
volume) was filled with the solution. Gold electrodes with an area of 2 cm2
were placed in the cell at a distance of 1 cm apart, and the potential
difference between the two electrodes was adjusted to 80 mV with an external
power supply. The cell was placed within two coils with one coil located inside
the other, the axis of the coils coinciding with each other. The outer coil
created the DC magnetic field, B, and the inner coil made the AC
field. The electric field between electrodes was perpendicular to the coils
axis. The coils were located within a Permalloy chamber that shielded all
external fields. The DC magnetic field was 40 mT (microTesla), about the same
as earth’s magnetic field). The sinusoidal current through the inner coil
generated the AC magnetic field of amplitude 0.02 mT. The AC field frequency was
scanned in the range from 1 to 10 Hz with a speed of 0.05Hz/s. A baseline
steady current of a few nA (nanoAmpere) was recorded under non-resonant
conditions. At resonance, a transient sharp increase in current was found.
in order to find a minimum of the AC field at which an effect could be detected,
the amplitude was increased in small steps starting with 10 nT (nanotesla). To
their great surprise, a “quite prominent” brief peak of current through the
solution was already found at 20 nT. There was only one peak, coinciding with the
calculated cyclotron frequency of glutamic acid ion of 4.18 Hz. The peak of the
current was 10–80 nT, and the rise time typically 0.5
s, while the decay time was 15 to 20 s. There was also an amplitude window,
above or below which the effect was not detectable.
This striking effect has been
reproduced by different laboratories, including that of quantum physicist Emilio
Del Guidice at the University of Milan in Italy . Initially, the success
rate for producing the effect was about 20 percent, but increased to 70 percent
in the most recently published experiments, where it was confirmed to be a
field effect , as it could be produced even when the electrodes were placed
outside the electrolytic cell.
Quantum electrodynamic explanation
This apparent ion cyclotron resonance effect
cannot be explained in terms of classical physics. Not only is the energy
involved in the AC magnetic field some eleven order of magnitude smaller than
the ‘thermal threshold’ or thermal noise, the calculated radius of the circular
path taken by the ion at resonant frequency is metres, much larger than the
dimension of the experimental cell in which the observations were made.
In order to explain this
phenomenon, a quantum electrodynamic field theory was needed, as originally
proposed by Giuliano Preparata  and elaborated by Del Giudice and other colleagues after
Preparata’s untimely death in 2000.
Quantum field theory predicts
that liquids, being condensed matter with high density, are not governed by
purely static local interactions such as H-bonds and dipoles. On the contrary,
their binding is induced by radiative long range electromagnetic fields (EMFs).
A collection of molecules interacting with the radiative EMF above a density
threshold and below a critical temperature acquires a new minimum energy state
different from the conventional where the oscillations of individual molecules
are uncorrelated and the electromagnetic field is vanishing. The new minimum
energy state is a coherence domain (CD) about 100 nm in diameter that
oscillates in unison and in tune with an EMF trapped within it (see  for a
How ion cyclotron resonance may be
the Preparata, Del Giudice and colleagues , liquid water
is a two-fluid system consisting of a coherent phase (about 40 percent of total
volume at room temperature) and an incoherent phase (see Figure 1).
Figure 1 Coherence Domain of water is a cube of about 100 nm at 0 ºC
(left), shrinking to a smaller sphere as temperature increases (right)
In the coherent phase, the water molecules oscillate coherently
between two electronic configurations in phase with a resonating EMF. The
common frequency of the EMF and the electronic oscillation of the coherent
phase is 0.26 eV (about 6.28 x 1013 Hz in the infra-red region);
whereas the energy difference of the two electronic configuration of the
coherent phase is 12.06 eV, which gives a wavelength of 1 000 A (100 nm). The
oscillations span the whole available space within the CD.
Ions are excluded from the coherent phase. Instead, the electrolyte
(dissolved ions) forms a coherent system within the noncoherent phase of the
solvent. The ions oscillate in their respective Debye-Hückel cages (water
molecules surrounding the ions due to dipole interactions). And these DH
oscillations satisfy the quantum electrodynamical condition for coherence at
all accessible concentrations. A major effect of the ion coherence is the
elimination of interionic collisions, because all ions oscillate with the same
frequency. So kT thermal noise is irrelevant.
The enormous radius attributed
to the cyclotron orbit is also irrelevant, as that only applies to the high
speeds attainable in the gas-like phase. In the condensed liquid phase, the
speeds are considerably lowered, and hence the diameter of cyclotron motion
much smaller, being that of the water CD.
The ions are driven into stable
circular orbits around the CD equatorial plane so as to minimize their energy;
the cyclotron frequency being fc = (qB)/2pm (Equation 1); the radius of the orbits being that of the water CD.
If now a weak AC magnetic field is
superimposed, Bac of frequency w, sidebands are added to the
fundamental cyclotron frequency, fs = fc - nw, with intensity
proportional to Bac, so long as Bac
approaches zero (being very small). If w = fc/n at resonance, fs
vanishes, and this zero frequency become a translational movement out of the
orbit, thereby contributing to an increase in electrical current, as observed
(see Figure 2).
2 When BAC is small, the drift velocity of the ions out of the orbit around
the water CD is small; when BAC reaches resonance levels, the drift velocity
becomes large enough to break free of the orbit and enter into the general free
reservoir thereby increasing the electrical current as observed
This explanation based on quantum
coherent water accounts well in general for ion cyclotron resonance of
electrolytes and small molecules. But many details remain unclear, especially
the precise manner in which inorganic ions, and amino acids, not to mention peptides,
proteins, and nucleic acids interact with water .
Most importantly, water within
living organisms is different from bulk water, so how does ion cyclotron
resonance work in that context? That remains to be explained.
Quantum coherent water and homeopathy
Could quantum coherent water account for
homeopathy, more specifically, the memory of water in the form of pure EM
signals originating from a DNA sequence that appears capable of ‘informing’ the
synthesis of a precise replica of the original DNA sequence (see  DNA
Sequence Reconstituted from Water Memory?SiS 51)?
According to the authors of the
paper reporting on the phenomenon , which included Del Giudice, Giuseppe
Vitiello and other colleagues, the CDs of water oscillate on a frequency common
to the EMF and the water molecules, and this common frequency changes when energy
is stored in the CD. The water CD effectively traps energy and exports it. When
the oscillation frequency of the CD matches the oscillation frequency of some
non-aqueous solute molecules present on the CD boundaries, these guest
molecules become members of the CD and are able to catch the entire stored
energy, which becomes activation energy enabling the guest molecules to engage
in chemical reactions. There is indeed evidence that proteins and nucleic acids
that share common functions or reactions do share a common EM frequency (see  The Real
Bioinformatics Revolution , SiS 33).
Albert Szent-Gyorgyi had
proposed 50 years ago that water surrounding biomolecules should be at the
origin of the excitations of molecular electron levels responsible for chemical
reactions . So, if the ensemble of frequencies is able to attract the
component monomer building blocks of a polymer because they are excited in the
water CD, the polymer would be created from the monomers attracted to the CD,
if they are present in the solution. Thus, it is possible, in principle, to
induce the polymerization of monomers by supplying the monomers when the EMFs
have the relevant frequencies (the EM information).
The essential role of
electrolyte ions in regulating biochemical activity is well recognized. Ions
close to water CDs are attracted by the EMFs trapped in the domains, so they
orbit around the domain, moving at a circular speed proportional to the
cyclotron frequency (see above).
point out  that as DNA and proteins are polyelectrolytes, they are
surrounded by a cloud of positive counter-ions with a cyclotron frequency in
the interval between 1 and 100 Hz playing an important role.
The role played by the background
of low frequency EMF is to provide a resonant alternating magnetic field in
order to load energy in the water CDs. In higher organisms, such as the humans,
the researchers suggest it is produced by the nervous system. Elementary
organisms, such as bacteria, use environmental fields, such as the Schumann
modes of the geomagnetic field. These modes are the stationary modes produced
by the magnetic activity occurring in the shell whose boundaries are the
surface of the earth and the conductive ionosphere. This acts as mirrors for
the wavelengths higher than several hundreds of metres. These stationary modes
should have a frequency ns, which in the ideal case is
where R is the radius of the earth. The
real earth-ionosphere cavity is not an ideal one, so the real frequencies are a
bit lower than the values given by the equation. The peaks experimentally found
are 7.83, 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8 Hz.
Consequently, in order to
produce the energy loading of CDs, the biological system should select ions
having a q/m ratio that, given the local value of the static
magnetic field B in the organism, fits in with one of the Schumann
resonances. The local value of B is expected to be not much
different from the earth’s magnetic field, which is in the order of 50 mT.
The Schumann mode of 7.83 Hz appears
resonant for the DNA signal [14, 15]. The extraction of ions from their
cyclotron orbits, and by the conservation of angular momentum, produces a
counter-rotation of the plasma of quasi-free electrons in the CDs, whose
frequency depends on the number of involved ions (i.e., their concentration).
It is the rotation of the plasma of the quasi-free electrons in the CDs that
produces the observed EMS, which is why excitation is prevented by mu-metal,
the authors suggested.
A decisive move towards quantum biology
in understanding non-thermal EMF effects
The explanations are tentative and
incomplete in many respects. How do the original DNA molecule and their
counter-ions interact with the water CD? Studies on DNA and protein hydration
have revealed dynamic coherence between hydration water and macromolecule (see
with Macromolecules, SiS 48); although it is far from clear whether
studies on macromolecules in solution can tell us anything about the
macromolecules inside the living cell (see  The Rainbow Ensemble,
SiS 48). Nevertheless, the quantum electrodynamics theory of water
provides a useful framework for further investigations that decisively moves biology
away from classical towards quantum physics and a much better understanding of
non-thermal EMF effects.
non-thermal EMF effects was the subject of a recent 400-page monograph produced
by the non-profit International Commission for Electromagnetic Safety ,
which formed part of the evidence submitted by Prof. Jacqueline McGlade and
David Gee of the European Environment Agency to the Council of Europe Hearing on
cancer risks from EMFs (see  EuropeanEnvironment Agency Highlight Mobile Phone
Cancer Risks,SiS 51).
As the result of
widespread concern, the European Parliament passed a resolution on EMF in 2009,
which among other things, called for lowering exposure to electromagnetic
fields, and for lower exposure limits to better protect the public from health
hazards, a call repeated in 2011 (see  Wireless
Phone Radiation "Possibly Carcinogenic", SiS 51). The
current EMF limits for the UK are 360 mT for the general public exposure and 1 800 mT for
occupational exposure , at which an increase in temperature in the exposed
subject is not expected; totally disregarding non-thermal biological effects
that can be observed at much lower levels.
I thank Dr. Emilio Del Giudice for
helpful discussions and explanations on quantum electrodynamics of water.
thomas F. mantik Comment left 27th July 2011 21:09:55 I suspect Francis Bacon would concur: "Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed"
John Benneth Comment left 1st August 2011 13:01:31 Brilliant article with ecellent iformation by Mae Wan Ho. Thank you for this contribution to science and medicine.
Rory Short Comment left 4th August 2011 15:03:55 Reading this article caused me to think that the precautionary principle should feature much more prominently in evaluating new technologies and deciding at what rate, if any, they should be allowed to be rolled out into society. Up until the present time the precautionary principle at a collective level is more evident in its absence than in its application.
Robert M. Davidson MD, PhD Comment left 22nd August 2011 21:09:20 Is the viscosity inside the CDs greater or less than that of bulk water? Dr Zhadin initially said it was less viscous. Does he still stand by that view? Dr Pollack and others have said it is more viscous.
Mae-Wan Ho Comment left 23rd August 2011 10:10:09 Hi Robert M. Davidson,
I don't think we can say whether it has higher or lower viscosity. The problem is that people tend to think there is a one or a few kinds of structured water. For example, low density vs high density water. My own feeling is that water has many different structures depending on the precise conditions. Even quantum coherent water could have different structures. Most of the hypothesis presented, I feel, are over-simplifications, and one must find a coherent story among conflicting narratives.
I am still trying...
patrick foster Comment left 4th September 2011 10:10:55 Dear Dr Ho,
Thank you for your accounts of Luc Montanier’s work demonstrating the persistence of
bacterial forms. On first sight this may be relevant to a current controversy in the USA concerning the management of Lyme disease with the national Public Broadcasting stations airing an effective video in prime time of the (?typical) handling of what is a very serious and sometimes lethal condition of Lyme disease (Borreliosis). This is an arthropod spread disease (mainly tick and now a mosquito) transmitting a spirochete, **Borrelia. Originally it seems to have been limited to Southern Africa as Chikungunya that causes severe muscle pains (I’ve had it) and later spread slowly to the East after mutation to mosquito transfer. It seems to have later arrival in the USA. . Being a spirochete it has been suggested to have a life cycle similar to that of Syphilis
that may progress through 3 stages over the years. In young kids it can produce disastrous effects on motor & cognitive function. It has also been proposed as one cause of Alzheimer disease. The immunology is complex – unlike unicellular bacteria. (See Wikipedia)
It is extremely difficult to eliminate – daily Doxacycline for many months seems to be the
Standard treatment among the few physicians who offered to spend time & trouble treating patients to block the relapses - even deaths - that are common.
BUT Insurance Companies complained at the expense of up to 2 or more years use of what is one of the cheapest drugs made. Complaints went to the AMA heavies – people (?experts) that had produced other special cures or vaccines or other axes to grind,. who constituted themselves as a committee to decided that this was malpractice and therefore reason to withdraw the State’s LICENCE TO PRACTICE. (ignoring clinical records & successfully treated patients). It appears that every member of this committee had some cozy connexion to Industry.
Luc Montanier’s work as you describe it leads one to consider combining a dedicated magnetic field with the antibiotic therapy to block this relapse. A Quantum method of treating a potentially lethal disease?
** see SCIAM p24 of Aug2011
Patrick Foster, MB, ChB,FFARCSI, FRCA
g.shaw Comment left 28th January 2015 13:01:12 I have become aware of higher than usual v/m levels on my home DECT phone, and home telephone cable, in the course of researching cause of physical tingling sensations switching on and off during periods of rest in my home. Sometimes these tingles have occurred in contact with computer and /or telephone during periods of intense intent traffic on my account. I would like scientific verification of the phenomena. Is any one able to offer a means of doing this?