The Enigma Machine — Part 2
through all of the magnets. It’s important to realize that (in
theory) the propagation distance can be arbitrarily long. It
simply depends on how many magnets you line up.
This explains why there is no feeling when the effect
passes through you. Your molecules are rotating, as
opposed to an electric current passing. Please take this
molecular explanation at face value for now. I’ll provide
ample evidence for this mechanism in a subsequent
Why does the finger have to be dry? The reason
appears to be a skin effect, which is described below.
Note: There is a different “skin effect” that has to do
with the distribution of an electric current through wires at
high frequencies. At high frequencies, the electric current
stays near the surface of the wire. Hence, the name “skin
effect.” That effect is not at all related to the following.
It was quickly noted that a damp finger does not show
the vibration effect. However, if the finger was insulated
from the bare metal plate, the effect returned. A close
examination of the vibration effect explains why.
In order for the electrical attraction to occur, there
must be a positive and negative charge difference.
Obviously, there can be no charge difference if there is an
electrical connection. If there is no charge difference, there
is no charge attraction. This is the reason that the finger
must be dry or that a thin electrical insulator is needed.
This insulator can be a thin piece of plastic wrap or a thin
layer of paint. Clearly, the thinner the insulator, the greater
the effect, because the charges can be brought closer
More Vibration Experiments
You can devise your own experiments to test this. Put
Enigma Safety Notice
Please Use Common Sense ...
1. This article deals with high voltage and high voltage effects. When
built and used as described, it is felt to be completely safe. Improper
use and construction can cause electrical shock.
2. Several experiments demonstrate effects that pass through the
body of the user. Therefore, it is not recommended that anyone with
a pacemaker or other embedded electrical device participate in
these experiments, nor should it be used in very close proximity to
any electrical equipment where electromagnetic interference could
cause safety concerns.
3. Several experiments have shown subtle biological effects on
plants after continuous exposure of days to weeks.
Figure 5. The neon lamp glows much more brightly and at a
farther distance from the machine if the plate is used.
(The spacers are two paperback books.)
the metal plate on the box and hold thin plastic wrap
tightly around your finger. (The plastic wrap on the metal
plate sticks too much.) Try different things — like an
apple or a banana or a piece of anodized aluminum.
Circle #45 on the Reader Service Card.