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Re: Substrate heating
> > > Bob wrote:
> > > > These actually circulate warm water through a network of
> > > tubing...Different than other systems I have seen. A bit pricy though.
> > >
> > > "Chuck Gadd" <cgadd at cfxc_com> responded:
> > > I've heard that these don't have enough of a temperature difference
> > to effectively create the subsubstrate currents that are needed for
> > the substrate cables to help plant growth.
> George added:
> > A long time reader of APD, Earle Hamilton, has tried hot water systems
> > this. He reports he didn't see any differnece with or without substrate
> > heating. Two possible conclusions: heating cables don't do much (I would
> > argue against that) or they weren't producing enough heat to generate
> > legendary micro-currents.
I posted an alternative thought to micro-currents a couple years ago,
but got no interest in the topic. I'm still curious if anyone out there
At the lowest level, a photon of a specific frequency is absorbed by
a molecule, resulting in some kind of higher energy state. If this
higher energy state increases sufficiently to allow for binding with
another molecule, we have "growth". This is photosynthesis,
net primary production (NPP), and what we know to be plant
There is tremendous variation in molecules, making them more
or less efficient at absorbing photons of specific frequencies and
frequency ranges. Further, absorption and emission frequencies
are often different for the same molecule (typically emission is
a lower energy level than absorption, and theoretically emission
only occurs if the NPP activity failed, because the energy is
"lost" to light instead of being fixed through binding with another
Thus, the specific molecules and ratios of molecules found in a
given species or organism would specify those (spectral)
frequencies that would most efficiently/effectively promote
biomass accumulation (organism growth.) These molecules
are in the chloroplasts for plants, and in the symbiotic bacteria
for anemones. Of course, we know that marine organisms have
adapted to become more efficient at the blue end of the spectrum,
since those higher energy photons are more effective at penetrating
water to depth.
If you want growth without light, you would be looking for a
chemical reaction that results in energy emission that is similarly
used to excite a molecule's state to the point where it would
bind with another molecule. Typically, this is what autotrophs
(animals) employ, and the inefficiency in the reaction generates
organism body heat. (Recall that photosynthetic things are
In fact, many bacteria (Kingdom Monera) will "auto-fluoresce" with
a wonderfully clear/clean signal at specific frequencies, which is
why they can be easily detected without any external preparation
with flow cytometry (and indeed, flow cytometry is often applied
in marine science looking for new and weird kinds of zooplankton
and phytoplankton in the open ocean.) Note that fluorescence
is a very rapid non-chemical reaction that happens in milliseconds
as a result of the physics in molecular excitation (a raising and
lowering of electron energy levels around a molecule); this is
different from phosphorescence, which is a chemical reaction over
a much longer period of time that results in energy loss-through-light.
The "glowing marine algae", terrestrial "firefox" glowing fungus,
and kids' glow-in-the-dark toys emit light through phosphorescence.
Here's a thought: By running a current in the substrate with heat
coils, all molecules in the vicinity are (at least minimally) excited.
They have ambient environmental electrical energy from which they
can draw. This can assist in achieving a higher energy level (indeed,
we're only talking about electron orbitals anyway). Thus, any
growth reaction is "cheaper", because less external energy is
required to achieve binding at the molecular level. This includes
growth resulting from chemical reactions with or without light
(both roots and leaves should be able to benefit.)
Of course, if the ambient electrical energy is too high, the
molecules electrolicize and break down (you're cooking them.)
The substrate heating in discussion here is too low an energy
level for that.
My supporting observations come from HAM radio operators
that conclude plants grow better around a working radio
antenna. In marginal climates for ivy, when the antenna is
used, ivy grows up the antenna. If you don't use the antenna
for a year, the ivy dies. When you use the antenna again,
the ivy comes back.
If this is true, then it's not (entirely) the "micro-currents"
in the substrate from heat coils, but the electric field generated
by the heat coils. Further, it would suggest that a non-coil
(non-electric field producing solution) solution like heated water
wouldn't provide the full growth benefits achieved with coils.
We make cell sorters that trigger based on fluorescent physics
at the molecular level, and I have extensive biological and
spectral information for anybody that cares.
charleyb at cytomation_com