I'm sorry I started this thread. Michael and Alex said
things that are perfectly right but not responsive to my
question, and now Mitchel tries to drag us into a
discussion of homeopathy. The answer to your question,
Mitchel --is there any relation between homeopathic
doctrine and the science of the action of electromagnetic
fields on matter-- is surely no.
On Tue, 31 May 2011, Mitchel Cohen wrote:
> I am finding this discussion fascinating, thank you all.
> Question about vibrations and oscillations -- not to divert, so you can store
> this and answer it later, but the effects of homeopathy are thought by many
> to be due to the different vibrations of the water molecules after coming
> into contact with the homeopathic compounds. There is much anecdotal and
> epidemiological evidence for homeopathy, but not much (any?) from a more
> reductionist view of science. Any thoughts on similarities between water
> molecule vibrations via homeopathy and "vibrational modes" due to
> electromagnetic fields?
> At 03:46 PM 5/31/2011, Alex Dajkovic wrote:
>> I agree with Michael, that the idea that cancer is caused by breaking DNA
>> bonds is way out of date.
>> But the more fundamental point that Chandler is addressing is interesting
>> and important: is the making and breaking of covalent bonds the only way to
>> affect a biological system? Our knowledge of biophysics tells us that this
>> is not the case. Proteins are held together in their 3D structure by
>> hundreds and thousands of interactions with energies that are on the order
>> of thermal energy (kT), water molecules inside cells bind to other water
>> molecules and to cytoplasmic macromolecules by hydrogen bonds whose
>> energies are also at the order of thermal energy, proteins bind to other
>> proteins and to DNA with weak non-covalent bonds, proteins have vibrational
>> modes that are often essential in their function, oscillations of ion
>> concentrations are an indispensable part of physiology and development,
>> etc, etc. All these processes could be affected by electromagnetic
>> radiation whose energy is not sufficient to break covalent bonds of DNA.
>> But there is a more fundamental point
>> On May 31, 2011, at 8:18 PM, Chandler Davis wrote:
>> > Will some physical scientist help me clarify the question
>> > of whether microwave radiation COULD cause cancer? Robert
>> > L. Park, to whom I am grateful for much enlightenment on
>> > many matters, tirelessly reiterates that the only known
>> > way for electromagnetic radiation to cause cancer is by
>> > breaking a bond in DNA, and this requires a photon of
>> > much higher frequency than microwaves have. This seems
>> > to me to be relevant but incomplete, for reasons I will
>> > give, but Park didn't reply to my query on the point
>> > (probably misidentifying me as a microwave-alarmist), so
>> > I'm looking for help from others.
>> > What we must talk about is a high-amplitude wave
>> > at a frequency too low to break organic bonds, by a factor
>> > of a few million. Right? Park says it doesn't matter how
>> > high the amplitude is: strengthening the microwave signal
>> > is (in his metaphor) just increasing the number of rocks
>> > you try to throw across the Potomac, this doesn't get any
>> > of them across the river because EACH ROCK has too low an
>> > energy. I object that this isn't the whole story, because
>> > a periodic wave is not exactly sinusoidal, the sine wave at
>> > its fundamental frequency comes accompanied by harmonics at
>> > multiples thereof. In quantum terms, that means that the
>> > electromagnetic signal consists of photons at the energy
>> > belonging to the fundamental frequency, accompanied by a
>> > cloud of photons at multiples of that energy. Now (as I
>> > have explained to many undergraduate classes) the higher
>> > the harmonic the lower the amplitude: for the n-th
>> > harmonic, the amplitude goes down like 1/n, meaning that
>> > the power goes down like 1/n^2. By the time n is around
>> > a million, this factor is around a trillion. But not zero.
>> > (True, a very smooth wave has weaker higher harmonics.)
>> > In order to be sure a very very strong microwave signal
>> > could not break a chemical bond, I would have to know
>> > quantitatively HOW strong.
>> > Maybe somebody here will tell me the numbers on
>> > this, I haven't looked them up. It seems evident even
>> > without having the numbers that putting a mobile phone to
>> > my ear will not endanger me. Thus I am as mystified as
>> > Park by the new, more credible study pointing to some
>> > correlation with cancer. But it also seems to me that
>> > further discussion of the matter ought to include the
>> > little wrinkle of HIGHER HARMONICS.
>> > Chandler
> Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering.
> There is a crack, a crack in everything, That's how the light gets in.
> ~ Leonard Cohen