Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Ghost Hunting Equipment – The K2 Meter

Due to the popularity of ghost hunting shows on television K2 meters have become a common sight on paranormal investigations.  A K2 meter measures electromagnetic fields (abbreviated to EMF); the earth has its own EMFs as does everything that uses electricity, and this includes the human body.  It is the residue of this that some ghost hunters believe lingers after death.  
Electromagnetic fields can be generated by electromagnetic radiation flux density (DC fields) or the change in an electromagnetic field over time (AC fields).  An EMF meter measures AC electromagnetic fields (electricians use them to track wiring in walls), while the more expensive Gauss meters or magnetometers measure DC fields; these occur naturally in the Earth's geomagnetic field.  Most ghost hunters use a single axis EMF meter; tri-axis meters are more expensive.  The majority of EMF meters are calibrated to measure between 50 and 60 Hz alternating fields, the frequency of US and European mains electricity.  K2 meters use a series of LEDs to measure the strength of an energy field.

Ghost hunters use K2 meters to measure the energy that some of them believe ghosts emit.  Some ask the ghost to make the lights flash in response to verbal questions similar to the old ‘knock once for yes, twice for no’ thing.  Others will ask the ‘spirit’ to walk in front on the K2 so that the LED display will respond to the change in EMF.  However the sensors on the most common form of K2 are located on the back of the meter in line with the LED display and as they are single axis the ghost would have to walk in line with the sensor, so, in this photo, the ghost would have to walk under the stool.  

When ghost hunting it is good practise to do a ‘base-line test’ before the start of the investigation; walk slowly around the area holding the meter steady at arm's length and note where the meter’s display spikes.  Then look for non-paranormal reasons for the spike; lamps, ceiling fans, electrical wiring, equipment or sockets, or the mobile phone in your pocket.  These will increase their EMF when receiving or automatically searching for a signal, which is why, when on a paranormal investigation you will be asked to; switch them off, put them in plane mode, or leave them in a designated area.  Move your K2 away from the area where you get a spike, check the readings, look for a source of the field and make a note of it so, later, you know to discount any activity there.

Not every K2 spike will be a ghost but once you have eliminated every other possibility only then can you look to a paranormal explanation.

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