Beyond being just for calls and SMSes, cellphone technology has evolved at a fast pace over the years.
Understanding the physics of cellphone technology can go a long way towards initiating even more developments.
For many people, trying to get their heads around this technology, often starts with comparisons with landlines.
Landlines carry calls along electrical cables. Mobile phones receive and send calls sans wire connections, while electromagnetic radio waves are used.
Cellphones also work differently to walkie talkies because there is no interference with signal. Radio signals are sent to local masts. The base station then picks faint signals up and routes them towards their destination.
The cells enables the system to handle numerous calls at once. Cities are divided into smaller areas, which are known as cells.
The first phones used analog technology. This is based on vibrations being an analogy of your voice. Digital tech is used nowadays. The sounds of your voice are turned into a portion of numbers (digits), then beam them through the air. This enables the transmission of computerised data.
One of the major benefits that have come from this development is safer calls. By having encrypted calls, this means that they cannot be intercepted.
A look into the physics of cellphone technology cannot avoid the potential dangers of using this technology. A study found that heavy users of cellphones (30 minutes a day) were at greater risk of brain tumours.
In 2011 the World Health Organisation (WHO) published view that electronic magnetic fields produced by cellphones are “possibly carginogenic to humans”.
With continuous advances made in technology developments, the physics continue to change and improve with each device.