The Effect of Magnets on Seed Growth
Abstract:The hypothesis that magnets, through the magnetic field, increase plant growth was accepted. At day fifteen of the experiment, the average height with three magnets was 7.2 cm, the average height with one magnet was 5.9 cm, and the average height with no magnets was 5.8 cm. Interestingly, the results seemed to suggest there was little impact on plant growth with only one magnet but a meaningful difference with three magnets.
One possible explanation for these results could be that magnetic fields are affecting the properties of the water. Importantly, water is needed to be absorbed to start the germination process. It appeared that as the number of magnets increased so did the bioavailability of the water (enzymes) in the water and this influenced the germination process and growth of the plants.
Overall, there were several random errors in the procedure that could have impacted the results. First, the method of measurement of the soil in each cup may have varied slightly from cup to cup. The measurement of the water given to each of the cups was difficult to keep consistent with a graduated cylinder. The measurement of the height of the stems was subject to the possible change in the depth of the soil. It is also possible that when measuring the seeds height with the “string and ruler” method, the tightness of the string could have made a difference in the height measurement.
Additionally, there were several possible systematic errors in the experiment. The digital scale used to measure the soil may not have been correctly calibrated. Another systematic error was that the positions of the cups never changed therefore the seeds may have received unequal distributions of sunlight. Also, in the cups with three magnets, the magnets may have not been equally placed apart, thus impacting the degree of magnetism that impacted the seeds. Lastly, the seeds may have not been placed in equal depths in the soil. The scale could have been calibrated and its accuracy verified at the beginning of the experiment. The cups could have been placed on a rotating platform so that in this way, they may have received a more equal distribution of sunlight. Accurate measurements could have been done in the beginning of the experiment to verify that the magnets were equally placed. Finally, the seed depth could have been checked with a more precise measuring tool.
Thus, the experiment highlighted the impact of magnetic fields in influencing the growth of plants.
Editors, B. D. “Germination.” Biology Dictionary, 11 Feb. 2018, https://biologydictionary.net/germination/.
How Long Does It Take for Radishes to Germinate?” Home Guides | SF Gate, 29 June 2020, https://homeguides.sfgate.com/long-radishes-germinate-68498.html.
Jessa, Tega. “What Are Magnets Made Of.” Universe Today, 16 Sept. 2010, https://www.universetoday.com/73723/what-are-magnets-made-of/
Mai, Lina. What Are Magnets? 20 Aug. 2018, https://www.timeforkids.com/g34/what-are-magnets-2/.
Williams, Matt. “What Is a Magnetic Field?” Universe Today, 22 Oct. 2016, https://www.universetoday.com/76515/magnetic-field
Additional Project Information
The major objective of the project was to determine what is the effect of magnets on seed growth. The hypothesis was that when magnets are placed near seeds, then the influence of the magnetic field will cause the ensuing plant growth to increase. In order to test this hypothesis, the procedure below was followed.
1. Using 9 ounce cups, label three cups “No Magnets”, 3 cups “1 Magnet”, and 3 cups “ 3
2. Using clear packing tape, at a height of 8 cm, tape one magnet to the outside of
each cup labeled “1 Magnet”
3. Using clear packing tape, at a height of 8 cm, tape three magnets, evenly spaced, to
the outside of each cup labeled “3 Magnets”
4. Measure 18.4 grams of potting soil using a digital scale. Add this amount to each of
the 9 cups.
5. Plant three radish seeds, evenly spaced, in each cup, at a depth of 1 cm.
6. On the first day, use a graduated cylinder to measure 30 mL water and add to each
7. Transfer all the soil cups to a specific location on the table where they will remain
for the duration of the experiment..
8. On each subsequent day, add 10 mL water to each cup.
9. On day 5, 10, and 15 measure the height of each plant and record.
The data collected during the experiment was analyzed in the following manner.
1. On day 5, 10, and 15, of the experiment, the height of each plant was measured with a metric ruler and recorded in data table.
2. The average growth achieved at the 5, 10, and 15 day intervals, for the 3 groupings (No magnet, 1 magnet, 3 magnet) was calculated and entered in the data table.
3. Graphs were created depicting the average growth achieved by the plants for the 3 groupings (No magnet, 1 magnet, 3 magnet), at the 5, 10, and 15 day intervals.
Based upon the data collected from the experiment, and an examination of the graphs listed above at the 5, 10, and 15 day intervals, a determination was made regarding whether the hypothesis had been validated. In particular, as there was a material difference in growth achieved by the plants with 3 magnets versus the plants with no magnets, it was evident that the presence of magnetic fields influenced the growth rate of the plants.
The following materials were used in the experiment.
● Nine 9-oz Plastic Cups
● 12 Ferrite magnets (18mm X 5mm, grade C5)
● Potting Soil
● 9 Radish seeds
● A Digital Scale
● Tap Water
● 10 mL Graduated Cylinder
● 25 mL Graduated Cylinder
● 50 mL Graduated Cylinder
● 100 mL Graduated Cylinder
● 12 in ruler
● A piece of string
● Table on which cups are placed
There are no specific risks or necessary safety precautions needed to conduct this experiment.
Questions and Answers
1. What was the major objective of your project and what was your plan to achieve it?
The objective of the project was to determine if magnets enhance the growth of a plant from a germinated seed.
a. Was that goal the result of any specific situation, experience, or problem you encountered?
The goal of the project was based upon my intellectual curiosity with respect to the influence of magnets on living things.
b. Were you trying to solve a problem, answer a question, or test a hypothesis?
The goal of the project was to both test a hypothesis regarding the degree of magnetic influence on plant growth, but to also answer the question whether such influence even existed.
2. What were the major tasks you had to perform in order to complete your project?
a. For teams, describe what each member worked on.
The major tasks involved obtaining the materials, setting up the experiment, watering the plants on a daily basis as the seeds germinated, and measuring the plant growth at set intervals. The data collected from these measurements was then tabulated, and analyzed in the form of graphs, to draw conclusions. Further, an analysis of any errors that may have affected the results of the experiment was conducted.
3. What is new or novel about your project?
The use of a variable quantity of magnets was unique in this experiment as it helped ascertain whether some minimum threshold in magnetic field was necessary to influence plant growth.
a. Is there some aspect of your project's objective, or how you achieved it that you haven't done before?
The use of different quantities of magnets was an interesting approach in this project.
b. Is your project's objective, or the way you implemented it, different from anything you have seen?
The approach used in this project to achieve the objective was different in its use of different quantities of magnets.
c. If you believe your work to be unique in some way, what research have you done to confirm that it is?
I have not confirmed whether this work is unique.
4. What was the most challenging part of completing your project?
Measuring the plants's growth, given their very small nature, was challenging.
a. What problems did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
It was difficult to measure the plants with a straight ruler, so a tight string was used to gauge their length and marked, and then this string length was measured with a straight ruler.
b. What did you learn from overcoming these problems?
A new method to measure very small plants, with a string, was discovered.
5. If you were going to do this project again, are there any things you would you do differently the next time?
If the project were done again, I would utilize a greater variability in the quantity of magnets.
6. Did working on this project give you any ideas for other projects?
Yes, a few more ideas for new projects were generated. For future projects, the following questions could be explored: (1) do magnets affect the growth of bacteria (2) does rotation of magnets have any influence on plant growth and (3) does an electric current passing through a magnet have any influence on plant growth.
7. How did COVID-19 affect the completion of your project?
COVID-19 did not have any affect on the completion of this project.