I recently received a “strong magnetic cup” as a gift. According to the claims of the maker, water kept in this cup for a minute can lower blood pressure and reduce weight, etc. Please explain how this works. — AL, Pharr, TX
I’m afraid that it works only by psychological effect, if at all. Water itself is non-magnetic and experiences no significant change when exposed to a magnetic field. Although the magnetic field of the cup has an ever so slight effect on the atomic and molecular structure of the water, this effect vanishes when the water leaves the cup. Water from the cup is just plain old water. There are many people in this world who take advantage of the public’s relative inability to distinguish science from pseudoscience. One of the reasons that I enjoy answering questions here is to help people make that distinction. Magnets aren’t magic—they are understandable devices and their effects on everything around them are also understandable.