Will there ever be cell phones that don't emit radiation, or do they even emit any radiation? originally appeared on Quora, the place to gain and share knowledge, empowering people to learn from others and better understand the world. You can follow Quora on Twitter, Facebook, and Google Plus.
Will there ever be cell phones that don't emit radiation, or do they even emit any radiation?
OK, well, let me tell you something.
Flashlights emit radiation. (It is actually much higher energy radiation, in terms of individual particles, than the radiation of cell phones. Many thousands of times more energetic. And the overall output is also typically higher than a cell phone’s output.) If you ask if there will ever be a flashlight that doesn’t emit radiation… sure, one that does not emit light.
Stoves emit radiation. It, too, has much higher energy radiation (thousands of times more energetic per particle, and a lot more radiation in total) than the radiation from cell phones. Will there ever be a stove that does not emit radiation? Sure! It’s called a cold stove.
Cell phones also emit radiation. It is essential to their function. That’s how they communicate: transmitting and receiving radio waves. These radio waves are far less energetic than the light waves from a flashlight or the thermal radiation from a stove. So if you are worried about radiation, first find a very cold, pitch dark room… Once you’ve done that, eliminating light and thermal radiation, you can start worrying about cell phone radiation. But keep in mind that a cell phone that emits no radiation is a cell phone that is not communicating. In other words, a dead phone.
All this should tell you that “radiation” is a very broad term. It includes ionizing radiation that can destroy or alter DNA in your cells. But it also includes visible light, thermal radiation, and radio waves. Cell phones, stoves or flashlights do not emit ionizing radiation. (Actually, flashlights might… visible light comes close to being able to, well, if not outright ionize atoms, at least break some molecular bonds and cause chemical changes.) Nor do cell phones emit non-ionizing radiation in sufficient quantities to thermally damage tissue, like a strong light, a hot stove, or for that matter, a microwave oven could.
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