Technology 5G is the beginning of a new era for the Internet. Major mobile operators around the world are already working hard to implement 5G networks. Например, крупнейший в Америке оператор AT&T уже выпустил первое коммерческое устройство с поддержкой 5G – маршрутизатор Netgear Nighthawk 5G. The first smartphones with support 5G should appear in the first half of 2019. The future is not far off!
With the advent of the first towers 5G, more and more information about the operation of this technology began to appear. For example, it is currently known that 5G will operate on a much higher frequency range than modern 4G LTE networks. Since the beginning of its use 5G, many questions began to arise about its safety for humans, which is associated with the work 5G in the millimeter range.
What is millimeter wave or millimeter waves?
Modern networks operate at frequencies from 600 MHz to 2.6 GHz. This is the lower limit of microwave waves. With the advent of 5G it will be possible to use a higher frequency range, including the so-called millimeter waves, which you may already have heard of. It should be noted that operators will continue to use the low frequency range from 600 MHz to 2.6 GHz and in 5G networks. But over time, they will begin to move to higher and higher frequencies such as 3.5 GHz, 6 GHz and even 30 GHz! Today, a mobile network that operates at a frequency of 30 GHz looks like something incredible. But believe me, 30 GHz is just the minimum limit from which millimeter waves begin to be used.
Маршрутизатор Netgear Nighthawk 5G компании AT&T – это первое коммерческое устройство с поддержкой 5G.
Пока неизвестно, на каком именно диапазоне частот работает Netgear Nighthawk 5G, но AT&T заявило, что устройство будет использовать миллиметровые волны в своей работе. It is known for certain that Nighthawk 5G is powered by a Snapdragon X50 modem 5G. The Nighthawk Mobile Hotspot 5G will transmit at 30 GHz or higher. Where did these numbers come from?
Millimeter waves operate in the frequency range from 30 to 300 GHz with wavelengths from 10 mm to 1 mm, respectively. But it's safe to say that even if it is possible to use extremely high frequencies in 5G, most likely we will not be able to reach the maximum frequency of millimeter waves at 300 GHz until the next generation of 6G.
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Are millimeter waves safe for humans?
Opponents of the new technology argue that millimeter waves operate at such a high frequency that they can fry your brain. Fortunately, this is not the case at all! While 30 GHz may seem like a high number by modern standards, it really won't harm you.
Of course, not all electromagnetic waves are safe for humans, some of them work at incredibly high frequencies, and only when they reach a certain threshold, they can harm your health. So don't worry, this threshold is much higher than 30 GHz, or even 300 GHz!
To understand what frequency waves can be dangerous, you need to understand the following question.
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What are the types of electromagnetic waves?
We now know that millimeter waves are not dangerous to humans. So what waves should you be wary of?
As we have already found out, the maximum frequency of millimeter waves is 300 GHz. This frequency is very far from the minimum threshold of the microwave range. Microwaves are followed by infrared, which is also called infrared light, which is not visible to the human eye. The infrared wavelength range starts at 300 GHz and up to 385 THz with wavelengths from 1 mm (minimum microwave length) to 780 nm, which equals 0.00078 mm.
Classification of electromagnetic radiation by wavelength and frequency.
Infrared radiation is ubiquitous on Earth, and it also poses no danger. By the way, solar energy reaching our planet is in the infrared spectrum. And as you can see, humanity has been living and prospering for thousands of years, being exposed to sunlight every day.
When these waves begin to become more and more intense, they pass into the spectrum of the so-called “visible” light, which has a wavelength of 700 nm to 400 nm, with a frequency of 430 THz to 790 THz. Fortunately, the frequency range of “visible” light is not dangerous to humans.
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What waves are dangerous to humans?
Anything that follows “visible” light is classified as hazardous to human health.
Let's start with ultraviolet light! The ultraviolet wavelengths are in the range from 400 nm to 10 nm, which corresponds to a frequency from 790 THz to 30 PHz (1 PHz = 1,000,000 GHz). The initial UV spectrum is usually not very dangerous to humans. But starting from the middle spectrum, there is a transition from non-ionizing to ionizing (radioactive) radiation.
Sign warning of the danger of ionizing radiation.
Particles of ionizing radiation have such an amount of energy that they are able to split electrons inside molecules or atoms, converting them into positive or negative ions. Unfortunately, we are not physicists, and we cannot explain all the details to you, which is very bad. You don't want to get an extra dose of radioactive radiation. Therefore, we recommend that you refrain from using things, the radiation of which starts from the middle ultraviolet spectrum.
Above ultraviolet radiation is the range of X-rays: wavelength 10 nm – 0.1 nm; frequency – 30 PHz – 30 EHz. Anything above the average UV spectrum belongs to the ionizing type of radiation. Keep this in mind when your X-ray is taken. This does not mean that you should stop using X-ray machines: in very small doses, using X-rays should not harm you.
There are still gamma rays. A range of gamma waves with a wavelength less than 0.1 nm and a frequency of more than 30 EHz. These are extremely small particles that are capable of penetrating even through a thick layer of matter. Avoid getting these particles on you, especially if their use is not properly controlled (despite the danger of gamma radiation, it is actively used in medicine and various industries).
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Let's sum up
Benefits of using 5G.
We hope that now it has become clear to you that radiation is divided into ionizing and non-ionizing. Non-ionizing types of radiation, such as radio waves: radio waves, microwaves, infrared and “visible” light waves are harmless to humans. Ionizing types of radiation such as ultraviolet light, X-rays and gamma rays pose a certain threat to humans.
Before 5G – operators can use a higher frequency range than the previous generation (4G LTE), they will have to find a frequency range that will not raise questions about the safety of millimeter waves within the microwave spectrum. For some, the high frequency of millimeter waves may seem dangerous, but there is still no clear reason to believe that 5G – networks pose any danger.
Only by realizing that 5G does not pose any danger to us, we will be able to fully appreciate the beauty of this new technology.
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