The limits of human perception


Via Abstruse Goose (heh, clever name), this image pretty well proves exactly how narrow a range of the EM spectrum we humans can readily detect with our natural senses.

Graphical illustration of the wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum that we humans can hear and see, as a cross-section graph

There’s a hell of a lot going on in this universe. The even more interesting thing is, I’m fairly certain all of that black area can be detected and measured via modern scientific instruments. Really puts the lie to the people who claim that we are risking grievous bodily harm by using wireless technology, when we are awash in far higher power output electromagnetic radiation just in the form of visible light.

Comments

  1. heddle says

    Really puts the lie to the people who claim that we are risking grievous bodily harm by using wireless technology, when we are awash in far higher power output electromagnetic radiation just in the form of visible light.

    How does what you wrote or the plot you displayed do that? Their claim may be a lie, but not because of your explanation. Power is not the only variable. Lower power ionizing radiation is more harmful than higher power non-ionizing. Some wavelengths couple strongly with biological systems and are of greater concern.

    On top of all that, the plot you displayed says nothing about power.

  2. Randomfactor says

    What jumps out at ME from that graph is that the line segment represented the total view of the Universe available at the time the Bible (and almost every other religious document) was written.

    A rather slim perspective for deciding on the “truth,” no?

  3. says

    heddle, from Michael Swanson on another thread:

    >480kJ/mol: UV photons, X-rays, gamma rays
    240kJ/mol: green light photons
    <0.001kJ/mol: cell phone photons
    (Source: http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/10-06-09/#feature)

    Yes, some wavelengths interact with biology. Yes, some super high powered blasts of radiation would fuck us up but good, like say a gamma ray burst. The fact is, we’re completely awash in electromagnetic radiation all over the spectrum, well outside of what we can see and hear, and even those parts that we can see and hear are far, far more powerful than the stuff we use for modern technology.

  4. heddle says

    Jason,

    Thanks. I did learn along the way how to convert wavelength to energy. The point remains that it is not just the power of the radiation, but the cross section for biologically harmful interactions with important tissue–especially cells that are not replaced. Your argument, roughly, “there is all kind of radiation around us carrying greater energy than that in the wireless (µwave) spectrum therefore fears about harm from wireless wavelengths is a pack of lies” may have reached the right conclusion (I have no opinion) but the reasoning is bogus.

  5. says

    If it helps, to scientists, the only plausible mechanism for damage from the longer levels of the electromagnetic spectrum is through heat. But that tends to work better with microwave radiation anyway.

  6. Nentuaby says

    Personally, I find that pic really grating for being complete nonsense as a, or rather in the shape of a, graph…

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