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Nature 216, 1139 (16 December 1967); doi:10.1038/2161139a0

Non-thermal Effects of Microwave Radiation on Birds


Control Systems Laboratory, Division of Mechanical Engineering, National Research Council, Ottawa, Canada.

MICROWAVE radiation produces both thermal and non-thermal effects in biological systems1,2. The thermal effect is manifested as a rise in temperature of the irradiated system and is accompanied by physiological responses depending on the intensity and duration of the field. Non-thermal effects are manifested as changes in cellular metabolism caused by both resonance absorption and induced EMFs and, when neural structures are involved, are often accompanied by a specific behavioural response. An important difference between thermal and non-thermal effects is in the matter of time scale. Chickens exposed to a “slightly thermal” microwave field (20–50 mW/cm2) respond with an escape or avoidance reaction within a few seconds of the onset of radiation3.

  1. Olsen, C. M. , Drake, C. L. , and Bunch, S. L. , J. Microwave Power, 1 (1966).
  2. Soviet Research on Neural Effects of Microwaves, Aerospace Tech. Divn., Lib. of Congress, ATD Rep. 66–133.
  3. Tanner, J. A. , Nature, 210, 636 (1966). | PubMed | ISI | ChemPort |

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