273: Electromagnetic Spectrum
Title text: Sometimes I try to picture what everything would look like if the whole spectrum were compressed into the visible spectrum. Also sometimes I try to picture your sister naked.
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This is a play on the Electromagnetic Spectrum where it shows a large piece of the spectrum and what each wavelength/frequency corresponds to. The first two scales at the bottom show the wavelength λ (in Meters) and the frequency f (in Hertz). Both values are related as λ=c/f, where c is the speed of light. The last line showing Q(Gal²/Coloumb) is just nonsense, Cal could be Gallon and Coloumb is maybe a typo for Coulomb.
In 1887 the Michelson–Morley experiment proved for the first time that the aether theory was wrong. The year 1897 must be a typo by Randall. Nevertheless, after that time many physicists like Hendrik Lorentz or Joseph Larmor were still working on some aether theories, it was solved to an "non-aether" theory by Albert Einsteins theory of Special Relativity in 1905.
The comic in detail
The wavelength starts at high values on the left and decreasing in a logarithmic scale to the right. Because f=c/λ the frequency is starting at low values and increasing in a logarithmic scale.
Power and Telephone
- Slinky waves by a coil
- The human audio spectrum (from 20Hz to 20KHz). The "high-pitched noise in empty rooms" refers to tinnitus.
- The "wave" in a stadium.
- CIA (Secret) is a joke about all the wiretapping on phones and more.
Radio and TV
- "Shouting car dealership commercials" is a pun to all the massive advertising on cars.
- HAM radio is a private amateur radio used for communication. "Kosher radio" is playing with ambiguousness of the word HAM. Kosher is a Jewish law for food.
- Some frequencies of famous broadcast stations.
- The rays controlling Steve Ballmer are just nonsense. The real Balmer series does belong to visible and ultraviolet light.
- AM Amplitude modulation, VHF Very high frequency, and UHF Ultra high frequency are frequency ranges approved to commercial broadcasting companies.
- Cell phone cancer rays is playing with the belief of many people that cell phones may cause cancer (see also 925: Cell Phones).
- Aliens belong to a range slightly higher than the frequencies used by human communications. So they can't hear us.
- SETI is the "Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligence" project trying to find messages from aliens. Since aliens working at different frequencies there is still no result.
- WIFI is the standard for wireless computer communications.
- FHF is maybe "Fulminant high frequency", it just does not exit.
- Gravity waves belong to fluid dynamics, do not mix it up with Gravitational wave.
- Brain waves could be a reference to Neural oscillation.
- Sulawesi is just an island in the Indian Ocean and belonging to Indonesia.
- This is just a pun to microwaves, no entry is at this frequency range.
- Infrared belongs to heat. While Supermans peak is very high the peak of Jack Black, an American comedian and more, is clearly lower.
- At the bottom it is split into "visible light" and "visible dark", of course darkness is not visible.
- The human visible spectrum is shown by all colors, including octarine, the colour of magic on the Discworld.
- On top there are two absorption spectra, Hydrogen and Helium. This most common elements at our sun do block some small frequencies from the light the sun does emit.
- Depends is a brand of underwear for adults experiencing urinary or fecal incontinence. The color is consequently yellow.
- Tampax is a brand of tampon. The color is red.
- Ultraviolet light can not be seen by humans but it causes out tan. No entries here.
- Miller Lite is a lager beer.
- "Main Death Star Laser" is just a reference to Star Wars.
Censored under Patriot Act
- No entry because it's censored.
- Potatoes absorb and reflect radiation waves the same way humans do, because their chemistry and water content is very similar to the human body. Look here: Boeing uses potatoes to improve Wi-Fi signals.
- Mail-order x-ray glasses refers to full-body scanner. Google Glass did not exist at the time when this comic was painted.
- Blogorays are emitted by the Blogosphere, only Randall can detect them.
- Sinister Google Projects: The first result at a search on Google is this: Top 10: Sinister Google Activities.
- [Everything is one big panel.]
- The Electromagnetic Spectrum
- These waves travel through the electromagnetic field. They were formerly carried by the aether, which was decommissioned in 1897 due to budget cuts.
- Other waves:
- Slinky waves [Cueball and Megan hold the ends of a tangled slinky.]
- Sound waves [There is a snippet of a frequency band. Between 20 Hz and 20 KHz is labeled "Audible Sound." Towards the top is a line labeled "That high-pitched noise in empty rooms."]
- The wave [A row of people does a wave.]
- [Three parallel scales are across the bottom. The first is lambda (m), ranging from 100Mm to 100fm; second is f (Hz), which starts at 1 Hz and reaches 100 THz about 2/3 of the way along, after which the labels read "other entertaining greek prefixes like peta- exa- and zappa-"; last is Q (Gal^2/Coloumb), whose labels are 17, 117, pi, 17, 42, theta, e^pi-pi, -2, 540^50, and 11^2. Above the scales and lined up accurately with the first two are the following:]
- Power & Telephone (100Mm to 1km)
- Radio & TV (1km to somewhere between 1m and 10cm); above that are many boxes showing subranges (AM, VHF, UHF, 14/7 NPR pledge drives, a very thin band for the space rays controlling Steve Ballmer, 99.3 "The Fox," 101.5 "The Badger," 106.3 "The Frightened Squirrel," cell phone cancer rays, CIA, ham radio, kosher radio, shouting car dealership commercials.)
- Microwaves (a bit more than 10cm to a bit more than 1mm); it also has subranges (aliens, just below SETI, wifi, FHF, brain waves, sulawesi, gravity)
- Toasters (about 1mm to about 100 micrometers)
- IR (about 100 micrometers to somewhere between 1 micrometer and 1 nm); above that is a bell graph labeled "Superman"s heat vision," with a motorcycle driving up the left side labeled "Jack Black's Heat Vision."
- Visible light (and, under it, visible dark); above that is a bell graph labeled "sunlight." There's a breakout chart above it showing the visible spectrum from 700nm (red) to 450nm (violet). There's an arrow pointing to where octarine would be, somewhere off to the side. Above that are bars showing the absorption spectra for hydrogen, helium, Depends(R) (yellow only) and Tampax(R) (red only).
- UV (about 100nm to about 10nm)
- Miller Light (a thin bar around 10nm)
- An unlabeled section with a thin line above it showing the frequency of the main death star laser
- A blocked-off portion labeled "Censored Under Patriot Act."
- X-rays (from about 1nm to about 10pm); a line above shows the frequency of mail-order x-ray glasses. Somewhere vaguely above the 10pm mark is a potato.
- Gamma/cosmic rays (10pm and smaller); above that is a bar marked Sinister Google Projects which also trails off into higher frequencies, and blogorays, which are slightly lower.
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