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Digital Subscriptions > Skeptical Inquirer > May June 2016 > Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces

Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces

We used a classroom experiment at the United States Air Force Academy to examine whether necklaces infused with microscopic-particle titanium, such as those sold by Phiten Corporation, improve emotional well-being.

Wedding bands typically feature a particular metal such as gold, silver, platinum, or in some cases, titanium. There is no scientific reason to believe that the substance of the metal (e.g., the titanium) has any direct influence on a person’s physical health or emotional well-being. Now, imagine dissolving that same metal in water so the resulting microscopic-sized particles could be infused into an item that could be worn or kept in close proximity. Would the resulting item provide a health benefit where the solid mass could not?

That is the essence of the claim made by Phiten Corporation (Phiten), a Japanese company that distributes products worldwide. Phiten offered the following summary on the English version of its corporate webpage (see www.phiten.com):

All Phiten products incorporate a novel form of technology that involves metals broken down into microscopic particles dispersed in water. This process underlines [sic] the technologies of a variety of unique materials we possess. By utilizing the property of each material to a maximum extent, we are able to realize customers’ potentials in a variety of extents that leads to restore normal relaxation status of customers. This is the technology that supports more comfortable daily life.

These “Aqua Metals” include titanium, silver, platinum, palladium, and gold. They are incorporated into several products such as necklaces, bracelets, tape, lotions, athletic supports, garments, sleeping goods, and “relaxation equipment.” Phiten also offers a “Phiten Room” where microscopic-particle titanium (MPT) can be permeated into wall surfaces to enhance relaxation.

Those who are not familiar with Phiten might be surprised at the popularity of its products. The Phiten webpage currently offers a robust list of global contacts that, at present, includes locations in Europe, Asia, Australia, North America, and South America. The United States subsidiary, Phiten USA (www.phitenUSA.com), notes that there are over 130 Phiten retail locations in Japan and that Phiten started officially in Southern California in 1998. The Phiten USA timeline also refers to several well-known athletes who have served as Phiten representatives (including Jennie Finch, Carmelo Anthony, Josh Hamilton, and Hideki Matsuyama). Phiten was a corporate partner of University of Hawaii Athletics for several years and has had formal relationships with Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the National Hockey League (NHL). Phiten recently developed a baseball cleat with New Balance, a well-known athletic apparel company. Phiten’s products usually incorporate MPT, which is sometimes called “Aqua Titan” or “Aqua-Titanium.” Phiten’s titanium-treated necklaces seem to be particularly popular in baseball.

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Creators of the Paranormal: A handful of twentieth-century figures “created” the modern concept of the paranormal and its leading topics, transporting fantasy, myth, or speculation into a kind of believable “reality.” Most proved to be a chimera. CRISPR-Cas9: Not Just Another Scientific Revolution Dissociation and Paranormal Beliefs Scientific Reasoning at the USAF Academy: An Examination into Titanium-Treated Necklaces Stick It In Your Ear! How Not To Do Science A Testament of Belief Masquerading as Science and much more...
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