Perhaps you could ask your local university to do some research and find out. Oh, I forgot, that suggestion has been made to you many times in the past. Why don't you ask them, Keith? Frightened that they might tell you to run away and stop being silly?
You're wrong. Professor Anatychuk knows more about this stuff than anybody.
He thinks that Volta's frog's leg experiment was evidence of the fact that thermoelectric effects at ordinary temperature differences are large enough to stimulate neurological function in animal tissue, see:
- although I must admit I have no reason to disagree with him.
Remember there is NO ELECTROLYSIS involved.
And of course it would be silly to suggest that the materials used in restorative dentistry are exempt from the laws of nature.
Keith P Walsh
PS, Remember also that there is no muscle tissue in the upper or lower mandibles of the human head, although there are some very sensitive organs nearby which are linked to the teeth by nerves.
For an elementary description of the thermoelectric effect go to:
The general principle is that if you place two dissimilar metals in contact with each other and establish a temperature difference between the points of contact then an electrical current will flow, and it will continue to flow for as long as the temperature difference is maintained.
And there is NO ELECTROLYSIS involved.
The stageering thing is that for more than a century and a half AFTER the discovery of the thermoelectric effect, dental students in dental schools were taught to believe that dissimilar metals in contact with each other are only able to generate an electrical current if they become involved in an electrolytic reaction! See:
This might explain why the dental profession is full of dozy dim- witted dunces. (I'm referring to the ones who were fooled into believing that dissimilar metals in contact with each other are only able to generate an electrical current if they become involved in an electrolytic reaction.)
Dental amalgam differs from true alloys in its material structure. The microstructure of the amalgam has a much greater degree of material inhomogeneity than any true alloy, and this difference is due to the difference in the ways that the two types of material are formed.
In he case of alloys, ALL of the component metals are raised to a temperature which is greater than their melting points. After that they are mixed together thoroughly in their molten state and the mixture is then allowed to solidify by cooling at a controlled rate.
In the case of amalgams, a liquid metal (mercury for dental amalgams) is mixed together with bits of solid alloy at a temperature which is well below the temperature of the solid component(s). When this mixture hardens what you get is a material which consists of large (i.e., large in comparison to any variations in the composition of the microstructure of a true alloy) lumps of the original solid component which have no mercury in them at all, each surrounded and held together by a solid matrix of a dissimilar material which does have mercury in it.
You can see a graphical representation of a typical example of this "much more inhomogeneous" microstructure at:
So you should be able to see right there that the amalgam consisists of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other".
This arrangement of "dissimilar metals metals in contact with each other" does not look like the fimiliar arrangement of thermocouple wires which we are perhaps more familiar with and which utilises the thermoelectric effect to measure temperatures. However it is still an arrangement of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other", it's just that the bits of the first dissimilar metal are held within a solid matrix of the other.
Now, it is an established scientific fact that this type of inhomogeneous arrangement gives rise to a much more prominent degree of thermoelectric behavior than in the less inhomogeneous material structures found in true alloys.
If you go to:
- you will see a graphical representation of the thermoelectric eddy current and associated local electromagnetic effect which are generated whenever a temperature difference applies across a volume of one electrically conductive material which is completely encased within another (Fig.d is particularly instructive).
This effect is used to identify the presence of inclusions of dissimilar materials within material samples by using sensitive instruments which can detect the electromagnetic effect at the surface of the sample.
And of course the temperature difference across the inclusion can be easily induced by applying a temperature difference across the host sample.
Amalgam dental fillings are subjected to temperature differences all the time (ever heard of an ice-cream headache?).
And I think you would agree that it would be stupid to suggest that the materials used in restorative dentistry are exempt from the laws of nature.
So, my question to you is, do you think that it would be possible to detect the thermoelectric and/or electromagnetic activity induced in metal amalgam dental fillings by the application of temperature differences across them?
Keith P Walsh
PS, dentists sometimes screw metal alloy retaining pins into the root sockets of their patients' teeth and encase the heads of the pins in metal amalgam.
I think that even you would have to agree that what you have there is an example of "dissimilar metals in contact with each other" - wouldn't you?