How Strong Would a Magnetic Field Have to Be to Kill You?

Highly informative article. Really useful for advanced biophysics. The article also elucidates that why implementing powerful MRI technologies is very risky.

Gravity and Levity

There’s a great joke in Futurama, the cartoon comedy show, about a horror movie for robots.  In the movie, a planet of robots is terrorized by a giant “non-metallic being” (a monsterified human).  The human is finally defeated by a makeshift spear, which prompts the robot general to say:

“Funny, isn’t it?  The human was impervious to our most powerful magnetic fields, yet in the end he succumbed to a harmless sharpened stick.”

The joke, of course, is that the human body might seem much more fragile than a metallic machine, but to a robot our ability to withstand enormous magnetic fields would be like invincibility.

But this got me thinking: how strong would a magnetic field have to be before it killed a human?

$latex hspace{1mm}$

Unlike a computer hard drive, the human body doesn’t really make use of any magnetic states — there is nowhere in the body where important…

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