Talk:Schumann resonances

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Former good article nomineeSchumann resonances was a good articles nominee, but did not meet the good article criteria at the time. There are suggestions below for improving the article. Once these issues have been addressed, the article can be renominated. Editors may also seek a reassessment of the decision if they believe there was a mistake.
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A large portion of this article appears to have been copied from thought experiments lain, which was last updated March 4 2004 as of this writing. The added material (now removed) was added on May 5 2004 by Fratley. --Eequor 22:34, 29 May 2004 (UTC)

Hey, what a coincidence, I left the article alone for two years and now it is made up almost entirely of things other people plagiarized from other websites. Welcome to Wikipedia.

Anyway, I just removed three paragraphs taken word for word from a conspiracy website, of all things. You can find it at If anyone has the patience to verify the contents and write something new about it, go ahead. --Fratley 14 July 2006

Very confusing animation[edit]

After seeing the animation for three times I am more confused about the explanation that before doing it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:07, 8 June 2012 (UTC)

--I agree. This animation is not only confusing it is erroneous. there are 2 problems: 1. the lightning appears to create vertical radiation when in fact it would radiate outward(horizontal to earths surface), the only place it does not eradiate is vertically. 2. The wavelength of the radiation is orders of magnitude smaller than it should be. cite: expert in the field of rf/microwave propagation I'm going to delete this animation — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:54, 20 December 2016 (UTC)


In my opinion, this whole section on Tesla should be completely removed from the article. As presented here it is simply a vehicle to wage a campaign of vindication of Tesla's supposed discovery of these resonances, about which there is legitimate dispute. Although the author of this section makes the assertion that Tesla observed the Schumann resonance at 8 Hz, this assertion is not sourced. (And there is reason to believe that what he observed in his Colorado Springs experiments were not the Schumann resonances, but rather a completely different set of modes at higher frequencies.) A single sentence to an article on Tesla where such matters are discussed would be more than sufficient in the present article. I have not edited the article, but would urge whoever inserted the section on Tesla to edit it into a reduced form that is appropriate to the main subject of the article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Eastview (talkcontribs) 20:22, 25 July 2009 (UTC)

I removed the half-sentence: but it was first observed by Nikola Tesla and formed the basis for his scheme for broadcast power and wireless communications.

As Tesla died 1943, it doesn't make much sense to me. If the resonance was observed by Tesla before 1943, how would it be possible for Schumann to first publish about it 1952 and event get it named after himself?

Pjacobi 19:24, 2005 Jan 1 (UTC)

I don't know, but we've got a source. Perhaps he didn't realize the physical cause or perhaps his PR just wasn't good enough. Remember that the USA is not called the United States of Vinland. Shinobu 02:55, 1 November 2005 (UTC)

[[[User:Eastview|Eastview]] (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)] The claim is also made in the "World Magnifying Transmitter" article that Tesla observed the lowest 8 Hz mode of the Schumann resonances, but doesn't give a source for this.

Nikola Tesla's 1899 discovery of VLF Earth-resonance was not accepted by the physics community of the time. Researchers believed that radio waves could not follow the curve of the Earth, therefore Tesla's results must be due to incompetence. As far as anyone knows, none of those physicists tested Tesla's claims (or had access to high-power VLF equipment which could replicate Tesla's experiments.) The scientific community also disbelieved Tesla's main goal of the time: to harness the VLF Earth-resonance effect and use it to transmit worldwide electrical power. As Tesla was outside of academia, and did not publish works in physics journals, and had recently claimed to have received intelligent broadcasts from outer space, this made the problem of disbelief far worse.--Wjbeaty 04:53, 1 November 2005 (UTC)
The alien signals he received were most likely from a pulsar as can be seen here: Madzyzome (talk) 23:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
We can explain the mistake of the Nicola Tesla experiment by the present knowledge. The resonance frequency of the Tesla Coil is about 100 or 300kHz from about 10 or 20KHz. How Coils are enlarged, 1 or 2 kHz will be a limit. Its difference in the frequency was too far. --Neotesla (talk) 22:49, 26 July 2008 (UTC)
When Nikola Tesla was trying to tap the Schumann resonances he didn't do it with a regular Tesla coil with a 100khz or 300khz. He used special Tesla coil with a "extra coil". Here is the theory of operation of the Magnifying transmitter and the Wardenclyffe Tower from Magnifying transmitter. "The extra coil or helical resonator can be physically separated from the two close-coupled coils, which comprise the master oscillator or driver section. The power from the master oscillator is fed to the lower end of the extra coil resonator through a large diameter electrical conductor or pipe to minimize corona. The magnifying transmitter's base-driven extra coil behaves as a slow-wave helical resonator, the axial disturbance propagating at a velocity of less than 1% up to around 10% the speed of light in free space. The Magnifying Transmitter's axial velocity electromagnetic field is established by the coil pitch and electrical charge propagation speed through the circuit." Madzyzome (talk) 23:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)
Yes, that will be the cause. I've seen this confirmed before, so maybe I should add it to the article. Shinobu 10:26, 2 November 2005 (UTC)

[[[User:Eastview|Eastview]] (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)] The only thing that matters about the Wardenclyffe transmitter with regard to it's ability to excite the earth-ionosphere cavity in the TM0 modes that are the Schumann resonances is its resonant frequency, which I have never seen mentioned anywhere, including above. The construction and engineering details given above are interesting but are incidental to the principal question about whether it could or not work as advertised. WHAT WAS IT'S RESONANT FREQUENCY??? Does anyone know?

--Catblack 12:32, 4 May 2006 (UTC) Hey, I don't see anything backing up this statement:

Since the seventh overtone lies at approximately 60Hz, the cavity is also driven by the North American power grid.

Googling didn't help, and I think this statement is erroneous, as the 7th overtone is at 45 Hertz, not 60Mz. Anyone care to comment?

[[[User:Eastview|Eastview]] (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)] The Schumann resonances do not lie at fixed frequencies. There is a diurnal variation of about 0.5 Hz for the lowest mode near 7.8 Hz, and the variation is greater for higher resonances. 60 Hz typically lies in the vicinity of the 8th resonance.

The Schumann resonance frequencies are not fixed, but diurnally vary by ~0.5 Hz, so stating their frequencies to three decimal places is misleading. --User:Eastview
I once saw a paper on exactly this topic in a conference proceedings. If the 59Hz Schumann resonance (9th overtone) was being driven by the power grid, then there would be strong 60Hz fields in regions far from any power lines. And unlike a noise-driven resonance, phase of the 60Hz fields would be constant. The authors performed measurements in wilderness about 50 miles from power lines and found a strong constant-phase magnetic component at 60Hz.

--Wjbeaty 18:45, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

[[[User:Eastview|Eastview]] (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)] The Schumann resonances are excited by vertical currents, such as in cloud-to-ground lightning. Power lines carry horizontal currents, and they are multiphase. Also, the various power distribution networks in North America are not kept in phase, further suppressing their contribution to exciting the cavity. The same situation exists in other countries that use 50 Hz. In spite of all this, the dominant signal seen by experimenters in ground based measurements is at the local power line frequency, plus its harmonics. One has to go a long ways away from power sources to get away from it. The conference paper mentioned above seems to be misleading, in that power line radiation is narrow band (high Q), while the Schumann resonances are broad (low-Q), so the statement doesn't even make sense from the point of view of electrical engineering.

In fact there seems to be a lot of claims and numbers thrown around in this article. Such as: "The resistance of the atmosphere is 200 ohms." I assume this is the resistance of the ionosphere, otherwise I'm never going near a power outlet again. Any references (besides Tesla) to back up? --Jquarry 01:27, 8 May 2006 (UTC)

[[[User:Eastview|Eastview]] (talk) 06:57, 12 March 2009 (UTC)] What is apparently meant here is the resistance between the ground and the ionosphere, treating them both as perfectly conducting equipotential surfaces. It is a standard figure in the field of Atmospheric Electricity.

otherwise I'm never going near a power outlet again. :-) Shinobu 16:45, 7 July 2006 (UTC)

I ALWASY THOUGTH THAT THIS WAS JUST AN INVENTION FROM LAIN —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) .

I removed this Tesla claim because it is referenced to Tesla himself and the "New Age" work "Harnessing the Wheelwork of Nature". by Thomas Valone, nether of which come near to being a reliable source per WP:RS. Claim needs a real source. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 20:58, 12 September 2013 (UTC)
Tesla should be given a rightfully prominent place in this article on Schumann resonance. At his Colorado Springs laboratory, he determined that 1.) The earth possessed a resonant frequency and that 2.) It was approximately 7.5Hz. This is why he chose for his equipment to generate power at 60Hz. As a harmonic of the earth's EM field, it would tie in nicely with a project he later took up at Wardenclyffe. The probable reason why it was not measured at 7.83Hz is that it was outside the range of accuracy of the instrumentation at his disposal. Tesla does not need vindication - he simply needs fewer pronouncements by the ignorant of both sides of the issues surrounding his discoveries. By the way, did you know Tesla successfully sued Marconi for 17 counts of patent infringement over Marconi's "invention" of the radio? Uroutofyourgourd 21:30, 27 June 2014 (UTC)
Some reliable sources would help here. Fountains of Bryn Mawr (talk) 21:18, 28 June 2014 (UTC)

north american power grid contributing to resonance[edit]

So I removed the sentence about a correspondence between the frequency of North American electricity - 60 Hz - contributing to Schumann Resonance because I looked around on the web and found nothing to back it up and it seemed false from the get go.

I added the frequencies of additional Schumann resonant peaks, as widely cited in academic papers online. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 7thharmonic (talkcontribs) 7thharmonic 09:16, October 9, 2006 (UTC)

"Looked around on the web?" seemed false? Intuition and googling is nothing like reading up on a subject or talking to relevant researchers. Journal articles don't appear on the www. If you think that certain information is "bad," you need to say why in detail, otherwise it's a claim based on personal opinion. However, the 1980s-era paper I saw about 60Hz pumping of 9th Shumann overtone isn't in the Colorado Springs symposia proceedings as I recalled. I've restored the comment about 9th-harmonic, and I'm looking for the original reference. Also, it's well known in the VLF community that Schumann resonances drop off above 10KHz but are significant up to that range. The worldwide lightning-strike triangulation project based here at the U. of Washington must use much higher frequencies in order to avoid lightning-strike signals which have passed around the earth more than once. --Wjbeaty 23:14, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

incorrect statement about the relation between 60hz north America power and Schumann cavity[edit]

The eighth overtone lies at approximately 59.9 Hz and thus the cavity is also driven by the North American power grid which alternates at 60 Hz.

this statement is incorrect

The synchronization between 60hz and 59.9hz is .1hz this means that at a cycle of .1hz the power lines will go in to phase and out of phase in a cycle of hurt and help.

You assume the North American power grid is exactly 60Hz. It is in fact not exactly 60Hz but varies between 59.8Hz-60.2Hz. There is like 3 or 4 or more grids in North America that aren't synchronized anyway so it is true that it wouldn't contribute to the Schumann resonances much if at all. Madzyzome (talk) 23:31, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Also due to the usage of 3phase power any help 1 phase will do will be striped right off by the other 2 phases. This cycle happens at about .3hz.Eadthem (talk) 02:02, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

i just noticed someone else caught this i'm re removing the sentence referring to this Eadthem (talk) 02:22, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

If the resonance phenomenon is linear, then a cavity tuned on 59.9 Hz can enchance propagation of existing 60 Hz signals, provided its bandwith is more than 0.2 Hz. The cavity is not excited to produce new EM fields on its own resonant frequency. Sv1xv (talk) 11:19, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

While the article contains a lot of useful, and well-referenced information, I can't say that the article meets the Good Article criteria at this time. I find several significant issues.

First, the lead section is too short. Per WP:LEAD, this section should adequately summarize the article. At present, this lead doesn't even come close to that. The first thing I would recommend is to remove the 'description' section header and move its contents into the lead.

I'm having a lot of trouble understanding the 'measurements' section. This section starts out by saying that Schumann resonances are recorded in many stations around the world, but then the next part of it talks about how the antennae to pick these up are "hundreds of kilometers long"? And it says that "special antennaes and receivers are needed to measure Schumann resonances". So in one breath it's saying that the measurements are done pretty commonly and frequently, and in another it's saying that the measurements require very "special" instruments. Furthermore, if an instrument was very common as well as hundreds of kilometers long, I probably would've noticed seeing one somewhere by now,...

Overall, the prose is fairly choppy throughout the article, and could use some serious polishing up. It also overall reads a bit too technical, and could be brought down to laymen's terms a bit better. The 'applications' section also needs work; it seems very long, and the multiple sub-section headers of varying lengths (using 2nd level, 3rd level, 5th level, then jumping back to 3rd level, and so forth) is very confusing. If possible, try to eliminate the use of anything beyond the 3rd level subsection headers.

Eliminate the unreferenced and very short 'popular culture' section.

There's also several manual of style issues with the article. First, the "Basic Theory" section header should be "Basic theory" (or probably just shorten it to 'Theory', IMHO). Second, the inline citations are done incorrectly. When using inline citations, the citation should be placed immediately following the punctuation mark in the sentence, not before it, and not after it with a space between. As an example, the citations should look like this: some text.[1] The exact reference formatting goes a bit beyond Good Article status, so this is less important, but I thought I'd mention it nonetheless.

Hope this helps improve the article. Cheers! Dr. Cash 01:01, 1 September 2007 (UTC)


I don't want to start an edit war (I could do with some admin help about how to handle this). The paragraph "Schumann resonance effects in non-geophysics domains" earlier called "Speculation about the Schumann resonance effects" uses as a source a non responding website, makes claim that are not supported by any serious publication and that are frankly doubtful. "speculation" was removed from the title and the sentence "Critics claim that the studies which support these applications are inconclusive and that further studies are needed." was recently added. I am of the opinion that these claims of criticism should be sourced or the previous form of the paragraph should be restored (and be correctly labeled "speculation") I suspect that no one ever took time to examine this theory as it is not supported by any significant part of the scientific community. The sentence looks suspiciously like personal research to me. --Iv (talk) 17:00, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

I think it would be worthwhile to have a small section on conspiracy theories related to this phenomenon. I've noticed it crop up a bit lately (usually "someone is doing something bad, so the Schumann resonances are changing!"), and I suspect quite a few people are coming here to get information about those claims. It might be good to deal with some of them. I don't know of a good source though. -- naught101 (talk) 00:41, 29 May 2017 (UTC)

Schumann resonances on other planets[edit]

while investigating Uranus lightning I found this Schumann resonance wikipage. It is written "There seem to be no works dedicated to Schumann resonances on Saturn. To date there has been only one attempt to model Schumann resonances on Jupiter.", but I have found another reference about Jupiter (Simoes et al., 2008 - Icarus, doi:10.1016/j.icarus.2007.09.020). Additionally, that work also addresses Saturn, which makes the statement incorrect twice. That work also investigates Uranus and Neptune (the reason why I found the reference). I suggest that the editor adds this reference or changes the text to avoid erroneous information.

The following sentence says "Here, the electrical conductivity profile within the gaseous atmosphere of Jupiter was calculated using methods similar to those used to model stellar interiors, and it was pointed out that the same methods could be easily extended to the other gas giants Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.". In fact, the work of Simoes et al. (2008), accurately or not, I do not know, addresses the issue.

Later, I even found a paper that reviews the state of the art developments prior to 2008 in Space Science Reviews (Simoes et al., 2008 - Space Science Reviews doi: 10.1007/s11214-008-9398-0). In an opinion of a non expert, this paper should be mentioned because summarizes the current knowledge about Schumann resonances in other planets.

The paper in Icarus about Schumann resonances provided us useful information for lightning work about Uranus, namely the implications for the water content and atmospheric chemistry (H2O/NH3/Ch4 ratios). —Preceding unsigned comment added by TonySaints (talkcontribs) 16:27, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


Calling the space between the Earth's surface and the ionosphere responsible for Schumann resonances "spherical" is not technically correct, is it? While, in the case of our planet, due to the Earth's shape, the space in question has roughly spherical inner and outer boundaries, the space itself - considered as a whole - is not actually a sphere, but a section of a sphere. Unlike a sphere - such as an orange - this shape could be "peeled" off and laid flat - like with an orange peel. I am not certain what the correct term for such a shape is, but "sphere" does not strike me as the correct one.

Am I incorrect in considering this to be a meaningful distinction? Thanks! Spiral5800 (talk) 19:23, 26 March 2011 (UTC)

It's not meaningless, but could perhaps be a finer a distinction than it needs. I've just removed the tag, and added approximately before the word spherical. (talk) 04:10, 30 March 2017 (UTC)

"spherical shell" ?? Shannock9 (talk) 21:02, 22 July 2018 (UTC)

Fundamental (First) Schumann Resonance Frequency Incorrectly Given as 7.86Hz now Corrected[edit]

In the introduction of this article the Fundamental Schumann resonance was listed as being 7.86hz, this appears to be incorrect, the correct frequency is closer to 7.83Hz. I have corrected the two offending insertions of the 1st Schumann resonance frequency as being 7.86Hz to the scientifically validated 7.83Hz. People should try to keep their religious biases (or anti-religion biases) out of Wikipedia articles; 7.86Hz or 786 has superstitious significance to those of the Islamic faith. I'd like to avoid the infantile tendency to distort scientific facts to "fit" or buttress 'assertions', 'arguments', 'assumptions', 'prophecies' or 'signs' of any religious or anti-religious tradition or political ideology. I.e. situations where members of a religious faith (in this case Islam) try to link or 'stretch' scientifically obtained data to mythological 'signs' and 'prophecies' outlined in that faith, as well as, when equally dogmatic members of atheist orthodoxies make unsubstantiated assertions regarding science disproving the existence of a Supreme Being (and other religious beliefs) when no such proof or disproof exists (other than in the mind of the erroneous atheists making the assertion) or finally the situation of any other state imposed pseudo-religious ideology distorting science to 'fit' or validate said state-ideology or religion (Eg. as was often done in the Nazi (Socialist) German state, Communist (Socialist) states, and other similar theocratic/pseudo-theocratic states). (talk) 18:34, 22 September 2012 (UTC) Minor grammar edits made to this talk point to clarify the points being made. (talk) 03:39, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

For one thing, the frequency is not as constant as once believed (circadian and seasonal variation, thermionic emmision, etc.). ~E: (talk) 16:25, 8 November 2012 (UTC)


This article is in serious need of dewikification (removing redundant links). For example, 'Saturn' is linked five times in one section. Time and inclination permitting, I'll attempt this later (maybe). ~E: (talk) 16:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)

Ham radio[edit]

In 1979, I was listening to ham radio frequencies with friends who were the operators. We heard a sort of click at what I would guess was several times per second. They claimed it was the Soviets jamming ham operators. I had my doubts. It couldn't be related to Schumann resonances, could it? I would think that would have long since been documented. Mcswell (talk) 16:01, 3 August 2013 (UTC)

I don't know the answer to that, but I wonder if it may be worthwhile to document some passing mention of the human auditory range, perhaps even Tinnitus, as they relate to the Schumann resonance. 20 Hz is considered the normal lower frequency limit of human hearing. When pure sine waves are reproduced under ideal conditions and at very high volume, a human listener will be able to identify tones as low as 12 Hz. Whereas the Schumann resonances are the principal background in the electromagnetic spectrum beginning at 3 Hz and extending to 60 Hz, and appear as distinct peaks at extremely low frequencies around 7.8 (the fundamental), 13.7, 19.6, 25.5, 31.4, 37.3 and 43.2 Hz. (talk) 22:28, 8 December 2013 (UTC)

This was the Russian Cold War "Over the Horizon" Radar System Duga-3 commonly known as the Woodpecker. It made life miserable for radio amateurs the world over for over a decade. (talk) 20:38, 18 April 2015 (UTC)

Section Schumann resonance in other planets in not updated[edit]

I propose to update with a new sub-section concerning Titan (the bigest moon of Saturn). Since Huygens Probe landing on Titan's surface in Ja nuary 2005, many scientific publications in peer review specialized jurnals are reporting about observation and theory of an atypical Schumann resonance on Titan. Since after several tens of fly-bys by Cassini, it is proved that no lightning neither any thunrdestorm was detected in Titan's atmosphere, scientists proposed another electrical source of excitation : namely the induced ionospheric currents by Saturn's corotating magnetosphere. All data and theoretical model comply with a Schumann resonance, the second eigenmode of which was observed by Huygens probe. The most important return of this is the proof of existence of a buried liquid water-ammonia ocean under few tens km the icy subsurface crust. Here below the main publication to be referred :

Béghin, C., et al., 2007. A Schumann-like resonance on Titan driven by Saturn’s magnetosphere possibly revealed by the Huygens Probe, Icarus 191, 251-266. Béghin, C., et al., 2009. New insights on Titan’s plasma-driven Schumann resonance inferred from Huygens and Cassini data, Planet. Space Sci., 57, 1872-1888. Béghin, C., Hamelin, M., Sotin, C., 2010. Titan’s native ocean revealed beneath some 45 km of ice by a Schumann-like resonance, Comptes Rendus Geoscience, 342, 425-433. Béghin, C., and 8 colleagues. Analytic theory of Titan’s Schumann resonance: Constraints on ionospheric conductivity and buried water ocean, Icarus, 218, 1028-1042, 2012 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Christian-Gilles (talkcontribs) 10:36, 24 February 2013 (UTC)

Near field or far field?[edit]

Are the Schumann resonances true electromagnetic radiation composed of photons, or are they near-field effects composed of virtual photons? If they are radiation, are they the lowest frequencies of EM radiation ever detected? (Apparently near-field effects from earthquakes have been detected in the mHz and μHz range.) Zyxwv99 (talk) 01:22, 26 July 2014 (UTC)


After the first paragraph of "Description" there are no citations whatsoever for the following 2 paragraphs. (talk) 22:33, 8 April 2016 (UTC)

Fundamental frequency has been increasing?[edit]

This article contains a lot of pseudoscience, but I'm wondering about its basic claims,

  • in 2014 the fundamental resonance frequency increased "from its usual 7.83 Hz to somewhere in the 15-25 Hz levels," and
  • "On January 31, 2017, for the first time in recorded history, the Schumann resonance reached frequencies of 36+ Hz."

Any truth to this, or am I wasting my time with completely fake claims? (talk) 17:17, 23 April 2017 (UTC)

See Schumann Resonances are NOT Increasing statement from Annette Deyhle (Phd), the Research Co-ordinator for the Heartmath Institute. Blooteuth (talk) 16:05, 23 November 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ a

Schumann resonances altered by massive scale global introduction of 5G mobile tech become threat to the biosphere?[edit]

The concept of Schumann Resonances is often mentioned nowadays in the context of potential health hazards associated with the newest "5G" cellular radio-comms network, e.g. there is some kind of a global APPEAL collecting signatures on the net to ban it wholesale. It would be nice if the article included a section devoted to that topic as "5G" is a highly controversial item on both the political front (e.g. Huawei vs USA) and on the life science front, so people are desperately looking for reliable information. (talk) 22:12, 13 April 2019 (UTC)