Saturday, 10 October 2015

The Mysterious Magnet Hill in India

Well, its sound quite unbelievable, that your vehicle is moving up at a speed of 20 KM/ hour whiles its ignition off? Off course, you’d be amazed with the start of this story. Yes, it if fact, that magnet mystic can be observed while you’re traveling to Leh-Ladakh, a part of Jammu & Kashmir. Every year, thousands of tourist visit Ladakh to witness the mystery phenomenon of the 'Magnetic Hill' where it is said vehicles are pulled uphill automatically. The mysterious Magnetic Hill located on the Leh-Kargil-Baltik National Highway, 30 kilometer away from Leh-Town at an elevation of 14,000 feet above sea level. On its south side, Indus River flows, originates in Tibet and goes into Pakistan. The magnetic hill has become a popular attraction for domestic tourists on car journeys. The road alignment with the slope of the background can give the illusion that vehicles are able to drift upwards. Travelers normally park their vehicles in the white-marked box on the road to witness the phenomenon.
Therefore, Magnetic Hill is a site, where the layout of the surrounding land creates the optical illusion that a very slight downhill slope appears to be an uphill slope. Therefore, a car left out of gear will appear to be rolling uphill. There are hundreds of gravity hill locations around the world. The slope of gravity hills is an optical illusion, although several others may claim natural or even supernatural forces are at work. The most important factor contributing to the illusion is a completely or mostly obstructed horizon; without a horizon, judging the slope of a surface is hard as a trustworthy reference is missing. Objects such as trees one would normally assume to be more-or-less perpendicular to the ground perhaps actually be leaning, offsetting the visual reference. The illusion is alike to the famous Ames room, in which balls can also appear to roll against gravity. This is a strangely common illusion that is found in various locations around the world. Generally it is a stretch of road in a hilly area where the level horizon is obscured. Objects such as trees and walls that usually offer visual clues to the true vertical perhaps leaning slightly. This creates an optical illusion making a slight downhill look like an uphill slope. Thus, objects could appear to roll uphill, and sometimes rivers even seem to flow against gravity. Although there are quite a lot of things that empower us to sense which way are up. Thus, the balance mechanism in our inner ears is one system we have, but visual clues are also vital and can be superseding.
In one day, five undergraduate (all were 2nd & 3rd Year of Mechanical engineering) students conducted investigation and their research verifies gravity does the trick of “pulling' vehicles uphill”. They went there to know what exactly happening at this place. They investigate by using magnetometer in various different sites along the hill and made efforts to check the scientific accuracy of the claims. Therefore, if someone imagines that a massive bar magnet underneath our feet and the field produced by that magnet is what we have measured at the hill. However, earth's surface magnetic field differs from place to place, mostly depending upon the magnetic properties of the soil or rocks. Usually, the magnitude of the earth's magnetic field is different at the surface from 25 microtesla to 65 microtesla. The magnetic field of the earth interacts & differs not because of magnetic properties of the soil, but at a high altitude, this can be affected by space weather as well. Henceforth the student team conducted many experiments; first to measure the road magnetic intensity and then the Magnetic Hill itself and also at nearby hills. We’ve observed relatively high magnetic intensity readings and found from the data that it fluctuates at comparatively higher rate at other places closer to the sea level. However, the magnetic intensity generate by the refrigerator at home is about 100 T which is not too strong to influence any motion. Hence, we measured the highest magnetic intensity of about 60 microtesla which is about a million times weaker than the strong magnet found in the refrigerator or likewise. Hence, it is physically impossible for the magnetic field intensity measured at the hill to produce sufficient force to have any accelerating effect on automobiles. The magnitude of magnetic field in upward direction is relatively fluctuating. But again, this is not strong enough. Thus, the claims such as a turbulence experienced by planes, in all odds, are caused by wind and air molecules which rise steeply due to the mountain terrain which reasons rapid cooling and pressure variations which give rise to various weather anomalies. We were not able to find any evidence of magnetic interference with the flight instruments.
We believe the geographical location of the hill, at a high altitude of about 14,000 feet, confirms that a suggestively high dosage of radiation is received. According to our records, Leh receives the highest radiation for any place on Earth; hence the effects are also noteworthy. So we can attribute the fluctuations in magnetic intensities to the geomagnetic interactions with radiation. In support of the above, we observed noticeable fluctuations of magnetic fields especially during the day, relative to the night at the same place. The team conducted experiments with a bike and observed that the bike reached a speed of about 22 km/h on the first attempt and 19 km/h on the second. The average experiment was reported around 20 km/h. The magnetic intensity variation along the length of the bike, we have found that it doesn't vary and remains constant. However, seeing a possibility that the bike can be attracted by Magnetic Hill, the magnitude of the magnetic field along the bike should change and noticeable difference in the magnitude of magnetic intensity in the front of the bike and the rear.
However, we didn't find anything as such. So, the magician here is the gravity. We’ve also observed that the terminal speed reached by the automobiles irrespective of its size is about 20 km/h on an average. Henceforth automobiles are influenced by gravity. There’s a negative gradient, though very less in magnitude, which affects the body to slide under the influence of gravity. While the other contributing factors to the speed of the automobile are gusts of wind which are recognized to reach up to 15 km/h. Therefore, the so called “Magnetic Hill Effect” observed, is not gravity-defying as claimed but in fact due to gravity coupled with minor influences from its geographical position and altitude. But we do admit that the magnetic intensity is fairly higher but within the normal range hence nothing unusual is to be assumed. Although, tourist visiting the place claim to experience some sort of an influence of the magnetic field. Though, we are not sure whether it is a psychological illusion being at such high altitude..Source: & Wikipedia and CP