Results tagged “powerlines” from onegoodmove

Don't Panic

Power Line Panic and Mobile Mania

Headlines in the news periodically highlight the “latest” investigation into the link between cancer and either use of mobile (cell) phones or residing near power lines. Some reports claim that there is statistically significant evidence for such linkages yet others deny this. However, both typically include a disclaimer that “scientists claim that there is no physical basis for such a linkage.” The purpose of this piece is neither to investigate the large amount of data that has been generated nor to persuade the public health authorities on the utility (or otherwise) of such investigations. It is to bring out as clearly as possible what scientists mean when they say “there is no physical basis for such a linkage.” The strength of this argument may enable

individuals to be less worried about this “panic and mania.”

What is the physics underlying the operation of both power lines and cell phones? Quantum mechanics. How well is this theory established? If this theory were used to calculate the diameter of Earth using paper and pen, one would get a value that agrees with the measured value within the thickness of a human hair. There is really no “experimental” reason to doubt quantum mechanics. It can be called the crown jewel of all science.

What is the relevant idea of quantum mechanics we need to understand power lines and cell phones? The first idea is that all electromagnetic radiation consists of small particles called photons. The energy of a photon is determined by a formula called Planck’s law: the energy of the photon increases as the frequency increases. . .