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ERIC Number: EJ1002740
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012-Sep
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 6
ISSN: ISSN-0031-9120
Should We Bother with the Speed of Light in Everyday Life? A Closer Look at GSM Technology
Kawalec, Tomasz
Physics Education, v47 n5 p579-583 Sep 2012
The speed of light, or more generally, the speed of electromagnetic waves, seems to be incredibly high. 300 000 km s[superscript -1] is far greater than the typical speed of a car, a plane or even a rocket, which is just several kilometres per second. It is thus natural that we treat the speed of light as infinite in everyday life. It appears, however, that even such a high but finite speed causes problems that have to be solved in one of the most popular electronic devices--cellular phones. Here we look more closely how the global system for mobile communications (GSM) phone works and how it deals with the speed of electromagnetic waves. (Contains 6 figures.)
Institute of Physics Publishing. The Public Ledger Building Suite 929, 150 South Independence Mall West, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 215-627-0880; Fax: 215-627-0879; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A