Thursday, December 12, 2013

What if we could see cellphone signals?

We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded by radio emissions: FM/AM radio, TV broadcasts, WiFi networks, and - of course - the mobile cellphone networks. Certainly the thought of what it would be like to be able to see these frequencies has already crossed your mind, and now we have a graphical representation of what it could look like.

I can't really say these images are scientifically accurate. Radio signals often behave in strange ways and wouldn't act as "light beams" as they're shown here - if not for the fact that radio waves can go through solid objects but are also reflected by others... and it would cause a much more complex "mess" of signals that I doubt we could really "grasp" visually. But even if we considered it to be just an artistic rendering, it sill looks nice and might prompt the age old debate about the long term effects of the continuous exposure to these "unnatural" emissions.

So you don't start to panic, keep in mind that cell towers, as well as WiFi, are relatively low power networks. If you want to worry, you'd probably want to worry about the much more powerful radio and tv broadcasts, which would surely swamp out these emissions completely in terms of power should they be on the same frequencies. In fact, that's something that would truly be worth watching/comparing: the relative power of different RF signals, like Bluetooth, WiFi, cellphones, Radio and TV, radar from boats and planes, etc. etc. I'm sure it would be enlightening...

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