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Physics and You

Worried about what you can see? Smoke from cars; the dirty water; the polluted river. Yes, these are all threats to your health, but what if an invisible force is bombarding your senses and bodies every second of every day?

     Electromagnetic Pollution    

In the last 50 years our environment has become a seething mass of electromagnetic smog. Mankind has changed the electomagnetic background more in these last few years than in all previous history. Estimates vary, but most experts agree that back-ground radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR) has been increased by bewteen 100 million and 200 million times over that reaching us naturally from the sun. The human body is a master at adapting to circumstances, but there are limits! It is no wonder that so few of us ever feel really fit and well. In the modern workplace and home, the levels of EMR are considerably higher than average background levels. For example, a standard VDU emits seven different types of EMR: X-rays, ultraviolet, infrared, pulsating VLF (very low frequency), radio frequency, ELF (extremely low frequency) and static electricity!

Let us now find out what electromagnetism is.

The force is…
Electromagnetic force is all around us! It is responsible for practically all the phenomena in our daily lives, with the exception of gravity, including the forces we experience in pushing or pulling material objects. Wondering how? Let me explain. Electromagnetism, as the term suggests, is the coming together of two fields: the electric field and the magnetic field. Electric field is produced by the presence of electrically charged particles, and electric force causes the flow of electric charge (electric current). And this flow of the electric charges or electric current produces magnetic field. A changing magnetic field produces an electric field and a changing electric field generates a magnetic field. This interdependence of the two fields brought them together as the Electromagnetic field.

Its physics…
Electromagnetic force is one of the four fundamental forces in Physics out of which all other forces are ultimately derived. The other three are strong nuclear force (which holds atomic nuclei together), the weak nuclear force (which causes certain forms of radioactive decay), and the gravitational force.

Just how fundamental is it?
It is an integral part of our lives. Right now, while reading this book, we are using electromagnetic waves in the form of visible light. Yes, that’s right. Light is actually “a propagating oscillatory disturbance in the electromagnetic field” or an electromagnetic wave. Visible light waves are the only electromagnetic waves we can see.

“Electromagnetism is the physics of the electromagnetic field, that encompasses all of space, which exerts a force on particles that possess the property of electric charge, and is in turn affected by the presence and motion of those particles”


The History
Well, the history seems pretty “diverse”…

1802: Italian philosopher Romagnosi (in 1802) noticed that connecting a wire across a Voltaic pile deflected a nearby compass needle (caused by electromagnetism). He became one of the first to discover and publish this idea of electromagnetism.
1820: Danish physicist Ørsted performed a similar experiment. Ørsted’s work influenced French physicist Ampère to produce a theory of electromagnetism that set the subject on a mathematical foundation.

19th century: Various physicists developed the classical electromagnetism theory. The idea was ultimately unified and completed by James Clerk Maxwell. Maxwell’s equations Classical electromagnetism is based upon a set of equations known as Maxwell’s equations.
1905: The theoretical implications of electromagnetism led to the development of special relativity by Albert Einstein in 1905.


EM and economy

Apart from its necessity in the physical and life sciences and engineering (as a power), it intertwines with various other aspects of our lives. Like all other forces, it also has energy behind it. Thus, it impacts all sectors of all the economies in the world.

Its conversion into mechanical forces has led to electrical machines that power our industries, which are vital for any economy. It also affects us economically on a daily basis through our food, weather, consumer prices, and transportation. It even affects local and global policies! For example, policies on energy supply and conservation, and nuclear weapons depend, directly or indirectly, on electromagnetism. It is integrated in every part of our society as well. Radios, televisions and computers have brought a revolution in information technology and spread of knowledge. Mobile phones, appliances like alarm clocks and microwaves have become a part of our everyday life.


Safety Guidelines
All electrical appliances emit electromagnetic fields (EMFs). Some give out far more waves than the most powerful overhead transmission lines! More importantly, many give out more than the recommended safety guidelines of 0.5 to 2 milligauss.

  • Experiments have shown that a standard digital alarm clock emits a field of 6 milligauss
  • A computer can emit 20 milligauss
  • A mobile phone emits around 100 milligauss!

A dark side…
It is strong enough to cause damage to the body’s natural defense system. Blood cells slow down the work rate of carrying blood and oxygen round the body. Even a few minutes’
exposure to EMFs can lead to depression, headaches, mood swings, anxiety, lack of concentration, irritableness, memory loss, depleted or low energy, damage immune system and make you prone to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimer's!

Electromagnetism is related and inter-related with all aspects of our lives, but the same force can be disastrous to human health and environment. Now, the question remains can we really choose not to use this force when we are so dependent on it?

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May the Force not Affect you