Thursday, September 13, 2007

This WILL NOT Change The World

As for the cancer part, exciting nanoparticles with otherwise innocuous radiation is actually a great idea. The problem is selectively delivering the particles to cancerous cells and not healthy ones. If you just give someone a mouthful of gold dust, that won't happen. (Antibody-based delivery is promising, though.) That idea is not exactly original, although it is certainly very clever. As for the radiation, though, radio waves will never work. Electromagnetic radiation will only interact strongly with objects or particles that are comparable in size to the waves' length, and radio is at a very long wavelength. For instance, AM radio at 1000KHz, which is the same kind you can pick up in your car, has a wavelength of about 300 meters, or 1000 feet. [Speed=Frequency X Wavelength, so: (3*10^8 m/s)/(1*10^6 s^-1) = 3*10^2 m] We are too small for radio waves to mess with and that's exactly why, as he demonstrates in the video, you can put your hand next to an RF generator and nothing happens. That's not true of the magnetron in your microwave! It's also why dinghies and canoes won't make a blip on a battleship's radar.

Anyway, the point is that nanoparticles require wavelengths of nanometers to excite them. The visible spectrum runs from around 400-800nm, with shorter wavelengths being in the UV range and longer being infrared. UV is obviously quite harmful, but it turns out that we can make particles tuned to resonate at the low range of the IR spectrum, which is otherwise harmless glowing warmth, and this causes tumors to cook. It's a therapy with beautiful potential, but again its primary limitations are in making sure that the particles are where they're supposed to be. So the idea is great, but he should know that radio waves are out of the question; the EMR must be from a much shorter part of the spectrum.

And as for the water combustion solving an energy problem, well, that's just retarded. Why do you think he can't find a buyer for the idea? Hydrogen fuel will never solve ANY problem, because the reason it burns in oxygen is that water is more stable than its component elements. That is, the amount of energy released by burning hydrogen is equal to the amount of energy required to split water. So if you split water and burn it you could, at very best, hope to break even. Unfortunately, even this is impossible; the laws of thermodynamics forbid perfectly efficient energy transfer, so it will always cost more energy to split water than can be released by burning it. Entropy * is a bitch.

*The video for the link is obviously apropos of nothing. It was the only link I could find to that ridiculously awesome MC Hawking song.