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Seeds and Kirlian Photography

Dr S T May lsrei at csv.warwick.ac.uk
Sun Apr 23 12:51:02 EST 1995

Hi there,

This sounds a little dodgy to me...my reasons?

Kirlian 'aura' photography has been suggested as showing the 'life-force'
of materials, living or otherwise.  Hence the famous, probably apocryphal
story of the whole leaf, which when torn and photographed, shows the
'ghost' of the removed portion.


Kirlian photography has been used successfully to detect hairline cracks
in aircraft wing material.

Kn photog has also been shown to depend on the local moisture of the
subject - hence 'mood' detection on fingers possibly as a response to
sweat as for a standard 'lie-detector' which measures increased conductivity
in the skin of people under stress.

Kn photog is a form of corona discharge photography, i.e. localised plasma
discharges result from high potential differences. These can be detected
on photographic film, thin layers of oil or water, or directly into thin
plastic layers.

I could see how wet/damp seeds will have reduced germination which could be
correlated with a kirlian effect, but wouldn't it be easier just to test
for moisture ? How would you select the seed anyway after 
developing the substrate (I believe they need to be in direct contact).

If your sponsors are, however, anticipating seeing 'life-forces' by Kirlian
photog , I think they may be disappointed.

Still, I have a dozen or so papers on Kirlian photog as I once wanted to
build one and perhaps get a booth on Brighton pier U.K. alongside the
Tarot readers , palmists and aromatherapists....Unfortunately I entered
plant molecular biology instead and became poor ;)

The papers I have describe the phenomenon scientifically and suggest 
methods to construct the devices. I'd love to know how you get on even
if you don't want the refs.

All the best

Sean May  [lsrei at csv.warwick.ac.uk]
Warwick University, Coventry, U.K.

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