Magneto’s character first appears as a supervillain in the pages of X-Men # 1 in September 1963, written by Stan Lee and drawn by Jack Kirby.
Max Eisenhardt, like all mutants, has a genetic alteration from birth that allows the development of his superpower during the teenager years. In the miniseries dedicated to his origins, we learn that he first manifested the powerful ability to manipulate magnetic fields during the atrocious loss of his family due to Nazi madness in the Warsaw Ghetto. He later met Professor Charles Xavier, the future leader of the X-Men, with neither of them revealing their powers to the other and they reinforced their different views on the peaceful coexistence between mutants and humans. But let’s see what magnetism really is and how the electromagnetic properties of materials can be applied in the healthcare field by exploiting the nuclear resonance phenomenon and the activities carried out by the medical physics specialist in this field.
The phenomenon of magnetism, known since ancient times, is the property of magnets to attract to themselves other bodies containing iron, when placed in their vicinity. We have all experienced it at least once by playing with a magnet!
Moreover, let’s not forget that the earth is a magnet and therefore we live in a magnetic field!
An important application of magnetism in medical fiield is the Magnetic Resonance Imaging a diagnostic technique that produces detailed tomographic images of the human body.
The Magnetic Resonance scanner can be considered as a huge magnet the patient is introduced in.
Take into account that the MRI scanners installed in our hospitals typically have magnetic fields about 30,000 times greater than Earth’s magnetic field! As a result, they also have a powerful force of attraction for any metallic object… So we have to be very careful: even small objects, such as an hair fork or a paperclip, can become dangerous bullets! Let’s imagine the catastrophic effect for bigger metallic objects…
That’s why the Italian government has enacted a law that provides that every magnetic resonance installation has to be watched over by an Expert for safety and security, who, together with the Radiologist, must draw up an accurate program to guarantee both the diagnostic image quality and the safety and the security of patients and operators.
In Italy, more than 80% of the Experts for safety and security are Medical Physicists.