On a “Magnetic Sense”

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SIR WILLIAM THOMSON, in his presidential address at the Midland Institute, which is reported in NATURE for March 6 (p. 438), draws attention to the marvellous fact that hitherto we have no evidence to show that even the most powerful electromagnets can produce the slightest effect upon a living vegetable or animal body. But Sir William “thinks it possible that an exceedingly powerful magnetic effect may produce a sensation that we cannot compare with heat, or force, or any other sensation,” and hence he cannot admit that the investigation of this question is completed,—for although the two eminent experimenters named by Sir W. Thomson felt nothing when they put their heads between the poles of a powerful electromagnet, it does not follow that, therefore, every member of the human race would feel nothing.

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