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Author Topic: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop  (Read 6713 times)

Offline dude777

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Hello to all the awesome people who make the world go around! I have a question to you guys - how or what material could help me reflect the electromagnetic waves/radiation that my laptop emits?

And what's the science behind it - why does it reflect?

Thank you for your kind answers in advance!

A. 


 

Offline FuzzyUK

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #1 on: 02/04/2013 23:29:19 »
Hello to all the awesome people who make the world go around! I have a question to you guys - how or what material could help me reflect the electromagnetic waves/radiation that my laptop emits?

And what's the science behind it - why does it reflect?

I have to scratch my head wondering what's going on in the heads of members of the public when they ask questions like this? Are they envisaging in their minds something akin to a nuclear reactor leaking mega doses of dangerous radiation? I'll give an answer as I'm an electronic design engineer but first I'm curious to know what drives you to make such assumptions, where you picked up your fears, and what damage to your health do you think will happen?
« Last Edit: 02/04/2013 23:36:10 by FuzzyUK »
 

Offline RD

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #2 on: 03/04/2013 01:27:57 »
The electromagnetic radiation emitted by a computer is not potentially harmful ionizing radiation ... http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=44351.msg389722#msg389722
« Last Edit: 03/04/2013 01:29:57 by RD »
 

Offline syhprum

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #3 on: 03/04/2013 07:38:40 »
the most energetic radiation emitted from your computer is in the one micron infer red range similar in frequency and quantity to that emitted by another human being
 

Offline dude777

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #4 on: 03/04/2013 08:39:26 »
But for some reason there are a number of studies which state that EMR is harmful - it reduces fertility, sperm count, currents in human body and so forth.
newbielink:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/29/laptop-wifi-sperm-damage-electromagnetic-radiation_n_1118726.html [nonactive]
newbielink:http://www.defenderpad.com/study-exposes-increased-health-risks-from-laptop-emfs-particularly-during-pregnancy/ [nonactive]
But still even if it aint harmful, how could I reflect the electromagnetic waves/radiation anyways?

Thx!
A.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #5 on: 03/04/2013 10:29:19 »
I have a question to you guys - how or what material could help me reflect the electromagnetic waves/radiation that my laptop emits?
In case, you should have worried when you had a CRT monitor, not now that you have a liquid crystals screen  :)
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #6 on: 03/04/2013 11:46:42 »
You can reflect the radiation away by making a metal shield (eg aluminium foil), and positioning it between yourself and the source of electromagnetic waves, or wrapping it around the electronic device (being careful not to cover any cooling holes).

But if you look inside nearly all electronic devices, you will find that they already have a metal shield built into the case, to keep in the electromagnetic radiation (it also helps to keep out external sources of ElectroMagnetic Interference=EMI, like mobile phones).

The rationale for the EMI regulations is that someone else's electronic device should not interfere with your enjoyment of AM radio. AM radio is very susceptible to interference, and that makes it a very sensitive detector. Get a battery-powered portable AM radio (there might be in the back of a cupboard, somewhere) and tune it between stations. Move it next to the electronic device, and you will almost certainly hear buzzing and/or hissing noises; changing the tuning a bit lets you hear other buzzes and hisses.

You can use this method to compare the radiation from different electronic devices, and see how far away to put them before the EMI is undetectable; you can put the computer 1 or 2 meters away, and run a cable to the display. The AM radio also shows you how effective any shielding is.

The hardest part to shield is the display and cooling holes - obviously a sheet of aluminium foil defeats the purpose of the airflow and the display! (your mouse and keyboard won't work too well if wrapped entirely in foil, either!) If you look into the fan outlet of your laptop, you will see that it already has a mesh there. I have seen displays with a fine metal mesh built into the CRT screen, and you could try this yourself. But modern LCD displays don't put out too much EMI.
 

Offline yor_on

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #7 on: 03/04/2013 13:44:14 »
My friend, it's useless worrying :)
there have been so many things potentially harmful in mankinds history, and we're still here, ain't we? And you have worse things to worry about than that if you look around a little. Enjoy your life, it won't be shortened by your computer, and weight that radiation against your mind and knowledge growing, using the Internet. Let's hope it will continue to be free for all.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2013 13:46:34 by yor_on »
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #8 on: 03/04/2013 19:28:34 »
Typical laptop PSUs seem to be rated about at 100W.
100J/s
6000J/min
360,000 J/hr
8,640,000J/day
That's about 2100Kcal per day
On the other hand, I dissipate about 2400 Kcal per day.

So the question should be
"How can I screen my poor laptop from all the radiation I generate?"

(I'm also pretty much guaranteed to be more radioactive than my laptop too)
 

Offline lightarrow

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #9 on: 03/04/2013 19:44:43 »
My friend, it's useless worrying :)
there have been so many things potentially harmful in mankinds history, and we're still here, ain't we? And you have worse things to worry about than that if you look around a little.
Right. By the way: I would better worry about background natural radiation, instead, included Radon.
 

Offline evan_au

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #10 on: 03/04/2013 21:17:09 »
A desktop computer is an "accidental" radiator, and the EMI levels are very low (and enforced by regulations).
  • Don't run your desktop computer with (part of) the cover removed, as this is an integral part of the shielding, and radiation levels could be 100 times higher.

However, there are "intentional" radiators, where the EMI levels are higher by a factor of a thousand to a million than a desktop computer. To deal with these:
  • Microwave ovens have quite good shielding - but to be sure, do something on the other side of the kitchen while the microwave is turned on. (You can also buy a microwave leak detector, to check that the door seal has not been damaged, and is still an effective shield.)
  • Don't get a home router with wireless (WiFi).
  • Don't use a wireless network in your home - turn off the wireless on your laptop ("airplane mode"), and use an Ethernet connection to your home router.
  • Don't use a wireless network on your mobile phone (put it in "airplane mode"), and use a USB connection to your computer.
  • Don't use a mobile phone, as this generates higher power to reach a base station perhaps 1 km away, compared to WiFi which only has a range of perhaps 20m. Or, if this is too severe, leave your mobile phone on the table 1 or 2 meters away from you. Use a headset with microphone, rather than holding the phone to your head.
  • In reality, quite large studies have shown that there is no detectable risk from holding a mobile phone to your head, so WiFi & computers are a negligible health problem, even with the cover removed!
So the biggest health risks are from:
  • Holding a laptop on your lap - it gets hot! Put a book or magazine beneath it.
  • People spend so long sitting in a fixed position in front of a computer they could end up with obesity, blood clots, blurry vision, neck cramps, etc.. So get up and move around at least every hour.
« Last Edit: 03/04/2013 21:26:23 by evan_au »
 

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Re: reflecting electromagnetic radiation from a laptop
« Reply #10 on: 03/04/2013 21:17:09 »

 

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