The Weekly Sedition

Saturday, 9 November 2013

The Old “Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer” Scare is Back

Filed under: Science, Technology — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 1:20 AM

Recently I came across this article on my Facebook feed – Cell Phones Frying Kids Brains

Back in 2008 in the first class of my Intro to Biophotonics course, we calculated the amount of energy it would take for the signal from a cell phone to cause tissue damage.

  1. It generally takes about 8 electron volts (eV) to break a covalent molecular bond (most bonds in the human body are the covalent kind).
  2. The wavelength of a typical cell phone signal is about 1 cm.
  3. Plugging that wavelength into the equation E=(hc)/(λ)


    E is energy
    h is the Planck constant, measured in electron volt seconds (eV*s)
    c is speed of light, measured in meters per second (m/s)
    λ is wavelength, measured in meters (m)

    E = ((4.14×10-15 eV*s)(2.99792458×108 m/s))/(1×10-2 m) = 1.242×10-4 eV

  4. Compare the two

    (8 eV) / (1.242×10-4 eV) = 64412.24

Thus you would need to have 64413 cell phones next to your head to get brain cancer from that type of signal.

Copyright © 2013 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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