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Effects of Intense Microwave Radiation on Living Organisms

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1 Author(s)
Clark, John W. ; Varian Associates, San Carlos, Calif.; formerly, Collins Radio Co., Cedar Rapids, Iowa

A search for deleterious effects upon animals exposed to intense microwave radiation was made and definite damage to the eye and to the testicle was found. Ten centimeters proved to be the most dangerous wavelength. The effects observed could be accounted for by the elevated temperatures produced by absorption of microwaves in the organism. A theory is presented in which these temperatures are calculated; fair agreement with experiment was obtained. This work demonstrates the need for caution on the part of those who work with intense microwave sources, and for the establishment of standards for the protection of personnel exposed to such radiation. The observations which are discussed below are made up of material most of which either has been or will be published elsewhere. The results are so important to radio engineers, however, that the writer feels justified in rewriting them for publication in PROCEEDINGS OF THE I.R.E., particularly since many of these results would otherwise appear only in the medical literature and would not be brought to the attention of the average radio engineer. A preliminary report on this work was published early in 1949.

Published in:

Proceedings of the IRE  (Volume:38 ,  Issue: 9 )