The Magnetic Personality of Violet

The Magnetic Personality of Violet

The mainstream has taken a strong dislike to Violet and excludes her whenever possible.

By reducing the rainbow to just six colours the Wikipedia Wizards now only have to make Violet vanish when they cast their magic spells over the colours of the solar rainbow.

This new and improved magic rainbow of just five colours [i.e. Indigo invisible and Violet vaporised] enables the Wikipedia Wizards to claim that the sky is blue because short wavelength blue light is scattered more than longer wavelengths

When not excluded they usually give Violet the “very low temperature” cold shoulder treatment.

The photomagnetic effect is the effect in which a material acquires (and in some cases loses) its ferromagnetic properties in response to light.

Currently the effect is only observed to persist (for any significant time) at very low temperature.

But at temperatures such as 5K, the effect may persist for several days.

However, two hundred years ago, Violet was very popular with the mainstream.

In 1813 Professor Morichini developed a passion for Violet when he discovered her magnetic personality in Rome.

Seconda memoria sopra la forza magnetizante del lembo estremo del raggio violetto

Seconda Memoria Sopra la Forza Magnetizante del Lembo Estremo del Raggio Violetto
Domenico Morichini – 1813

In 1826 Mary Somerville became enthralled with Violet’s magnetic personality.

In the year 1813, Professor Morichini of Rome discovered that steel, exposed to the violet rays of the solar spectrum becomes magnetic.

The unusual clearness of the weather last summer, however, induced me to try what could be accomplished in this country.

Accordingly, in the month of July, an equiangular prism of flint glass, the three sides of which were each 1,4 by 1,1 inches, was fixed in a slit made to receive it in a window-shutter: by this prism a coloured spectrum was thrown on an opposite panel, at the distance of about five feet.

I had no information at this time of the manner in which Professor Morichini had conducted his experiments; but I toccurred to me that it was not likely that if the whole of the needle were equally exposed to the violet rays, the same influence should, at the same time, produce a south pole at one end of it, and a north pole at the other, I therefore covered half of the needle with paper, and fixed it to the panel with wax, between ten and eleven in the morning, in such a position that the uncovered part of it should be exposed to the violet rays.

The sun was bright at the time, and in less than two hours I had the gratification to find that the end of the needle which had been exposed to the violet rays attracted the south pole of the magnetic needle, and repelled the north pole.

The portion of the needle exposed was almost always a north pole, whether it pointed upwards or downwards.

On the Magnetizing Power of the More Refrangible Solar Rays – Mary Somerville
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – 1826

Flint Glass

With respect to glass, the term flint derives from the flint nodules found in the chalk deposits of southeast England that were used as a source of high purity silica by George Ravenscroft, circa 1662, to produce a potash lead glass that was the precursor to English lead crystal.

Traditionally, flint glasses were lead glasses containing around 4–60% lead(II) oxide; however, the manufacture and disposal of these glasses were sources of pollution.

In many modern flint glasses, the lead can be replaced with other additives such as titanium dioxide and zirconium dioxide without significantly altering the optical properties of the glass.

Flint glass can be fashioned into rhinestones which are used as diamond simulants.

Electric Bulbs and Spectacle glasses are made of Flint glass.

Mary Somerville also discovered that Green, Blue and Indigo had magnetic personalities.

A set of needles carefully examined as before, were therefore subjected to the different rays of the solar spectrum; the needles exposed to blue and green rays, sometimes acquired the magnetic property, though less frequently, and requiring longer exposure than when the violet rays were used; but the magnetism seemed to be equally strong in these as in the examples of the violet rays.

The part exposed became a north pole.

The indigo rays succeeded almost as well as the violet.

On the Magnetizing Power of the More Refrangible Solar Rays – Mary Somerville
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – 1826

Mary Somerville

Furthering her investigations, Mary Somerville discovered that Violet could increase the magnetism of needles that were already magnetic and that needles exposed to sunlight under blue glass acquired magnetism [that was retained for at least six months].

Large bodkins were exposed to the violet rays without effect, the mass perhaps being too great.

When needles already magnetic were tried, their magnetism was increased.

Next day the experiment was repeated with this difference, that the needles were left exposed to the sun, under the blue glass, six hours; and then the needles had not only acquired very sensible magnetism, but still retain it, at the distance of nearly six months.

On the Magnetizing Power of the More Refrangible Solar Rays – Mary Somerville
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – 1826

Cobalt Glass

Cobalt glass – known as “smalt” when ground as a pigment – is a deep blue colored glass prepared by including a cobalt compound, typically cobalt oxide or cobalt carbonate, in a glass melt.

Cobalt is a very intense glass colorant and very little is required to show a noticeable amount of color.

Cobalt blue glass is also used as an optical filter in flame tests to filter out the yellow flame caused by the contamination of sodium, and expand the ability to see violet and blue hues.

Mary Somerville concluded her experimentation by observing that bright sunshine did not produce magnetism.

To learn if heat had any share in producing magnetism in this case, I exposed three pieces of the same steel to a bright sunshine, on the 1st of September, the thermometer at noon being at 70°: one half of each was covered with paper, but the other half had neither glass nor ribbon over it; and although the heat was greater than on the preceding day, no magnetism was produced.

On the Magnetizing Power of the More Refrangible Solar Rays – Mary Somerville
Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London – 1826

The story of Violet’s magnetic personality takes a bizarre twist in 1830 when Uniformitarianism launches an attack on Mary Somerville.

The attack was led by Riess and Moser who [strangely enough] “abandoned the methods” which had previously been “employed for appreciating the magnetic state of the needles” and [unsurprisingly] concluded that they were “justly entitled to reject totally a discovery which, for seventeen years, has at different times disturbed science.”

The observations of Mrs Somerville, (published in this Journal, No. viii. p. 328,) tended to confirm the magnetic influence of the violet rays.

This action, discovered by M. Morichini at Rome, and described by him a long time ago, had been called in question by the natural philosophers of France, Germany, and Italy.

Yet the favourable result to which Mrs Somerville had arrived, seemed to have so completely dissipated these uncertainties, that, upon that discovery, various theories have been started respecting the magnetism of the earth and its annual and diurnal variation.

In limiting ourselves to a minute repetition of the methods described by M. Morichini and his successors as the most favourable, we have, however, abandoned the methods which they employed for appreciating the magnetic state of the needles, and for measuring its intensity; for anterior trials had assured us that they were subject to errors almost unavoidable.

The most certain method of judging of the magnetism of a needle consists in making it oscillate; and this is the method which we have employed.

From this analysis of our researches we think we are justly entitled to reject totally a discovery which, for seventeen years, has at different times disturbed science.

The small variations which are found in some of our experiments, and which we have not concealed, cannot constitute a real action of the nature of that which was observed by MM. Morichini, Baumgartner, &c. in so clear and decided a manner.

These variations, besides, are not always favourable to the supposed discovery.

On the Magnetic Influence of the Solar Rays – MM. P. Riess and L. Moser
Edinburgh Journal of Science – Volume 2 (New Series) – 1830

Coincidentally, Uniformitarianism appears to have started its attack on Astronomy in 1830.

In 1830 the search for orbiting bodies [between Mars and Jupiter] restarted and a flood of discoveries flowed from 1845 – but they were discovering asteroids – not Missing Worlds.

Thus, by 1835 Violet’s magnetic personality had become “one of the disputed points in Science”

“This must still be regarded, therefore, as one of the disputed points in Science.” (Turner)

Experiments Made to Determine Whether Light Exhibits any Magnetic Action
John W. Draper
Journal of the Franklin Institute – Volume 19, Issue 2, February 1835, Pages 79–85

In 1838 David Brewster summarised the history of Violet’s magnetic personality.

On the Magnetising Power of the Solar Rays

Dr. Morichini, more than twenty years ago, announced that the violet rays of the solar spectrum had the power of magnetising small steel needles that were entirely free of magnetism.

This effect was produced by collecting the violet rays in the focus of a convex lens, and carrying the focus of these rays from the middle of one half of the needle to the extremities of that half, without touching the other half.

When this operation had been performed for an hour, the needle had acquired perfect polarity.

MM. Carpa and Ridolfi repeated this experiment with perfect success; and Dr. Morichini magnetised several needles in the presence of Sir H. Davy, Professor Playfair, and other English philosophers.

M. Berard at Montpelier, M. Dhombre Firmas at Alais, and professor Configliachi at Pavia, having failed in producing the same effects, a doubt was thus cast over the accuracy of preceding researches.

A few years ago, Dr. Morichini’s experiment was restored to credit by some ingenious experiments by Mrs. Somerville: Having covered with paper half of a sewing needle, about an inch long, and devoid of magnetism, and exposed the other half uncovered to the violet rays, the needle acquired magnetism in about two hours, the exposed end exhibiting north polarity.

The indigo rays produced nearly the same effect, and the blue and green produced it in a less degree.

When the needle was exposed to the yellow, orange, red, or calorific rays beyond the red, it did not receive the slightest magnetism, although the exposures lasted for three days.

The same effects were produced by exposing the needles half covered with paper to the sun’s rays transmitted through glass coloured blue with cobalt.

Green glass produced the same effect.

The light of the sun transmitted through blue and green riband produced the same effect as through coloured glass.

When the needles thus covered had hung a day in the sun’s rays behind a pane of glass, their exposed ends were north poles, as formerly.

A Treatise on Optics – David Brewster – 1838

David Brewster

He also detailed experiments that had produced magnetism using “the white light of the sun.”

In repeating Mrs. Somerville’s experiments, M. Baumgartner of Vienna discovered that a steel wire, some parts of which were polished, while the rest were without lustre, became magnetic by exposure to the white light of the sun; a north pole appearing at each polished part, and a south pole at each unpolished part.

The effect was hastened by concentrating the solar rays upon the steel wire.

In this way he obtained 8 poles on a wire eight inches long.

He was not able to magnetise needles perfectly oxidated, or perfectly polished, or having polished lines in the direction of their lengths.

A Treatise on Optics – David Brewster – 1838

Plus Brewster identified experiments that had shown the magnetism of loadstones could be “nearly doubled by twenty-four hours’ exposure to the strong light of the sun”.

About the same time, Mr. Christie of Woolwich found that when a magnetised needle, or a needle of copper or glass, vibrated by the force of torsion in the white light of the sun, the arch of vibration was more rapidly diminished in the sun’s light than in the shade.

The effect was greatest on the magnetised needle.

Hence he concludes that the compound solar rays possess a very sensible magnetic influence.

These results have received a very remarkable confirmation from the experiments of M. Barlocci and M. Zantedeschi.

Professor Barlocci found that an armed natural loadstone, which could carry l.5 Roman pounds, had its power nearly doubled by twenty-four hours’ exposure to the strong light of the sun.

M. Zantedeschi found that an artificial horse-shoe loadstone, which carried 13.5 oz., carried 3.5 more by three days’ exposure, and at last supported 31 oz., by continuing it in the sun’s light.

He found, that while the strength increased in oxidated magnets, it diminished in those which were not oxidated, the diminution becoming insensible when the loadstone was highly polished.

He now concentrated the solar rays upon the loadstone by means of a lens; and he found that, both in oxidated and polished magnets, they acquire strength when their north pole is exposed to the sun’s rays, and lose strength when the south pole is exposed.

He found likewise that the augmentation in the first case exceeded the diminution in the second.

M. Zantedeschi repeated the experiments of Mr. Christie on needles vibrating in the sun’s light; and he found that, by exposing the north pole of a needle a foot long, the semi-amplitude of the last oscillation was 6° less than the first; while, by exposing the south pole, the last oscillation became greater than the first.

M. Zantedeschi admits that he often encountered inexplicable anomalies in these experiments.

A Treatise on Optics – David Brewster – 1838


However, David Brewster [lamely] concluded the work of Riess and Moser had “cast a doubt over the researches of preceding philosophers.”

Decisive as these results seem to be in favour of the magnetising power both of violet and white light, yet a series of apparently very well conducted experiments have been lately published by MM. Riess and Moser, which cast a doubt over the researches of preceding philosophers.

In these experiments, they examined the number of oscillations performed in a given time before and after the needle was submitted to the influence of the violet rays.

A focus of violet light concentrated by a lens 1.2 inches in diameter, and 2.3 inches in focal length, was made to traverse one half of the needle 200 times; and though this experiment was repeated with different needles at different seasons of the year, and different hours of the day, yet the duration of a given number of oscillations was almost exactly the same after as before the experiment.

Their attempts to verify the results of Baumgartner were equally fruitless; and they therefore consider themselves as entitled to reject totally a discovery, which for seventeen years has at different times disturbed science.

“The small variations,” they observe, “which are found in some of our experiments, cannot constitute a real action of the nature of that which was observed by MM. Morichini, Baumgartner, &c. in so clear and decided a manner.”

A Treatise on Optics – David Brewster – 1838

Robert Hunt updated the story in 1854 and observed “there appear to be many almost inexplicable phenomena” that may account for the “discordant results” of Riess and Moser.

(495.) Kiess and Moser published a series of experiments conducted with great care, which seem to throw much doubt on the results of other philosophers.

They examined the number of oscillations performed in a given time, before and after the needle was submitted to the influence of the violet rays.

A focus of violet Light concentrated by a lens was made to traverse one-half of the needle 200 times.

They, however, could not detect any difference in the oscillations, which could be at all attributable to any magnetising property of the solar rays.

These experiments were tried at different seasons of the year, and at all hours of the day. They also endeavoured to verify the results of Baumgartner, but without success.

(496.) Connected with these researches, there appear to be many almost inexplicable phenomena, which have probably led to these discordant results.

The whole series certainly require a fresh investigation.

Mr. R. W. Fox, in pursuing his investigations on terrestrial magnetism, was led to observe the fact, that the oscillating needle was much affected by the sun’s rays; the arch of vibration being more rapidly diminished, as was observed by Mr. Christie.

These experiments were repeated by Mr. W. Snow Harris, who adopted the plan of swinging the needles in a vacuum, and this talented electrician came to the conclusion that no such retardation took place, under the exhausted receiver of an air pump. It must, however, be borne in mind, that it is impossible to avoid the leaking in of air even with the best instruments; and this would give rise to currents which would materially influence the results.

Researches on light in its chemical relations – Robert Hunt – 1854

Hunt also reported that Baron Berzelius “considers the experiments of Mrs. Somerville as illusive.”

(497.) Berzelius has stated that the results of Seebeck’s experiments show, that in no circumstances do the sun’s rays develope polarity in steel, which did not, previously to exposure to their influence, possess magnetic properties.

He therefore considers the experiments of Mrs. Somerville as illusive.

Researches on light in its chemical relations – Robert Hunt – 1854

Jöns Jacob Berzelius

Whilst, in his own experiments, Robert Hunt found that needles exposed to sunshine for some hours could acquire polarity.

(498.) I will now name an experiment of my own, and leave the matter for still further investigation.

Twelve sewing needles were carefully examined, and found to be without any polarity whatsoever.

These were stuck through four cards, and one half being thus screened from the Light, the other was covered with deep blue coloured glasses.

Three of the needles were placed magnetic E. and W., and three others in the direction of the dip of the needle.

The other six needles were washed with dilute nitric acid, and arranged three on a card, in the same manner as the former.

After having been exposed to sunshine for some hours, they were examined, and it was found that those needles which had been placed in the direction of the dip had acquired polarity; but no change could be detected in any of the others.

Researches on light in its chemical relations – Robert Hunt – 1854

However, by the end of the 19th century, Uniformitarianism had come to dominate academia and Mary Somerville’s results were “generally regarded as impossible.”

Several experiments in the early part of the present century tried to magnetise iron and steel by the action of light, but I do not know of any recent attempts in this direction, and of late years the thing has been generally regarded as impossible.

On an Effect of Light upon Magnetism
Shelford Bidwell – 1889 – Proceedings of the Royal Society

During the 1980s there was a resurgence of interest in the more esoteric aspects of photomagnetism [although the papers appear pay wall protected].

Theoretical and experimental work on the effect of light on the magnetic properties of strongly magnetic materials is reviewed.

This phenomenon is caused primarily by the change in the exchange interaction and magnetic anisotropy.

The manifestations of photomagnetism are very diverse.

Light can affect the long-range order, raising the Curie point of ferromagnetic materials, changing the type of ordering or giving rise to the appearance of magnetization in antiferromagnetic materials.

Light can also change the domain structure, affect the motion of domain walls under the action of external forces, and itself give rise to the motion of domain walls.

From the theoretical viewpoint, photo induced order-disorder phase transitions are of special interest as an example of phase transitions in open systems.

The review covers works published up to September 1985.

Reviews of Topical Problems: Photoinduced Magnetism
V F Kovalenko and É L Nagaev
Soviet Physics Uspekhi, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp. 297-321 (1986).

Then in 2011 it was “suddenly” discovered that “the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected.”

Physicists at the University of Michigan think they’ve discovered a new way of sourcing solar energy, that doesn’t need expensive semiconductors and solar cells.

In the process, they’ve inadvertently overturned a century-old principle of physics.

Light, like all other physical forces, has electric and magnetic effects.

Until now it was thought that the magnetic properties of light were so weak and that they would be useless in any practical application.

But what Stephen Rand, the university’s professor of applied physics, discovered was that at the right intensity, and when light is travelling through a non-conductive material, the isolated magnetic properties were enhanced significantly.

Suddenly, the light field can generate magnetic effects that are 100 million times stronger than previously expected.

Under these circumstances, the magnetic effects have enough strength to generate a strong electric effect.

Light’s Magnetic Field Could Make Solar Power Without Solar Cells
Wired: Science 15 April 2011 – Mark Brown

Wikipedia is surprised because the mainstream has neglected [aka trashed] the photomagnetic effect “for more than 100 years.”

The photomagnetic effect is a theoretical quantum mechanical effect discovered by the researchers Samuel L. Oliveira and Stephen C. Rand at University of Michigan 2007–2011.

The researchers have discovered a powerful magnetic interaction between the photons dynamic magnetic field – and certain isolator [disambiguation needed] materials atoms magnetic moment, that is 100 million times stronger than formerly anticipated.

Under the proper circumstances, the photons magnetic fields effect is as strong as their electric field – as e.g. in solar cells.

The discovery is a surprise, because it is not straightforward to derive the strong magnetic effect from the physical equations, and thereby indicate that this quantum mechanical effect would be interesting enough.

That is why the photomagnetic effect has been neglected for more than 100 years.

However, it is unlikely that Mary Somerville or Violet will be overtly rehabilitated because that would seriously derail the gravy train supporting many Earth Scientists.

To be continued…

Gallery | This entry was posted in Astrophysics, Atmospheric Science, Earth, Electric Universe, Geomagnetism, Inventions and Deceptions, Magnetism, Science, Uniformitarianism. Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Magnetic Personality of Violet

  1. And so we watch the death of the grand geological theories based on the orientation of the geomagnetic field as a dating technique. My brain hurts 🙂

  2. omanuel says:

    Thank you for this intriguing report. I must study it to see if it fits with other attempts to hide/ignore high-energy, short wavelength radiation from the Sun.

    My research mentor, the late Dr. Paul Kazuo Kuroda, risked his life by retaining possession of Japan’s atomic bomb design for fifty-seven years,

    in order to prevent growth of the evil side of post-WWII consensus science:

  3. omanuel says:

    Briefly, the core of the Sun is the pulsar remains of the supernova that birthed the solar system [1]. The photosphere is gravitationally retained waste products from the pulsar (91% H; 9% He) that accumulated and moderated radiation from the pulsar, changing it from cosmic rays 5 Ga ago into visible light today. When life first appeared on Earth ~3.8 Ga ago, ultraviolet light was prominent in solar radiation [2].


    1. Oliver K. Manuel, “Solar Energy,” Adv. Astron. (submitted 1 Sept 2104; published privately 17 Mar 2015):

    2. Karo Michaelian and Oliver K. Manuel, “Origin and Evolution of Life Constraints on the Solar Model”, J. Modern Physics 2, 587-594 (2011):

    • malagabay says:

      changing it from cosmic rays 5 Ga ago into visible light today

      A line of evidence suggests the Sun is DARK and that it mainly radiates [Solar] Cosmic Rays.

      Living in a Light Bulb

      Would this impact your pulsar theory?

      • omanuel says:

        It agrees. Please give a reference I can quote.

      • malagabay says:

        I haven’t found any [yet] formal “peer reviewed” references.
        But that is no surprise given the evolution of “science” during the 20th century [especially after 1945].

        There is verbal support from Eric Dollard and my own analysis of “peer reviewed” sources [and the historic literature].

      • omanuel says:

        Thank you for bringing this information to my attention.

        Two forms of one fundamental particle comprise the whole, probably infinite universe:

        1. The compacted electron-proton pair is the neutron

        2. The expanded electron-proton pair is the H-atom

        As #1 => #2, the universe will expand and entropy increase.

        As #2 => #1, the universe will contract and entropy decrease.

  4. Pingback: Deprecating Photomagnetism | MalagaBay

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  7. malagabay says:

    UPDATE 29 Dec 2016
    One of the intriguing results reported by Ken Wheeler is that while experimenting with single colour light sources [i.e. not white light] he only got his Crookes Radiometer to spin when he used “purple” light.


    The Crookes radiometer, also known as a light mill, consists of an airtight glass bulb, containing a partial vacuum. Inside are a set of vanes which are mounted on a spindle.

    The vanes rotate when exposed to light, with faster rotation for more intense light, providing a quantitative measurement of electromagnetic radiation intensity.

    The reason for the rotation was a cause of much scientific debate in the ten years following the invention of the device, but in 1879 the currently accepted explanation for the rotation was published.

    Today the device is mainly used in physics education as a demonstration of a heat engine run by light energy.

    It was invented in 1873 by the chemist Sir William Crookes as the by-product of some chemical research.

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