**EDIT: Small note to new questions, most that are new I already answered before so look around in the threat

EDIT: Boy... this got way bigger than I expected. I've gotten a lot of good questions and I really tried to keep up but the questions came in faster than I could answer them and some have rightfully pointed out that I didn't answer with sufficient quality. Right now this thread is taking up way to much of my brainspace and my relationships with people today has suffered so I'm calling it quits for real.

I wanted to make a couple of statments before I take my break.

First, there absolutely are reasons and legitimate studies out there that raise concern about 5G an human health (not Covid19 but other effects). None of those studies show conclusive evidence that there are negative effects but there is enough noise being made that I personally believe that governments should invest a couple million dollars in high quality research to get good answers to these questions.

Also, some people have presented specific articles that I'm going to try to get back at. Maybe I'll respond to some of them in this post later on.

A lot of people asked how we should show how people believing in these conspiracies are stupid. I dont think we should. Especially if we ourselves have no expertise to build our believes on that 5G is harmless. It can very well be but if we don't know why we shouldnt ridicule others for worrying. We can however question people their believes and if their believes are unfounded, then that will present itself automatically.

I will not be responding to questions anymore. Thanks to all the people who have given gold or platinum. Lets please try to stay humble where we can. We don't want to divide humanity and push conspiracy theorists in a corner because that will just get them to ignore and doubt all of the common naratives, including the ones that advice on social distancing etc.

Thanks everybody and stay safe!
08/04/2020 22:23 +1 GMT

EDIT: Thank you all for your questions. This is getting larger than I can handle. I have had some intersting questions that I want to get back to. One about birds and bees dying and I had some links send to me. I'm going to add specific responses to them in this post for those interested. I can't respond to all the comments anymore but thanks for all the good questions!

EDIT: Apologies, I was drawn into an important meeting that I did not expect and was away for a while. I'm back to answer questions. (11:41 +1 GMT Amsterdam)

Now that partially due to London Real the claim that 5G is causing Covid19, its extremely important to protect ourselves with a healthy understanding of the world around us. Its easy to write these Conspiracy theories off as idiotic but its much more important to be able to counter false claims with factually correct counter arguments than ad-hominem.

Its true that I am not at all an expert on immunology or virology but I do a thing or two about telecommunication systems and I can imagine that some of you might have questions regarding these claims that are made in these videos.

I have a masters degree in Electrical Engineering where I specialized in Telecommunication Engineering (broadly speaking the study of how information can be transferred through the electromagnetic fields). I also have a qualification to teach physics at a high school level and have plenty of experience as a student assistant. I currently work at a company developing military radar systems where I work as an Antenna Engineer.


These notes are calculations that I was doing on finding matrix to calculate a discretized Curl of a magnetic or electric field on an unstructured grid for the implementation of Yee‘s algorithm, a time domain simulation technique for electromagnetic fields.

[Edit] Thanks for the coins!

[Edit] thanks a lot for the gold. This grew to much more than I expected so I hope I can answer all the questions you have!

Comments: 2169 • Responses: 89  • Date: 

lmaccaro4478 karma

Wireless engineer here, let me help you out. Here is the complete electromagnetic spectrum. Thanks NASA! The only difference between 5G and every existing wireless device (that you were never worried about) is what frequency it's at on that chart, in 5G's case primarily between 700MHz and 2.6GHz, but also 25GHz, and what power it broadcasts at.

5G is in the same frequency range as many other things you've been living with your entire life - except it is at much lower power. Have you ever worried much about TV broadcasts at 698 MHz and 10,000 watts? Then you shouldn't worry about 5G at 700MHz and 1 watt. Have aeronautical radionavigation frequencies at 960MHz ever been a concern to you? They function at much higher powers than a cell phone, believe me. These bands have been full of traffic your whole life, and it's never hurt you. Same goes for the Ka bands at 25GHz - these have always been in use.

Finally, the first graphic on this page is useful. Some people worry that cancer (DNA damage) can be caused by radio waves. Nothing to the left of ultraviolet carries enough energy to alter human DNA. Radio waves are waaay on the safe side, as compared to something like xray. They are on the safe side of visible light. These waves simply can't carry enough energy to strip electrons from atoms, the mechanism by which DNA is altered.

Edit: changed last image because reddit hugged that site to death.

vgnEngineer1126 karma

Thanks for the contribution!

I would like to point out that the conversation is a bit more complicated (can be), not the facts, the conversation. You can find many many papers showing effects of EM fields on biological life and we need to properly reply to those papers. Otherwise, people who have genuine worries will keep throwing them into the conversation without an honest reply.

What I have seen is that many of those papers have a terrible method section. They don't mention how they generate electromagnetic fields, they don't report measurement equipment, they don't report the setup etc. You and I both know that if you expose a petri dish on a metallic surface to 1GHz signals that it will barely be exposed because the Electric field will be near zero close to the surface. Yet that might be very well going on.

Ive found one paper that had an excellent method. They even show a taper of a TEM flat plate transmission line that looks like it has a nice constant characteristic impedance taper, they have circulators and matched loads etc. Obviously someone knowledgable worked on that and this paper showed no effects on calcium homeostasis. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20676401/

At the same time I found a paper that put eggs in a climate chamber with a hanging phone and an 'electro-smog meter' (I kid you not) that claimed to have found changes to biological formation I believe. I mean, as an engineer you can't even imagine the level of incompetency at play but at the same time, you can't blame these researchers because what have they learned?

We need more cooperation between fields.

notablack287 karma

In the 1980s there was some poor information put out by the MSM (UK Daily mail obviously) surrounding links to HV and cancer.

A lot of that was taken on board by people my parent's age and remembered as fact even though the science has disproven it time and again.

It's almost impossible to argue, I've shown my mother the papers and explained them, as I work within electrical engineering. She doesn't believe me and thinks we should avoid being near oversailing HV lines, because it's "not worth the risk".

Amusingly because she couldn't see it, she had no issue with my childhood house being next to a substantial sub station.

Basically there is so much misinformation out there and it preys on people's lack of comprehension, I'm not sure how we win.

vgnEngineer267 karma

Its a tough issue and some people definitely respond better to a good conversation than others.

What I have discovered is that the ability to persuade someone of the scientific view point is very much dependent upon their willingness to have the discussion. A lot of times people prefer to just make blanket statements about something but the moment you engange and initiate the conversation they opt out by just making fallacy after fallacy. With those people its I think better to stick to keep it simple and give it time.

But I think a lot of people that have genuine worry also care about the facts. Any good productive conversation starts with a friendly agreement that both parties are willing to engage and talk about the issue and most importantly 'respond to a point'.

From what I've learned as a teacher, most work is done when you start by what the other already knows. So instead of presenting your information as a counter, you first comletely discover the other persons ideas and when you have them, take them to their natural conclusion which often isn't where they think it will take them.

In the case of your mother, assuming she is willing to have the conversation, the conversation could start simply by asking her what it is she thinks is true and then to ask 'why' she thinks it. Answers like 'because ... said' are fine, this stage is purely in order to expose both the listener you and the other person to the nature of their believes.

Following that you might ask her: how do you think that that might work? She might respond with: I don't know but i believe it. No judgement here, this is fine. But at this point its no longer about the subject matter. What is crucial at this point is to talk about whether its good to believe things just because you know or someone said so. If a person indicates that that knowledge from back in the days is and will forever have them believe that fact, then there is no where to go.

Consider the issue of the subway. You might ask her for example: are you aware that the subway system also works on high voltage lines? She might respond with yes or no. Then you might ask: are you worried about those? If not why?.

The best lessons learned are simply learned by leading people to new ideas only by asking them questions. You might be a source of facts but this is often only useful if they themselves asked you to share those facts.

ten-million106 karma

From what you are saying, it seems like it is easier to lead someone into shit than to get them out of it.

vgnEngineer124 karma

yes absolutely. its an antisymmetry of a metaphorical game where two people are playing by different rules. It requires a lot of control by a game host (moderator).

maxpossimpible99 karma

Ever tried to un-learn something?

A lot of the things I was taught in the 90s just isn't true. And some of the things that are true have an extremely low effect, barely testable. And a lot of the "oh that sounds logical", isn't true either. Such as flossing reducing dental caries - no actual data on it - dsnt seem to do much of anything.

Here are a couple more things:

  • You only use 10% of your brain
  • Swimming after eating will give you cramps.
  • Napoleon was short.
  • The great wall of china is visible from space.
  • Your tongue has different taste regions.
  • Everything surrounding the Coriolis force as portrayed by magazines in the 90s.
  • Cracking knuckles cause Arthritis
  • Coffee dehydrates you.
  • A brown-eyed man or woman cannot have a child that has another eye colour.

vgnEngineer48 karma

It does require one to put aside ones ego and admit they believed something that isn't true. its hard but I always try to admit those things and report back to the people whom I have told this falsehood to and admit it.

CollieDaly62 karma

You can't argue a person out of a position with facts and logic that they did not convince themselves of with facts and logic.

vgnEngineer35 karma

Very much agreed. But many people believe in these conspiracies through facts and logic, albeit incorrect facts. But they don't realize that.

ukiyuh20 karma

How do signals travel across the planet and communicate almost instantly without interference? Millions of humans can be communicating and their voices travel in one device and out the other. Are the signals just interpreting that information and then sending the information through the air to be interpreted by the receiver?

It happens so fast and flawlessly its almost magical.

Signals have always intrigued me but I want to understand them on a fundamental level better than "oh yea signals in air and bam pow magic"

Omfraax52 karma

Telecommunication engineer here, specialized in 4G and 5G cellular network.

When several users share the same cell (a cell range typically from 100m to 10kms, depending on population density), they are allocated a specific part of the spectrum and specific time slot by the cell so that they don't interfere. This is done in a very dynamic way : Basically, every millisecond (or even more frequently for 5G), the cell will advertise the phones when and where they should receive/transmit data for the next millisecond. The phones on their side periodically report how much data they need to send and their radio signal level quality to help the cell make the best decision. They can also measure other cells so the network can see the phones moving and change their serving cell.

Now for the 'across the planet' stuff, it's usually no longer through wireless signal but with good ol' optic fibers that the packets are transferred across the core network from the cell to the internet

You can PM or answer this comment if you need more details :)

vgnEngineer3 karma


vgnEngineer4 karma

Most of that communication is through fiber optic cables distributed across the planet.

tomrat2479 karma

From memory Physical Chemistry 101 (over 15 years ago for me now) radio waves can cause radial motion in molecules with a centre of symmetry, the most dramatic example of this being the effect of microwaves at the top end of the spectrum on water molecules in food causing enough kinetic motion generate collisions ergo heat the item. Admittedly radio waves are weaker than microwaves but does this lend any credence to the (quite frankly, dumb) conspiracy theory?

vgnEngineer25 karma

Not from this angle. The effects that you described in detail is what we summarize in the dielectric loss tangent. Its a number indicating how much signals are converted into heat when they propagate through a lossy medium such as water. But heating doesn't cause any damage.

The theory that I heard is that 5G exposure in 60GHz range will stop the blood from absorbing oxygen. but I think that myth came from a game of telephone because the actual facts are that oxygen just absorbs 60GHz via the same mechanism that you alluded to.

FYI, its better to ask this great question directly because I don't get notifications of messages in threads :)

iamtheonetheycallDon5 karma

What are your thoughts on Radar? Specifically marine radars that still use 4KW Magnetrons.

bradn32 karma

Don't stand directly in front of one or you'll get cooked like you were in a microwave. Other than that, it's still not gonna fry your DNA unless it's literally frying it with heat. They aren't lasers and the beam spreads out with distance, plus they rotate. The beam sweeping past you at any reasonable distance that doesn't involve hanging in front of the transmitter just isn't an issue.

iamtheonetheycallDon4 karma

I read that it’s 10W m/3 at 0.85m directly in the Radar beam. Any idea what that equates to?

I have a boat and the Radar sits on the roof about 1m directly above where you stand at the helm.

I was thinking of changing it to a Solid State Radar (FMCW) that is 25W (instead of 4KW).

vgnEngineer11 karma

Always look whetehr it is 4KW peak or RMS. Radar pulses are very short so something thats 100W peak could be 1W RMS.

OldWolf21 karma

My country has widespread 4G 700MHz , how will that work in conjunction with 5G ?

vgnEngineer2 karma

They design it such that they don't interfere

lookingrightone893 karma

[question] what's the biggest difference between 4G and 5G other than speed ?.

vgnEngineer1152 karma

Data rate capacities are a dominant reason for switching to 5G. But the way this is realized is for one by going to different frequency bands where there is more available bandwidth. Another great change is that with higher frequencies come smaller wavelengths which means that multiple antennas can be placed in a device allowing for beam forming, better reception (aiming bundles).

doubles_avocado259 karma

Does 5G have any planned security improvements? E.g. to prevent impersonation attacks like this.

vgnEngineer932 karma

I have more expertise in the physics side of telecommunication engineering (electrodynamics etc). I'm not very well versed in the protocols of 5G. So I'm afraid I don't know.

ProtoplanetaryNebula34 karma

Will 5G as a technology be able to be used as a standalone technology? I heard that the range is not as good as 4G, as in you have to be fairly close to have decent speeds.

vgnEngineer111 karma

The range is not that good so you would need more base stations. but that isn't a bad thing, that can be a good thing. less stations means that every phone has to yell very loud to get themselves heard. now the listener just gets closer to the speaker if you will. I'm not sure what you mean by standalone technology in this context.

skinwill112 karma

I would argue the biggest difference is how the data is modulated onto the carrier and more advanced frequency hopping. Both use technologies that require greater processor power in the mobile device. Thats what so freaking hilarious about "5G BAD" BS because they are doing more with less power. Some of the added frequencies they use are higher and more fragile therefore they need more towers. In this case they call them micro and pico cells. Dave Jones had a good rude laugh about this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vHx-UyIM9M

vgnEngineer157 karma

thats absolutely right. Of course there are many many differences on all the differnt layers, physical layer, protocol layer etc. I don't know much about the exact implementation of 5G but you are right.

people also worry about having more base stations everywhere but that is what you would want. If you have a giant outdoor concert with speakers only at the stage, it would have to be turned up so loud for the people in the back to hear it. Everybody in front would have hearing damage. The safest way would be to give everybody a set of headphones to put the sound directly into their ears, thousands of sound sources but they are all so quite that the maximum energy is far lower.

skinwill62 karma

That an the propagation of 28-300GHz in open air... I've seen the absorption charts, there are some bands that are better than others but none of it is going to go very far. Like only a few miles or much less when it rains.

I do have a problem with the US FCC deciding to use the same frequencies that NOAA uses to monitor rain. I think it's somewhere around 24GHz. I don't know what the latest news is but the decision to transmit on frequencies used to passively monitor storms will set weather prediction back decades. https://www.aip.org/fyi/2019/noaa-warns-5g-spectrum-interference-presents-major-threat-weather-forecasts

edit: Links

vgnEngineer46 karma

Hmm, that sounds potentially very problematic. I do know though that at those and lower frequencies you can direct signals very well. 4G already has a pancake shaped radiation pattern to low elevations. 5G might even aim at where you are. You could enforce that those stations are not allowed to transmit towards those stations but if that is enough is something people would have to look at

Sept9523 karma

Really, I just don't want more base stations everywhere because I consider them aesthetic eyesores -- I admit the pettiness here, but I also have concerns about the State being able to more effectively monitor and track the movements of citizens, about the functions of Captial possessing even greater speed and efficiency, about the consumption of rare earth minerals necessary to build this infrastructure.

Do you think that human beings who desire parts of the world untouched by blanketed anthropogenic EM radiation deserve to have such spaces?

vgnEngineer7 karma

Good question, i think our society needs to drastically rethink our relation with technology anyhow. Luckily 5G can much better offer us this. Because of the access to smaller wavelengths, phased array antenna systems are possible that can expose much more specific areas to the required EM fields and leave the rest untouched. Eventually, better technologies is what is going to allow us to have that much deserved EM free spaces.

I worry about the power of social media and the slot machines that they are turning our phones into. And in so far as that is concerned I am very much with you. But realize that newer technologies can support those positive developments!

MasonSatchmo297 karma

Please correct me if I am wrong , but aren’t pilots the most exposed to higher levels of electromagnetic radiation of various sorts , and a study was conducted with a reasonably large sample size showing they were no more or less at risk then the general population for any risks associated? This comment is written quickly and dumbed down because I have a two year old jumping on my head right now lol.

vgnEngineer250 karma

That is what at least this studyhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12862322 seems to suggest.

The levels of cosmic radiation are much higher but still not high in absolute terms. At leas nowhere near what smokers are exposed to in their lungs. So indeed, the fact that they don't have a significant increase in non-skin cancer related cancers suggest that the level of cosmic radiation is still low.

Adam-West204 karma

Why are people saying that 5g kills birds? Has there ever been any truth to this at all?

vgnEngineer203 karma

I have not heard these stories personally. Maybe its related to stories that the use of radiowaves disrupts the biological compass that birds have. This is difficult to prove but electrically speaking, these two are in vary different domains. Biological trancient (time dependent) effects are signals that travel in the order of milliseconds or slower. Microwave signals vary in the range of tens of nanoseconds. Typically, slowly varying systems don't respond to much faster changes. Its like trying to make someone swing on a swingset by pushing 1000 times a second. it will hurt but it will not make them swing.

Architr0n69 karma

I just pictured the '1000 times a second' swing scenario and got pictures of broken spines in my head

vgnEngineer64 karma

I'm sorry

jeffinRTP176 karma

What makes you think you know more than someone who learned about if from a meme? /S

vgnEngineer84 karma


follyrob138 karma

Slightly off of your main topic, but I am a ship Captain, and have a question that is perfect for a radar engineer.

I often will get to a port or anchorage and notice the anchored or moored ships around me will just leave their radars on for seemingly no reason and it bothers me. Apart from wear and tear on the equipment, I'm concerned about being surrounded by 20 ships with long range radars spinning away and "zapping" everything around them. I know that the radiation is relatively low power, but being constantly exposed to it coming from multiple directions does make me wonder. How founded/unfounded are my concerns?

vgnEngineer177 karma

It really depends on the types of radars they have turned on. Because the signals are very narrow in space and they rotate you are exposed only to a little bit every time they pass you as a person. Also, energy drops by the distance squared. So if at 1m the signal strength is 100W/m2, then at 100m the signal strength is 0.01W/m2 etc. So very quickly there is very little of that power left.

It doesn't matter if its radar or 5G, the effects, if they are there are comparable and at this point there is no good quality evidence showing any effects of radiowaves on biological life other than a slight elevation of temperature which is often nothing compared to the heating caused by sunlight. remember that warm feeling on your skin? Sunlight is about 1000W/m2, radiowaves a tiny fraction of that. So if there is anything you should be worried about on the sea then its UV radiation giving you skin cancer. So that would be my answer.

But let me say this, its completely fine to have concerns as long as they are not disproportionate. We have no good quality evidence proving mechanisms at which radiowaces are harmful [edit]. We do know about the dangers of sunlight so always keep a level head :)!

Hope that helps

follyrob68 karma

Thanks for your response!

I always make the crew turn off our radar before going anywhere near it, so your power decreasing by distance squared explanation assures me I've not been doing it for no reason.

I'll also be less concerned about the vessels around me running their radars 24/7 in port (even if completely unnecessary).

vgnEngineer69 karma

Yes, I think that with these radars up close you are definately doing a good job in telling them to turn it off. most experiments are done on mobile phone levels of electromagnetic field exposure, that radar system might go far beyond that and i can very well imagine that that might have effects on biological life. Maybe your system is fine but I'm definitely not standing in front of the military radars we have. You can bake your food in front of those.(I actually don't know if thats true but it wouldn't surprise me)

follyrob27 karma

This is what I am working with, and it is certainly not the most powerful in use in my industry.

25kw X-Band.

vgnEngineer46 karma

I think that the 25kW is peak power (radars are pulsed). I don't know what the mean power output is of that system (couldn't find it) but that would definitely be something I would turn off when I get close to it.

follyrob28 karma

Thanks for taking your time to reply to everything I have asked. I appreciate your responses!

vgnEngineer28 karma

You're welcome!

nikolo_h138 karma

Why do so many people believe the 5G conspiracy?

vgnEngineer308 karma

The 5G conspiracy builds on a proposed correlation that everytime and everywhere we introduce new radiowave technologies there are pandemics and epidemics. When you look into the proposed correlation of course there is nothing there because the behavior of the spread of covid 19 follows exaxtly the spread of a virus, not sickness from radiation exposure and virusses have been around forever. Its a nice surface level idea but below the surface there is nothing substantial there. And sadly people dont often go past the surface

powerwordjon80 karma

So I heard this conspiracy for the first time at work today from an older coworker. I gave the polite head-nod and “alright buddy”. What would you say in laymen’s terms to a believer to convince them the conspiracy is nonsense?

vgnEngineer110 karma

Very good question. Its difficult to argue convincingly on laymens terms so instead of countering the narrative I would challenge their believes. I would ask someone: Can you name the four Maxwell equations? if they say no then I would ask them what gives them the expertise to tell the good and bad science apart and have a well founded opinion on the matter.

Edit: That example was just one but it illustrates my point. In case people are bullshitting you. The answers are - Divergence of the electric field is equal to the charge density devided by the dielectric permittivity

  • Curl of the electric field is minus the time derivative of the magnetic flux density

  • Divergence of the magnetic field(flux density) is zero (no magnetic monopoles

-Curl of the magnetic flux density is the vacuum permittivy times the current density plus the dielectric permittivity times the vacuum permittivity times the time derivative of the electric field.

Cryptolution75 karma

I would just like to reply to say that there are plenty of common sense arguments that you can use. The top comment references the ranges between televisions and wireless signals which is a great common sense argument.

The best argument you have against virus transmission in relationship to wireless technology is to talk about pandemics that occurred before the advent of technology. The bubonic plague killed 200 million people and this was 600 years before technology was even invented.

A great common sense point to bring up is that we have been living around this technology for multiple decades which means that for quite a few of us reading this is our entire lives. Yet miraculously we don't have cancer. Some of us do but not at any greater rate than anywhere else.

What about societies that transitioned from no technology to technology? Do we have any good data on say African nations that Leapfrogged landlines straight to wireless technology? Have there been any large population studies on cancer incidence before and after?

vgnEngineer7 karma

great question, ill try to look that one up

bdoubleD59 karma

You can't reason someone out of a position they were not reasoned into.

What makes you think this conspiracy is worth arguing with these people over? Mind you these are the same people who think COVID-19 a hoax (yes, while also believing it's caused by 5G), the earth is flat, contrails are actually sedatives being sprayed from commercial planes, 9/11 was an inside job, dinosaurs never existed and were placed in the earth by god so we could fuel our vehicles, and that the world is less than 10,000 years old. Why shouldn't I just scuff off these morons rather than waste my time backing them into a corner only for them to shout, "LOOK INTO IT" or claim that I'm some sort of shill (I guess a shill for logic and critical thinking, I dunno)?

vgnEngineer39 karma

Depends on the person you are confronted with. some might not be worth your time but others are just confused and can be persuaded.

mlslouden121 karma

Why are millimeter waves considered dangerous?

vgnEngineer177 karma

Thats a good question. What I think freaks people out is the unknown. We don't have much experience with millimeter waves in commercial settings. They have been used in telecom for sattelites and in military applications but most people would have never been exposed. I think people are also worried about the fact that they get transfered into heat more by the body. Due to a smaller wavelength there could be also more localized effects.

blues3016 karma

What about the millimeter wave scanners at airports?

vgnEngineer3 karma

Which ones are you referring to?

firstwork91 karma

What evidence is there that the this conspiracy theory has 'gained popularity' other than the press reporting that it is popular?

vgnEngineer45 karma

The media attention is what I was referring to as popularity. Its gaining more attention in the media. Perhaps that is what I should have said. But indirectly that must also increase the popularity.

grungegrenade62 karma

As a general mobile user, what would be the benefit to switching to 5g? Like all I do on my phone is browse reddit, stream spotify, and watch youtube, and I already have a very good experience doing that. Is there really any noticeable benefit for me to switch? I typically use my computers for my more taxing tasks. I remember the switch from 3g to 4g being pretty minor for my uses...

vgnEngineer78 karma

Wauw, thats a good question. It could be that eventually it could mean that less battery drainage if 5G is much more efficient as long as you keep your datarate the same. It could be better security. Its hard to say

GRAIN_DIV_2026 karma

It might be better for security, but my main concern is that it is MUCH worse for privacy. It makes location tracking used by governments, telcos, and probably Google way more accurate than it needs to be.

vgnEngineer21 karma

I share your concerns

Ozblotto58 karma

Belgium originally stalled and have now passed proposals for a 5G network, due to health concerns. Was this stalling warranted in any way? Is there any evidence to suggest health risks exist?

vgnEngineer74 karma

I have not seen any evidence of health risks. But there hasn't been much research so demanding more proper research is something I am for. there have also been concerns about security risk since Huawei is a big company producing 5G hardware. So maybe not warranted but definately not a bad choice.

NattyMcC29 karma

To preface this, I belive that the '5G causes Covid19' theory has zero credibility, negative credibility even (if that were possible).

However, only for clarification, David Icke on London Real was presenting THEORIES as facts put forward by the likes of Andrew Kaufman (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xr8Dy5mnYx8&fbclid=IwAR0A207EydJEA-T2frb_Gnhf0cUATVXQ4CVWgZs7bXuNTRKg938o5CEQFAI), and Thomas Cowan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3LgrcDAlJs&fbclid=IwAR1Al1aWuZQMaeWWckuNi-2GmlwwinFfqWV5sCioaKceOaV7khiySklIMws). Which essentially suggests that the current crisis is due to poisoned exosomes and not a virus (which I will not pretend to know anything about as I am a social researcher and not a doctor). As well as other accounts/opinions from individual doctors (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EWQPgF6-UQ&fbclid=IwAR1s8_STguHMcCBlUOTUe2pYdFzlNLBKizWSMk9Krjj6itOyl_003JFy2RE), and the retired president of Microsoft Canada (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gbfEDfVfx2w&fbclid=IwAR0uqXVcvtVSEEwzGUgEE55gEqbyG_0eKviwlpklnQBBzRLM0OxgRiym5dw), to name a few.

Separate from the Covid19 conspiracy, the safety of 5G has been questioned long before this current crisis. I refer to these articles in Scientific American -
Both of which cite some of the independent studies into 5G and possible health effects. They do also, as you have been saying in the comments here, seem to have questionable methodologies (small sample size for example). However, I think this speaks more to the need for better independant research, rather than arguing that it provides evidence that are no health concerns at all. The simple fact is that, even with REF technology which predate 5G, there are no long term independent studies which definitively show that that it is or is not safe. In which case, the logical assumtion to me would be that both scenarios are at least a possiblity.

The former Scientific American article includes information about the 5G Appeal, an appeal to halt the roll out of 5G until more independent research is conducted, signed by 332 scientists and medical doctors as of April 7, 2020 (http://www.5gappeal.eu).

Would love to hear your thoughts on all of this. I especially welcome any reassurance you can provide regarding the lack of long term research, and why these 332 scientists and medical doctors are wrong to be cautious.

Kind regards.

vgnEngineer16 karma

I think safety concerns shouldn’t be shut down that quickly. They deserve some proper attention. Send those links to my inbox. I’ll respond elaborately when I have more time

carmooch22 karma

From what I understand, the concern with 5G is not that it is necessarily dangerous, but that there simply hasn’t been enough research done to understand the potential long-term affects.

Knowing what we know now about 5G, is it responsible to continue rolling out the technology in your opinion?

vgnEngineer40 karma

Its true that there hasn't been long term studies and I think its okay to have some. But electrically speaking, besides some absorption differences depending on the molecules, 5G isn't anything different from 4G regarding its effects. or 3G or Television for that matter. So the question is, will more exposure to slightly smaller wavelengths do anything significantly different and the answer to that question is that there is no reason to believe it will. Whatever effect it may have, its nothing compared to the effects of UV light and skin cancer for example and most people don't worry nearly enough about that. So we shouldn't stop rolling it out in my opinion.

reasons to be careful with it are security risks because Huawei can be controlled by the chinese government. So those risks are to be taken very seriously when implementing their systems.

drewbles8219 karma

I have read a lot of the years and it really annoys me when there could be a real danger with 5G, you have idiots saying its linked to corona and calling it a weapon. Therefore any talk about 5G potentially being dangerous is laughed at. Which when you look at history is something that has happened, look at when Tobacco was found to be bad for you but if you were one to agree so soon, everyone would think you were making it up.

Its like the Alien conspiracy whether you believe it or not, if an actual person saw such a thing, they would be made fun of because that's how we've been led to think that way.

We should all know corporations, government and media lies to us constantly. They all have a very close relationship, usually owned by the same people. What are the biggest companies in the world, fossil fuel, agriculture, big pharma etc, if they want you to believe their products are good they will spend billions paying off governments, media to lie and look the other way.

So why is it so hard to believe they wouldn't do it with 5G?

Why are there videos of politicians talking with people who are wanting to give us 5G, where they admit its never been tested, this stuff is not faked.

WHO have yet to confirm its safe and won't publish their findings till 2022, so why spend billions putting it everywhere possible when it might not be safe. Probably cuz they can pay their way through any independent study and change the facts to their needs. Its like American cancer society website recommending foods which have been proven to be carcinogenic as part of a healthy diet.

vgnEngineer26 karma

Very very important question here!. Thanks for asking, you are absolutely right, there have been deep conspiracies as with the tobacco company and with the animal industry as I would personally argue.

Here is why I think that 5G is different. Most of the conspiracies like with the smoking causes lung cancer have been accompanied with data showing very direct and clear mechanistic explanations and strong epidemiological data to back that up. There haven't been equivalent studies from the telecom world.

There are some speculated mechanistic explanations but the studies that support these mechanisms are often very weak. besides that you see a lot of work coming from independent researchers that have no ball in the game that show no link.

We know a lot about how electromagnetic waves work and nothing about them suggests to us that there is anything to worry about. There is just a very large lack of substance. With other conspiracies this was often not the case. You would see alarming papers followed by other studies that have obvious flaws that show contrary findings.

roadrunnersk12 karma

I have just one question.

Forget COVID. Here's the question. I've seen many deniers of the idea that 5G causes cancer say that the radio waves only penetrate a few top layers of skin, and no further.

Then, I read other folks on the same side of the coin (medical field that would agree that 5G does not cause cancer) say that it only takes a few layers of skin penetration to cause damage to DNA, and in turn eventual cancer.

So, which is it?

I'm personally not too concerned. It is what it is, I've lived my life. But I am seeing those conflicting arguments come from the same conspiracy denying side.

The folks that say radio waves cause viruses are mistaken, misguided, or a but loony.

Edit. Actually one more question. Airport scanners use millimeter waves to see through you -- I've seen my skeleton on their screen, along with the coins I left in my pocket like an asshat. How is it that x-rays do the same thing, but millimeter waves do not cause cellular damage?

vgnEngineer20 karma

Good question, dna is in your skin so IF it causes cancer it would. The idea that its not harmful because it doesn't penetrate deeply is a fallacious argument. Just think about UV light, doesn't penetrate very deeply as well but it still gives you skin cancer.

But the biggest problem is that we have no reason to believe that microwaves at those frequencies have the potency to drive mutations. The effects are likely very similar to the effects of infrared light coming from the sun.

Pharoacious10 karma

Tom Nichols, author of The Death of Expertise, advocates that people not engage in discussions with others who endorse conspiracy theories thay have not been substantiated by experts in their fields, primarily academics and scientists. Nichols argues that one should simply dismiss their claims outright and not argue or debate the merits of the conspiracy theory. Why do you believe that debating the facts is a more effective strategy in debunking bogus claims?

vgnEngineer35 karma

Thats a great question. It really depends on the context of the conversation. I think that when you are talking to an aunt or uncle or perhaps friend or collegue a good factual conversation is good. I think on TV it can be a good idea but only if the moderator is playing a fair game. Often debates are not a good context because people get to speak or 20minutes make uninterruped false statements, dozens of them, and now the scientist has to clean them up with facts which often take just way longer. There is a disadvantage there.

If the scientist is allowed to stop the conspiracy theorist, press him on the factual basis of his claims and if the moderator FORCES the person to either defend their claims with a solid answer (not a fallacy) or abandon his/her position, the outcome of the debate would be very different.

Its often the rules of the discussion in my opinion that are at fault. People should NOT get away with making baseless claims and then changing subject when they are challenged on them but thats more often than not what happens. The risk namely is that you are spending 60 minutes watching people go back to a single subject and not moving on because one party is just unwilling to accept defeat. But that is how the conversation should go. If someone makes a baseless assertion and are then unwilling to defend them, they should be forced off the stage with the clear signal to the audience that that person was not following the rules of debate and had ill intent.

Sam Harris refers to this as a 'bandwidth problem'. Every time someone unloads a bunch of falsehoods it just takes too much time and attention of the listener to correct that so a danger of these debates is that the audience gets away with a good picture of the conspiracy because they had more arguments and they couldn't follow the responses.

I agree that it is a dangerous game. its tricky. But most importantly, we should stop experts from dumbing things down on television all the time because it gives people a false sense of expertise. They think they now understand something when they absolutely do not.

BlucatBlaze8 karma

Do you know about this study? "Microwave frequency electromagnetic fields (EMFs) produce widespread neuropsychiatric effects including depression"

From the Abstract

In summary, then, the mechanism of action of microwave EMFs, the role of the VGCCs in the brain, the impact of non-thermal EMFs on the brain, extensive epidemiological studies performed over the past 50 years, and five criteria testing for causality, all collectively show that various non-thermal microwave EMF exposures produce diverse neuropsychiatric effects.

The concerns I haven't aren't unknowns. Is there anything being done to mitigate the neuropsychiatric effects or are the known neuropsychiatric effects being completely ignored?

vgnEngineer14 karma

yes I am aware of Dr Pall. Most of his studies are in vitro to begin with but that is less important. I have checked out some of the studies he cited and often they completely lack a section about the experimental setup which, as an engineer, is very problematic.

I tried to look at some of the studies he cited but all of them are sadly behind a paywal. I did dive into the rabbit hole of VGCCs and discovered that the papers I could find had a terrible experimental setup. They didn't explain how they did the experiment electrically at all and thats a problem.

here is a study I could find that had a great experimental setup and that found no effects: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20676401/ If you have a specific study with a method section I can look at I can comment on the engineering side of it.

EtakMayNot8 karma

Many people, who understand that 4G towers are safe, still don't think it's a good idea to live right next to one. There are concerns specifically about living very close to GSM towers. Are there any health problems related to living especially close to 4G towers? How about all the warning signs plastered on some 5G towers stating to not get close due to high radio waves?

vgnEngineer17 karma

closer to towers the signal strenth is much greater so any effects would be amplified. Signal strenth decays over distance. There are rules about safe exposure limits though so even up close your levels should not exceed the safety margins (which are designed to be very much on the safe side to comfort people).

Light_inc7 karma

What do you think about the stupidity surrounding the "5G causes Covid 19" conspiracy theory, and how adamant the people that support the theory are about it?

vgnEngineer14 karma

Its very worrying that they get so much attention. Especially with no push back. In a video David Icke said that ' satellites transmit 5G signals'. If you can't even get the most basic facts straight then why even listen? No phone can actually transmit a <edit>high data rate </edit> signal all the way to a satellite, its just not big enough, it doesn't have enough power. It can receive signals but not transmit it. <edit> It could transmit very low data rate signals for sensor type applications but that isn't anything people would use to stream YouTube videos or have calls</edit>

We need to have a public debate about this and have actual experts talk about this subject.

Ryanite_6 karma

Hi there,

What's the difference between 5g and the 5GHz option on many of the latest wireless routers? I always figured they were similar and already in most homes?

vgnEngineer26 karma

5G just stands for 5th generation. its a huge collection of rules on how any device follwing the 5G rules has to operate. With these rules, companies like Samsung or Huawei can both design a chip that works on 5G and connect it to base stations without having to test the system with every possible device. See it as a language.

[Edit] 5G specifies what frequency bands to use, how to modulate the information, how handshakes work (hey I want to talk to someone! in signals), how frequency hopping works. The rules for deviding network load etc. etc.

The 5GHz option on your router is just a different frequency band to use WiFi on.

Bungle19816 karma

Is it true that 5G has not been through any independent testing to ensure it is safe?

vgnEngineer23 karma

I'm not aware of all available research out there but I have seen studies that look at the biological effects of signals that are comperable to what you might see with 5G and depending on the paper you see effects or you don't. but in my experience, all papers showing effects have a terrible technical setup. A very good paper I saw with a very proper setup showed no effects.

Untinted7 karma

Link to paper?

vgnEngineer24 karma

Found it! https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20676401/ changed it, it didnt work

firstwork6 karma

Why does 5G not go as far as other systems?

Would the performance characteristics of PCBs have anything to do with improving 5G performance?

vgnEngineer12 karma

At higher frequencies gasses in the air absorb more and more of the electromagnetic energy which means that your signal from your phone gets converted into heat (ever so slighly contributing to global warming but in no significant way).

Do you mean printed circuit boards?

vgnEngineer10 karma

To reply to the PCB question directly, assuming you are referring to Printed Circuit Boards. Often the opposite is true. Higher frequencies have big limitations on the proper functioning of PCB's due to higher losses. But most 5G interfaces on phones will probably be on a single chip preventing the reliance on PCB technology.

eaglescout19845 karma

How does 5G and 4G compare in mountainous terrain? Does the higher frequency mean 5G is able to penetrate better than 4G? I ask because I currently live in West Virginia and curious if the cell phone carriers will see any advantage to investing in 5G here (particularly along the interstates).

Speaking of... I have undeniable proof that 5G does not cause COVID 19. We currently have community transmitted cases (meaning people who haven't traveled are infected) of the disease in this state. Guess what we don't have? 5G coverage. Drops microphone

vgnEngineer6 karma

Generally higher frequencies suffer more losses from gasses in the air. The idea behind 5G is that you can place many more smaller base stations that your phone can connect to so that it doesn't need to transmit its signals very far and overall the coverage can improve with less radiated energy.

JoshuaaMichael5 karma

What is the average latency of 5G? I keep hearing <1ms in applications but I want to know what the normal/public/general/etc. stuff is going to be like.

Crikien9 karma

1ms latency is the specification that has been proposed for communication between your handset/car/tethering device and the tower. It still has to get from the tower to the internet, so it basically gets you in the realm of wired connections if implemented as proposed. For reference, early LTE adds about 25 ms over the air interface.

vgnEngineer3 karma

Thanks for contributing!

vgnEngineer3 karma

I am not sure about latency figures of 5G. i can look it up for you but 5G is still well under development.

Taxidia4 karma

Is it true that the 5g high frequency waves can have a negative effect on human body?

Also, what is the virtual routing in 5g technology about?

vgnEngineer17 karma

Scientifically speaking we don't know. i have not seen properly executed studies that show this. I have read studies that do show biological effects of radiowaves but the experimental setup was often not al all there and the statistical analyses where very faulty. Often only few papers are used to support the story that they are harmless and thats mostly because a lot of the other studies have terrible setups.

screwedsleep4 karma

What’s your thoughts on Chinese 5g parts? Will China be able to listen to my wife shouting at me on the phone?

vgnEngineer5 karma

I don't know, I don't think they will but I am concerned about the security risks.

CannibalCowboy3 karma

What’s the actual logic, if any, behind their claim that 5G can cause an infectious pathogen? I’ve literally seen nothing in this tread discussing this

vgnEngineer6 karma

I believe that they deny the existence of the pathogen and just attribute the symtoms to the exposure of 5G. They draw this conclusion based on the apparent but non existent correlation of Covid 19 cases and 5G introduction. This idea is of course absolutely wrong because the spread of Covid19 mimics exactly that of a viral disease and not the introduction of new technologies. for example, we wouldn't expect people to cure from Covid19 if it was 5G related but they do.

iamjosh3082 karma

How do you feel that me, as a redditor, needs to hone in on specific silly conspiracies and ridicule them non-stop for a year in order to feel superior?

vgnEngineer6 karma

I would ask you if you really have the knowledge to counter these narratives and if you are not having the opposite effects. If you have the expertise, by all means, counter it. But its better to stay out of technical conversations if you have no expertise, even if you actually know more than the conspiracy theorists do.

rob3rt_digest2 karma

Which of the public listed companies currently is leading the race? If you can bet on two companies, who they gonna be?

vgnEngineer5 karma

I have always been more into the physics side of Telecommunication Engineering and not the IT and business side of it. I know Huawei is doing very well. But I can't answer your question with an informed opinion.

BlueStoneArt2 karma

Where did the OP go?

vgnEngineer7 karma

had an important meeting that I did not expect. My apologies.

MikhailCompo2 karma

What more can people in your industry do to give reassure the public that radio waves, 4g/5g in particular, are safe in order to prevent conspiracy theories from developing to the extent the 5g Covid-19 conspiracy has?

vgnEngineer8 karma

In my opinion we need to change the way we discuss complicated subjects. Too often are we drawing into discussions where we are forced to talk on a basic level. People need to be confronted about the way in which science and engineering is done, with lots of math. Like the end of this video:


There was a paper once published by some german researchers that took two groups. one read a medical article and the others a magazine version of the same study then they probed how likely they where to give advice. It turns out that people who read the medical article where much more likely to advice people to go to a doctor.

Another problem is that often people 'counter' conspiracy narratives with faulty arguments. For example: the earth is not flat!look at this picture with all the curvature (showing obvious fish eye lense distortion). false counters like that don't help the scientific narrative. We need to be precise in our stories and confront people with the actual science and if they don't follow, then maybe take that as a good point to stop the conversation and agree that maybe we shouldn't be trying to form personal informed opinions on subjects we just can't understand.

MrSickRanchezz2 karma

Slightly off topic, but what do you think about the security concerns with Huawei being so heavily involved? Justified?

vgnEngineer5 karma

I know little about security but from what I know the security concerns are very well founded. So I share those concerns and at this point would not use a mobile device with 5G using Huawei systems.

FullstopCoding2 karma

What does a radar engineer with a master's in telecommunications have to do with explaining this? Clearly you're a logical person. The people who believe this don't believe in logic.

We need to get a doctor to explain why people buy into absurd conspiracy theories.

vgnEngineer1 karma

thats a valid point. what I can do is answer questions about the technology and I can comment on the technical side of studies regarding 5G and health which are often very badly designed and reported on. i would not dare to answer specific questions regarding health but often the conspiracy starts with misunderstandings about the technology even before the body comes into play. Thats what I can help with!

Aztecah2 karma

Are you concerned that threads like this only help to propogate the conspiracy theory, given that it could newly introduce the people to the concept and that those who are stupid enough to fall for it will reject your knowledge and expertise?

vgnEngineer3 karma

I think that those sensitive would have come across the theories anyhow. But it could be, I havent thought about it.

bEloW_aVeRagE_PiPi1 karma

Sorry, not related to the topic, but what is the app or program shown in the picture?

vgnEngineer2 karma

Thats GoodNotes5 on apple with the apple pencil. I use it a ton for mathematics and such!

justz00t1 karma

What kind of applications does high power terahertz transmitters have if we can figure out how to make them?

vgnEngineer3 karma

Well, terahertz gets into visible light and we already use that in fiber optics. Of course you are fighting with all visible lights in your house and light from the sun. But in the terahertz region there is a tremendous bandwidth available that is unoccupied. This means that you can get very high data rate support. This is why the internet connection between the US and Europe is made with fiber optic cables stretching the ocean floor.

Silverpathic1 karma

I don't quite get why people freaked out over 5G my only concern is this turd who make cells that can communicate (idk how else to explain it) electronically. Who was then arrested for spy crap along with 2 spies who worked at the wuhan lab that started all this.

I cant believe im gonna say this so here it is, what if they accidently released this virus and it goes nuts when its around one of the frequencies? This all seems crazy to me but so did the thought of computerizing cells.

vgnEngineer1 karma

I can't comment on that story without having studied it. What I can say that any micron sized technology is very very basic at this level (in cells). Of course computer chips have nanometer sized components but in so far as cell sized systems, I don't expect we can make anything functional out that in any way shape or form.

remember that cell sized structures are very insensitive to radiowaves besides experiencing slight heating effects.

Skrittext1 karma

What effects does 5G actually have on the body?

It makes no sense that 5G would be the root cause of covid-19, but is it possible that 5G waves can worsen the effects of covid-19 to some minute degree?

vgnEngineer11 karma

From what we know for sure, the electric fields of radiowaves whether 5G or 4G etc push and pull on the polar atoms in our body (primarily water) and that push and pull gets converted to heat. but the heating effects are very tiny.

There are papers that claim to see effects of radiowaves on voltage gated calcium channels but all papers I have seen that show this have a terrible experimental setup. often they do not at all describe HOW they expose the sample to radiowaves and very often the statistical analyis is very badly done showing siginificant findings when there are none.

One paper I have read with a very good setup (written by a group that does research in the use of high frequency energy to treat cancer in patients) showed no effects of exposure of radiowaves the cell cultures that they had. The experimental setup was sublime.

tankser2 karma

Could you share the paper infos? I'm interested how such a experimental setup looks like. Thank you

vgnEngineer3 karma

Yes definitely. They are hard to come by but this was a study that as an engineer looked very well done:


SoulOfAzteca1 karma

Apple took some time to accept 5G saying that the Technology wasn’t ready for the iPhone standards. Does 5G has security flaws? or what they meant?

vgnEngineer1 karma

I don't know that their reasons where but 5G has been very ahead of its time. Basically, the international organs like the IEEE set rules on how 5G communication has to work so that innovative companies can fabricate the technology and be sure that it all works together. but the scope of 5G has included technologies that we don't yet have. So maybe that is part of it.

ThePiklOfTime1 karma

I've seen a lot of rumors that 5g would make weather forecasts more unreliable because reasons like weather satellites using 26gHz or something. I've always just assumed this is probably false, but what's your take on this?

vgnEngineer2 karma

I spoke about this with someone else in the comment section too. its very much possible that you have interference with weather stations which do a lot of measurements based on EM waves. So we have to look at the spefics. It could be that the control we have on 5G signals is sufficient to aim them away from weather stations but pollitions of radiowaves with very sensitive equipment is more common.

applegoo0 karma

How close do we need to be to a 5g tower to get the covid?

vgnEngineer5 karma

depends on how close someone with the corona virus is standing away from it.

Rotoscope80 karma

The FCC website states 5G can produce up to 300GHz, which is where my concern for it stems from. While 300GHz is on the extreme high end they say it can produce, it's range is 60GHz to 300GHz. Are these figures truly inaccurate? Are extremely high RF waves not harmful?

vgnEngineer3 karma

Good question. 300GHz is borderline very low infrared light. I'm not familiar with how that specific technology works (seems to be getting close to LiFi). But remember that you are exposed to actual infrared light all the time, thats why the sunlight feels warm on your skin. Compare that to gamma rays which are radioactive electromagnetic waves and you are a factor of 3 billion off. The lowest UV light frequency is a factor 2000 times higher and that contributes to skin aging.

So energy wise you are still far below the risks that normal sunlight has. Combine that with the fact that sunlight is in total about 1000W/m2 at sea level. Your phone can get nowhere near that level.

PayTheManuel-1 karma

Why pose the AmA and then not reply to anything?

vgnEngineer14 karma

Sorry I got asked in an important meeting that I did not expect.

cpa_brah-1 karma

I heard 5g makes men gay and women impotent, is this true?

vgnEngineer1 karma


johntwoods-6 karma

Did you get killed by 5g? Is that why you're not answering anything on your AMA?

vgnEngineer6 karma

No I had a meeting I did not expect. My apologies.

_MattsNeetWorld_-8 karma

How much do you know about conspiracy theories in general?

The thing is, a lot of conspiracies and distrust of official sources stem from other deeper conspiracies. The JFK assassination, The Bohemian Grove, Jeffrey Epstein. These types of smoking gun conspiracies will always stick around and create more alternative thinkers. Disproving the dumb theories like 5G and flat earth, to me, won't really change any minds.

vgnEngineer2 karma

A lot of people cannot be convinced but general people that don't know much science can be made to worry about these issues. for example, companies sell metal convers that 'block' the harmful radiation of your phone. Where instead they reflect all the power into your head and also force your phone to turn up the power because it can't reach the base station. its very stupid but normal non-conspiratorial people buy this stuff. That is what worries me.