It was at the end of the 19th century when engineers and scientists thought of developing a device that can pinpoint metal by using their already expanding knowledge of electrical theory. Metal detecting also came about as an answer to some mining problems like the need for a device that can find rocks that bear ores. Today, metal detecting is used in many professions and fields like in archeology, de-mining, military purposes, security, construction industry, geophysical prospecting, hobbies, and treasure hunting.
The science of metal detecting
Metal detecting makes use of a metal detector to indicate if a buried metal is present on the ground. A metal detector is made of an oscillator that produces an alternating current. The oscillator passes through a coil which then produces an alternating magnetic field when activated or switched on. An electrically conductive metal will induce eddy currents when it comes close to the coil and will react with the magnetic field. A metal detector makes use of electromagnetic induction. Once it reacts, the metal detector is designed to make a beeping noise to indicate that a metal has been detected.
Metal detecting and archeology
Metal detecting has been a big help in many archaeological digs. Metal detecting is especially useful in wide areas like battlefield sites where the surface is scattered with metal objects. In some European countries however, there are restrictions in the use of metal detecting. In some other countries, metal detecting is outright forbidden except with special permission. This is because people do not usually report their finds especially if these are important or have some archaeological worth. This is the reason why some people have made metal detecting and underground activity. The people who do this are called “night hawkers.” These night hawkers plunder and disturbing the stratigraphy to look for archaeological finds. Once they find something, they sell the artifacts on the Black Market.
Metal detecting as a hobby
Consumer metal detectors have made metal detecting a popular hobby. These consumer metal detectors can only detect metal that is buried a foot or so below the ground. The effectivity of metal detection actually depends on the quality of the metal detector, the size of the metal object, the type of the metal and other objects that are buried in the ground, and the mineral content of the soil area.
Despite the limitations of the consumer metal detector, many people still find metal detecting a fun hobby to do. They use it to look for coins, lost objects, or possible treasures. Metal detecting is a popular activity to do on the beach in the summer. Some of the hobbies that involves metal detecting include coin shooting where metal detecting is used after the event to recover the coins that were used, prospecting where a person looks for valuable metal like silver or gold, relic hunting where a person looks for things that may have some historical significance like weapons after or during a war, and treasure hunting where a person goes to a place where a treasure is rumored to be hidden.