Albert Einstein won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for proving cell phones can't cause cancer.

In 1905, an obscure patent clerk in Switzerland wrote four scientific papers, any one of which would have guaranteed his future fame. The clerk’s name was Albert Einstein. His four papers:

  • proposed that energy exists in discrete levels called quanta (the photoelectric effect),
  • demonstrated that the microscopic quiverings of small particles (Brownian motion) could be explained by the atomic theory,
  • proposed changes in the laws of mechanics for bodies traveling close to the speed of light (special relativity), and
  • demonstrated the equivalence of mass and energy (E = mc^2).

When the Nobel Prize committee chose to honor Einstein in 1921, they selected his work on the photo-electric effect – work that effectively demonstrates why cell phone signals cannot cause cancer. Einstein argued that electromagnetic waves come in discrete packets of energy called quanta or photons. The energy associated with each quantum or photon  is E = h f where “f ” is the frequency and “h” is Planck’s constant. The higher the frequency, the higher the energy associated with the photon.

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Quick Picks

 Posted by Hans at 05:12  No Responses »
Jun 182010

Here’s a selection of some of the most interesting features we’ve seen on the Internet this week:

This article originally appeared in Atlantis Vol. 3, #1, pp. 38-42 (Feb.-Mar. 1995). Copyright © 1995-1996 Hans Schantz

The purpose of this article is to debunk a myth by which the advocates of mysticism and non-objective science seek to undermine science in general and physics in particular. Proponents of this mythical history of science would have us believe that up until the discovery of quantum mechanics in the 1920′s, physicists were committed to a classical (or in other words, more or less objective) view of reality. They hold that these physical discoveries destroyed any hope for an objective view of reality and forced physicists to reject such notions as identity and causality. The picture such persons paint is of physical discoveries somehow validating non-objective philosophy. They portray the history of science as a progression whose climax is the discovery of its own impotence.

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© 2010-11 Hans Schantz except as noted. Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha

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