All About the Waves!

Anybody who has heard my lectures knows my inevitable transition to discussing waves.  It is my favourite subject as it is the essence of life.  So far my posts have talked about the spectrum of electromagnetic waves but there are other types of waves such as sound waves.  Before I delve further into discussing the health effects (positive and negative) with exposure to waves, it is important to understand what a wave really is.  

Wave theory is quite complex but in essence there are 2 categories of waves: mechanical (sound) and electromagnetic.  The picture below shows the common features of any wave:


All waves have frequency (the number of cycles per second = Hertz) and amplitude the height of a wave.  The last posting described ELF waves (less than 300 Hz).  Amplitude can be thought of as “volume” on a stereo.  An ELF wave generated by a wireless router will have a frequency (2.4 GHz?).  The other function often described with electromagnetic radiation is power (watts).  When talking about wireless devices that emit non-ionizing radiation, we talk about power density which is affected by distance.  The formula for power density is found by dividing the power of the transmitter by the equation for a sphere.  Since power is a function of intensity, both the intensity and frequency are factors that must affect biological tissue.  

An interesting paper by Panagopoulos, D. J., Karabarbounis, A., & Margaritis, L. H. (2002), found that ELF waves can actually can have more significant effects than higher frequency because of the inverse relationship between amplitude of the “ion’s forced vibration” and frequency, lower frequency electromagnetic fields have the potential to be more bioactive. 







  1. Hey, you promised “My next post will discuss some simple ways to mitigate ELF and boost your body’s own defenses” in your last post. Teaser.

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