The High School Science All Ghost Hunters Should Know

Ghost hunting often veers into the realm of the inexplicable, where the boundaries of science are pushed and questioned. However, a grounding in basic scientific principles can offer both novices and experts alike a more credible and nuanced approach to their investigations. Below is a refresher on the fundamental science you may have forgotten since high school and how it can raise important questions for anyone interested in the paranormal.


Lightbulb Paranormal Darkness

What You Forgot From High School

Light behaves as both a particle and a wave. When light encounters an object, it can be reflected, refracted, or absorbed. These interactions are the basis for our ability to perceive the world visually.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

If ghosts are said to be non-physical entities, how can they interact with photons to be visible? This basic question is crucial for any credible paranormal investigation.

Some believe that ghosts have the ability to manipulate photons or make themselves physical at will in order to momentarily appear visible. However, if we’re adhering to established scientific principles, the claim that a non-physical entity can interact with photons contradicts our current understanding of how light behaves. Ghost hunters would need to provide substantial evidence to support such a groundbreaking assertion.

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Paranormal Microphone EVP

What You Forgot From High School

Sound is a wave that propagates through a medium—typically air. It originates from the vibration of an object, which causes the air molecules around it to move and produce sound waves. These waves travel to our ears and are processed into what we perceive as sound.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

If sound relies on physical vibrations in a medium like air, how can a non-physical entity produce the range of audible sounds often reported in hauntings—such as cries, wails, whispers, and screams? One paranormal explanation suggests that non-physical entities might be able to influence or manipulate air molecules to produce these sounds.

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Weighing Scales Balance Weight

What You Forgot From High School

One of the core principles of thermodynamics is the Law of Conservation of Energy. It states that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only transformed from one form to another. In everyday systems, this principle holds true; energy changes forms but the total amount within a closed system remains constant.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

The claim that ghosts are “made of energy” frequently surfaces in paranormal discussions. However, this presents a conundrum when examined through the lens of the Law of Conservation of Energy. If ghosts were indeed “made of energy,” where does this energy originate from, and how does it transform or dissipate? Some investigators believe that the energy of an entity is a form of “spiritual energy,” not accounted for in physical laws and not yet detectable within the realms of our current understanding of the physics.

Magnetism & Electrical Fields

EMF Multi-Field Detector & K-II Meter

What You Forgot From High School

Magnetism and electrical fields are intrinsically linked, arising from the behaviour of charged particles like electrons. Electric fields exist whenever you have charged particles; they exert forces that attract or repel other charges. Magnetic fields come into play when these charged particles are in motion, such as in an electric current. These forces are a fundamental part of the natural world, affecting everything from the stability of atoms to the functionality of electrical gadgets in your home.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

Understanding the foundational science behind magnetism and electrical fields can be invaluable for ghost hunters. If magnetism and electric fields are born from the behaviours of physical particles and their movements, what does it mean when a non-physical entity is purported to interact with, disrupt, or even generate these fields?

Some in the paranormal community believe that non-physical entities can influence or generate EM fields. However, this contradicts our existing scientific understanding of both magnetism and electrical fields.

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What You Forgot From High School

Frequency refers to the number of cycles of a wave that pass a given point in one second, measured in Hertz (Hz). In sound, this correlates to pitch; the higher the frequency, the higher the pitch. Similarly, electromagnetic waves, such as light and radio waves, also have frequencies, but these are entirely different from sound frequencies. Human senses are limited; we can only hear sounds between approximately 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz and see light within a specific part of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

The term “frequency” is frequently misapplied in paranormal discussions. Phrases like “ghosts exist on a lower frequency,” or that ghosts are “high-vibrational entities” are often used. This creates confusion, as it mixes the distinct types of frequency related to sound and electromagnetic waves such as light. So when ghost hunters claim that an entity consists of a higher or lower frequency to us, it’s crucial to question what exactly they mean.

When ghost hunters talk about entities “existing on lower frequencies,” they often confuse two different types of frequency: sound and energy. Sound frequency is a measure of the pitch of the sound, while frequency in the electromagnetic spectrum dictates the type of electromagnetic energy, like radio waves or visible light. These are not interchangeable and should not be confused when discussing paranormal phenomena.


Electromagnetic Light Frequencies

What You Forgot From High School

Remember playing with mirrors or trying to master that pool table shot? Those experiences were your hands-on lesson in the principle of reflection. In simple terms, light will bounce off a surface at the exact same angle it arrived at, so long as the surface is smooth and reflective. The angle coming in is known as the angle of incidence, and the angle going out is the angle of reflection. They’re equal—like for like.

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Questions For Ghost Hunters

Have you ever spotted an unusual light or captured an odd streak on camera during an investigation? Understanding the principle of reflection can often help debunk mysterious light phenomena. Figuring out how light might be bouncing around the environment could help you determine whether what you’ve captured is truly unexplainable. It could be nothing more than light reflecting off windows, glossy surfaces, or even your own equipment.

Kinetic Energy

Energy In The Body

What You Forgot From High School

Back in your school days, you probably learned about kinetic energy, the energy an object possesses due to its motion. When you knock on a surface, you’re transferring this kinetic energy from your hand to the object, causing vibrations and sound. This is a form of energy transfer.

Questions For Ghost Hunters

So you’ve heard a series of mysterious knocks or bangs during an investigation, how do you make sense of it? How can a ghost, a purportedly non-physical entity, muster the kinetic energy to produce sound by interacting with a solid object? It’s a question that warrants further investigation for those inclined to view such events as paranormal phenomena.

When approaching the phenomenon of knocks and bangs from a scientific perspective, it’s important to consider the laws governing energy transfer. For a sound to be made, kinetic energy must be transferred to an object to create vibrations in a medium like air. If an entity is non-physical, by the standard laws of physics, it wouldn’t possess kinetic energy to transfer in the first place. Therefore, hearing a knock or a bang would seemingly defy our current understanding of energy transfer and the laws of physics.

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