The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Could a swallowed magnet be removed by manipulation using an external magnet?  (Read 4631 times)

Offline JnA

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Stunt Scientist
    • View Profile
prompted by this
Quote
When swallowing magnets, always make sure you swallow them stuck together, rather than singly...
I set about reading some articles (I didn't buy the book - sorry) so now I know why..

but this has led me to question if a person swallowed one magnet.. would it be possible to get it out of the gut (assuming a relaxed sphincter) by putting another magnet on the outside of the body and moving it upwards? (like when you clean a fish tank glass)
What else might hinder this?

« Last Edit: 17/06/2009 19:45:44 by chris »


 

Offline graham.d

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 2208
    • View Profile
It may depend on the magnet shape as to how effective, but, in principle, yes. Asuming a bar magnet, you may need several magnets orientated correctly and positioned carefully so as to not put too much side force on the unfortunately located magnet. As the bar magnet would appear as a dipole and the distance of the external magnets would be much larger than the distance between the poles of the dipole, the force on the magnet would fall off as the cube of the distance. This would require very strong magnets externally.

Don't try this at home folks.
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8132
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
if a person swallowed one magnet.. would it be possible to get it out of the gut (assuming a relaxed sphincter) by putting another magnet on the outside of the body and moving it upwards? (like when you clean a fish tank glass)
What else might hinder this?


I've heard of magnetism being used to remove steel particles from the eye.

But the path of the intestine is very convoluted, plus if you were trying to move it upwards you'd be fighting against peristalsis

[Gratuitous video ... http://www.oprah.com/media/20080601_tows_DROZPILLCAM_O_VIDEO_1]
« Last Edit: 17/06/2009 18:55:47 by RD »
 

Offline JnA

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Stunt Scientist
    • View Profile
if a person swallowed one magnet.. would it be possible to get it out of the gut (assuming a relaxed sphincter) by putting another magnet on the outside of the body and moving it upwards? (like when you clean a fish tank glass)
What else might hinder this?


I've heard of magnetism being used to remove steel particles from the eye.

But the path of the intestine is very convoluted, plus if you were trying to move it upwards you'd be fighting against peristalsis

[Gratuitous video ... http://www.oprah.com/media/20080601_tows_DROZPILLCAM_O_VIDEO_1]


I assumed the magnet is still inside the stomach.. but peristalsis   yes, that could pose problem.
 

Offline chris

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 5339
  • Thanked: 65 times
  • The Naked Scientist
    • View Profile
    • The Naked Scientists
Gutted that you didn't buy the book... :(
 

Offline JnA

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Stunt Scientist
    • View Profile
I'll buy one if you all autograph it.


Nice pun though :)
« Last Edit: 20/06/2009 02:18:04 by JnA »
 

Offline LeeE

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 3382
    • View Profile
    • Spatial
...would it be possible to get it out of the gut (assuming a relaxed sphincter) by putting another magnet on the outside of the body and moving it upwards?

Only if they're standing on their head.
 

Offline JnA

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Stunt Scientist
    • View Profile
You're thinking of the other sphincter...
 

Offline RD

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 8132
  • Thanked: 53 times
    • View Profile
If you were going up from the intestines youd have to get past two sphincters:
one in the stomach (pyloric sphincter) and another in the gullet (oesophageal sphincter).
 

Offline JnA

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 1093
  • Stunt Scientist
    • View Profile
The magnet is still in the stomach.. as I mentioned in my first reply to you.
 

Offline Chemistry4me

  • Neilep Level Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 7709
    • View Profile
It might get caught at the epiglottis and go down your trachea? [xx(]
 

The Naked Scientists Forum


 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums