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Environmental electromagnetism

The Earth’s environment, even the domestic one in which we live, is constantly bombarded by a background electromagnetic radiation which can be broadly subdivided into two large categories based on its origin: natural or artificial. The first refers essentially to cosmic or atmospheric radiation, such as solar radiation or that resulting from lightning. Radiations as in the second case are those arising from human activities like domestic appliances, radio communications etc.

The systematic monitoring of environmental noise, with particular reference to those of natural origin, is an essential step in order to typify the contribution of sources including those anthropichal (human).

Electromagnetic radiation natural and artificial

The terrestrial environment, understood in a broad sense, is constantly exposed to large amounts of electromagnetic radiation that constitute the "background noise". Limiting to only radio waves (i.e. at frequencies below 300 GHz) the background noise can be classified into two broad categories depending on its origin as natural or artificial. In the first case radiations are of cosmic or atmospheric origin, in the second case it originates from human activities, by direct use of electromagnetic waves or energy radiated unintentionally. The contribution due to human activity is more widespread, especially when you approach a an antropozied (human) zone /or industrial and in particular when dealing with the frequencies of transmitters of communication systems, systems transporting electrical energies and industrial equipments.

Given the complexity of the problem, the biological effects of electromagnetic noise on humans and living beings in general, have not only not been fully understood but in some cases have not even been well defined. Futhermore, the interference produced by and on the equipment pose serious problems of electromagnetic compatibility. In short, whatever its origin, and even without considering possible health risks, the electromagnetic background noise is always somehow damaging for many human activities. The current trend which seeks to solve the problem of compatibility evolves in two principal policies: reduce to the minimum the emissions from the interfering sources and improve the devices rendering them immune to noise.

The scope of this research is the characterization of environmental noise with particular reference to that of natural origin, although the measures on the latter cannot but take into account the contributions of anthropogenic origin. The research should be based on measures in selected sites in Italy and at different frequencies, with a subsequent work of interpretation of the data in order to separate the various natural contributions between themselves and from the anthropical (human ones).

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