International Journal of Geosciences, 2012, 3, 192-194 Published Online February 2012 (
Annual Variation of Local Photon Emissions’ Spectral
Power within the mHz Range Overlaps with
Seismic-Atmospheric Acoustic Oscillations
Michael A. Persinger
Laurentian University, Sudbury, Canada
Received November 14, 2011; revised December 23, 2011; accepted January 25, 2012
Spheroidal modes of seismic and acoustic oscillation s in the atmosphere occur within the 2 to 7 mHz range with peak-
to-peak variations in the order of 10–12 to 10–11 m·s–2. Previous research indicated the amplitudes for 230 s and 270 s
periods peak during the summer months. In the present study the amplitudes of a reliably apparent 3 mHz increment
from spectral analyses of minute-to-minute measurements of background photon emissions by a photomultiplier tube
housed in a dark room were sampled for a one year period. The peak increase in the power of this increment was maxi-
mal dur ing the summer months and overlapped conspicuously with the annual variation in fundamental spheroidal modes
of seismic free oscillations. Quantitative estimates indicate that relative shifts in the order of 10–11 W/m2 for photon
emissions may reflect the annual variation in coupled oscillations between the earth and atmosphere.
Keywords: Photon Emissions; Earth Oscillations; Spheroidal Modes; Periodicity; Annual Variations
1. Introduction
Fundamental spheroidal modes or background free
oscillations within the earth have been firmly established
[1]. They occupy a relatively wide band, primarily within
the 2 - 7 mHz range [2], whose general peak-to-peak
amplitudes are ~0.5 nGal (nanogalileos) where 1 nGal =
10–11 m·s –2. This “earth hum” originates in the Pacific and
southern oceans depending upon season [3]. The sources
of these oscillations are not likely to be averaged forces
from cumulative amplitudes of many small earthquakes.
According to Nishida et al. [3] the excitation source is
not within the solid earth but emerges at the boundary
between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere.
Within this interface seismic free oscillations resonate
with acoustic free oscillations of the atmosphere. These
authors reported annual oscillations in the amplitude of
Raleigh waves, particularly around 230 s (4.3 mHz) and
270 s (3.7 mHz), over a nine year period. These peaks
corresponded to fundamental spheroidal mode 0S29 and
0S37, respectively. The annual variation in amplitude ranged
from 0.4 to 0.6 nGal with a peak during the summer
months. The equivalent annual variation in infrared flux,
which overlapped significantly with the annual variations
in model amplitudes, ranged from about 232 to 242 W/m2.
The coincidence was interpreted as evidence that the
dynamic pressure from some source within the at mos p her e
excites the Earth’s free oscillations.
For the last three years minute-to-minute measures of
background photon emission have been recorded by the
station’s (Sud bury, Ontario) photomultiplier tub e (PMT).
We [4] have found conspicuous increases in photon
emission several days before the major (M > 8.0) global
earthquakes in Japan and Chile during the last two years
and smaller but statistically significant increases in
background ph ot o n e mi s si o n du r in g th e d a ys b ef or e 7. 0 <
M < 8.0 seismic events. To discern if more subtle
changes in photon emissions occurred over the year,
spectral analyses of the power of photon emissions were
sampled. A 3 mHz peak in power was consistently noted in
daily records whose amplitudes changed systematically
over months. Here I report a remarkably similar annual
variation the amplitude of power within a specific
frequency similar to the frequency reported by Nishida et
al. [3] for free earth oscillations.
2. Methods and Materials
A model 15 Photometer from SRI Instruments (Pacific
Photometric Instruments) with a PMT housing (BCA
IP21) for a RCA electron tube (no filters) has been housed
in the same locus for over three years. It is located in a
dark room in the basement of the Classroom Building at
Laurentian University. Th e PMT is connected to a digital
voltmeter; continuously fluctuating values are sampled
and stored once per min, 24 hr/ day by a IBM ThinkPad
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laptop (Windows 95) computer ( i.e., total of 1440 samples/
day). Calibration by several methods indicated that 1 unit
of change along the 1 to 100 unit PMT scale is
approximately 5 × 10–11 W/m2 when referenced to the
midrange, i.e., 50 units [5]. The data for the quietist day,
judged by visual inspection of printed daily records, and
for the day when global seismic activity was minimal for
several days before and afterwards was extracted for each
month between July 2009 and June 2010 . Spectral a nal yse s
were completed by SPSS PC-16 software and Plotter for
con- firmation. The relative power for the 3 mHz peak,
tha t r ang ed f rom 0 .2 to 0. 6, w as obt ain ed f or each month.
The power was superimposed over the annual v aria tio n i n
free oscillations and infrared flux in Figure 2B of
Nishada et al’s data [3] that were replotted for this paper.
Because the PMT measurements began in July 2009 the
first part of the year wa s for the following year 2010.
3. Results
The relative spectral power for the 3 mHz peak over the
12 months (January = 1) is indicated by the large black
circles in Figure 1. The solid square (0S20) an d thin solid
line (0S45) reflect the 9 year data averages for free earth
oscillations from Nishada et al. [3 ]; the ver tical b ars wer e
their fitting errors. The circles and dashed line indicate
the infrared flux at the top of the atmosphere. It is clear
that the annual variation of the spectral power for 3 mHz
oscillation in background photon emissions peaked dur-
ing the summer months (for that year) and overlapped
with the amplitude variations of earth oscillations.
4. Discussion and Implications
There is classic theoretical and empirical evidence that
photon emissions can originate from the types of silicates
contained within crustal structures. Presumably the source
Figure 1. Monthly amplitudes in ngals (10–11 m·s–2) for earth
oscillations in two modes (open circles and squares) and in-
frared flux densities (solid squares) from Nishada et al. in
comparison with the spectral powers of photon emission os-
cillations (large solid circles) around 3 mHz.
of such emissions would be subtle mechanical pressures
or electromagnetic stimuli. According to Nishada et al.
[3 ] dynamic pressure of atmospheric origin is a likely ma-
jor source to excite Earth’s free oscillations. One par-
ticular conspicuous spectral frequency, around 3 mHz, from
measurements for one year of background photon emis-
sions in a darkened basement room in the Sudbury Basin
displayed an annual variation that was remarkably simi-
lar to the amplitudes of both free earth oscillations and
infrared flux density.
For Nishada et al’s [3] data the amplitude of variation
for the major 0S29 mode was 40% with the remaining
modes about 10%. In comparison the infrared flux den si ty
variation was about 5%. The amplitude of variation for
the photon emission amplitudes at 3 mHz would be more
approximate because of the relative measures. However
considering the peak higher frequencies with values around
2.0 to 2.5, the range of 0.4 relative power units would be
equivalent to a variation between 16% and 20%. With a
mean background PMT measurement of 5 × 10–11 W/m2
and +/– 2 standard deviations (range) of ~5 units during a
quiet period over a 24 hr interval, this would be equi-
valent to between 1 and 2 × 10–11 W/m2. For comparison
the equivalent magnetic energy derived from B2 = J 2 µ/m3
would be about 5 nT. This magnitude is similar to
geomagnetic pulsations arising in the earth-solar wind
environment at surface midlatitude locations and is also
within the range of the mean value for the solar wind [6].
Although the effects of subtle geophysical forces and
energies upon the hu man observer are often no t co n si d er e d
in traditional geophysics, the 0.5 nGal (0.5 × 10–11 m/s2)
free oscillations may be more important than assumed. F or
a 70 kg mass (the average human being), the resulting
force would be 3.5 × 10–10 N which is within the range of
forces for cell-to-cell adhesion [7]. When applied to the
volume of a person with a cross section of 0.25 m2 the
resulting pressure would be ~1.4 × 10–9 Pa which is
remarkably similar to the averaged universal p ressure [8].
When multiplied by the person’s volume (assuming 7 × 10–2
m3) the energy would be 9.8 × 10–11 J. If the variation
was 1 Hz, the power density would be ~3.9 × 10–10 W/m2.
Interestingly, this is the same order of magnitude as “spon-
taneous” photon emission from the right hemisphere of
cerebrums during visualization of light by some dark-
adapted human volunteers sitting in the dark [9] and cell
cultures when removed from optimal thermal environments
If the temporal distribution of the energy change in-
volved the 270 s or 230 s periods from the earth oscilla-
tions the energy would be in the range of 1.4 to 1.7 ×
10–12 W/m2 which is within the range generated by tissue
slices from the hippocampus [10], the area of the brain
involved with memory consolidation. Interesting, the pho-
ton emissions measured from the body surface are ~107
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Copyright © 2012 SciRes. IJG
photons/s·m2 [11]. Assuming the emitted photons are
within the visible wavelengths, each with the unit energy
of 10–19 J, the resulting power density is within the order
of 10–12 W/m2. Traditionally calculated radial currents
values from the spherical harmonic coefficients for the
non-potential geomagnetic field within which seismic
and atmospheric oscillations are immersed are in the or-
der of 10–9 A/m2 [12] and when applied across potential
differences of 10–3 V, the interface between the domains
of cerebral steady potential shifts and electroencephalogra-
phic activity, would be ~ 10–12 W/m2.
5. Acknowledgements
Thanks to Professors Stanley Koren and Blake T. Dotta
and Mr. Brendan Lehman for technical assistance.
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