You murdered the future. That’s negative, Cam. Defeatist. Disappoints me to hear you talk that way.


If there’s one topic likely to generate spit-flecked ire, it is the controversy over the potential health threat posed by cell phone signals.

That debate is likely to flare following the publication today of some new ideas on this topic from Bill Bruno, a theoretical biologist at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.

The big question is whether signals from cell phones or cell phone towers can damage biological tissue.

On the one hand, there is a substantial body of evidence in which cell phone signals have supposedly influenced human health and behavior. The list of symptoms includes depression, sleep loss, changes in brain metabolism, headaches and so on.

On the other hand, there is a substantial body of epidemiological evidence that finds no connection between adverse health effects and cell phone exposure.

What’s more, physicists point out that the radiation emitted by cell phones cannot damage biological tissue because microwave photons do not have enough energy to break chemical bonds.

The absence of a mechanism that can do damage means that microwave photons must be safe, they say.

That’s been a powerful argument. Until now.

Today, Bruno points out that there is another way in which photons could damage biological tissue, which has not yet been accounted for.

He argues that the traditional argument only applies when the number of photons is less than one in a volume of space equivalent to a cubic wavelength.

When the density of photons is higher than this, other effects can come into play because photons can interfere constructively.

{ The Physics arXiv Blog | Continue reading }

photo { George Tice }