Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Bad Medicine and Microwaves

I have just finished reading Christopher Wanjek's Bad Medicine, a book that in my opinion everyone on the planet should read. It is thoroughly well written and well set out with easy to understand debunking of most health fallacies.

However a review of the book is not my main reason for this post. One of the topics covered was radiation and the worry people have of microwaves. Chris covers the topic well but I realised something rather ironic when I read this section and that is: Infra-red (IR) radiation has a higher frequency than microwaves so standing in front of the stove while cooking is more likely to cause cancer than the the microwave.

For the physics of it all, electromagnetic radiation (light, UV, IR, microwaves, gamma rays, x rays and radio waves) interacts with matter as a photon. The energy of a photon is determined by the frequency of the radiation.

There is a cutoff in energy level for a photon to remove an electron from an atom (called the photoelectric effect), and this is required for their to be any harm (esp. to DNA) other wise the only effect is heating (which is short term and goes away as soon as you remove the source of radiation i.e. cell phone).

Now the cutoff frequencies for this is in the spectrum of visible light, so anything with a lower frequency (IR, microwaves, radio waves)than this is not going to do any lasting damage (like cause cancer).

So to reiterate, although neither is going to cause cancer, IR radiation from your stove top is more dangerous than your microwave.

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Thursday, 16 August 2007

Well Since My Baby Left Me

I found a new place to dwell
Down at the end of lonely st
Heartbreak Hotel.

The King IS Dead. Long Live the King

Thank you, Thank you very much, You're beautiful.

PS Today is the anniversary of the passing of Elvis Presley.

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