• David Cohen


Perhaps I was asked to give this introduction because I have been working in biomagnetism for about 20 years. In that case, before reviewing progress in this area I shall reminisce a bit and tell what it was like in the early years of this work. I shall emphasize two factors: the main difficulty and the main reward. The main difficulty was certainly the skeptical attitude of the scientific community toward the idea of biomagnetism, that is, that the human body can produce weak magnetic fields which can be measured and can be useful. The scientific trend was toward larger, stronger quantities: larger particle accelerators, stronger magnetic fields, and larger rockets. In those post-Sputnik years, scientists were also smug and arrogant; they did not want to be bothered with weak magnetic fields, and especially by the strange idea that these could be produced by the human body! For example, in 1965 when I was building my first shielded room for biomagnetism, I saw one day that a large time-varying magnet was being installed in the very next lab; its field would easily be able to penetrate my shielding. When I complained to the appropriate officials, they responded that biomagnetism was absurd and that I would never detect anything in any case, so why bother moving the magnet? I am afraid the magnet remained.


Weak Magnetic Field Alpha Rhythm Ferromagnetic Particle Magnetic Background Coil Detector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Cohen
    • 1
  1. 1.Francis Bitter National Magnet LaboratoryMassachusetts Institute of TechnologyCambridgeUSA

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