Professor Tony Barker of the Department of Medical Physics and Clinical Engineering, Royal Hallamshire Hospital, Sheffield
We are all exposed, on a daily basis, to electromagnetic fields from a variety of sources. Some of these exposures are intentional; others are an indirect consequence of a range of technologies.
One intentional exposure uses large pulses of magnetic field to stimulate nerves and the human brain, by inducing currents in the body. In the twenty-five years since its first practical demonstration transcranial magnetic nerve stimulation (TMS) has become widely used in neurophysiology, psychology and psychiatry as well as other disciplines. This talk gives a brief introduction to the principles, early development and state-of-the-art of this readily demonstrable effect of an electromagnetic field.
More controversial is our inadvertent exposure to fields from sources such as mobile phones and overhead power cables. There is much public concern, and scientific debate, over possible health risks from such fields. As an introduction to this controversial area the sources and magnitudes of these fields will be discussed, along with some of the key findings from the literature and their implications for human health.