Written by IainB

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

"No Signal" - Good news for rail commuters

Fresh from proving that butterflies are incapable of flight due to their wind rigidity being far too low, Valdimar Procrastinov has turned his attention to mobile phones and trains, proving beyond doubt that mobile phones cannot work on a moving train.

"Well," said Procastinov when asked, "Einstein shows us through his theory of relativity that electromagnetic waves are compressed, or blue shifted, when travelling towards them, and elongated, or red shifted when travelling away from them."

This is because electromagnetic waves, the most famous of which is visible light, travel at a fixed speed through any particular medium, attaining their maximum velocity through a vacuum, a limit that cannot be broken by any known physics. The speed of light through air is very similar to that through a vacuum. The motion of the train will either be towards or away from a cell phone tower, and the radiowaves, which are like visible light waves, but much longer in frequency, will therefore be stretched out or contracted depending on whether approaching or receding from a cell tower.

"Mobile phones," said Procastinov, "are very finely tuned pieces of electronic equipment, which have to match exactly the frequency at which the cell tower operates on, otherwise they cannot decode the signal. Once the signal is blue or red shifted, even slightly, the phone cannot operate. This is simple, basic science. Now, please excuse me, my train is about to enter a tunnel, and I will be cut off, unless I can quickly prove that mobile phones work underground."

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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