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Cooking an Egg with Mobile Phones

Summary:
Message claims that an egg can be cooked by placing it between two active mobile (cell) phones.(Full commentary below).



Status:
False

Example:(Submitted, June 2007)
We need:

One egg and 2 mobiles
65 minutes to call from one phone to the other
Set up something like in the graphic

Cooking an egg with a mobile phone

We'll initiate the call between the mobiles to last for 65 min's approximately;
Nothing will happen on the first 15 minutes...

After 25 minutes the egg starts warming up, after 45 min's;
The egg is already hot; and after 65 min's the egg is cooked

Eating egg cooking with mobilr phones

Conclusion:
If the microwave radiation emitted by the mobiles is capable to modify the proteins in the egg. Imagine what it can do with the proteins in our brains when we talk through the mobiles.

Photo credits: Komsomolskaya Pravda




Commentary:
According to this message it is possible to cook an egg by placing it in between two call-connected mobile (cell) phones. Versions of the message have been circulating via email, blogs and online forums since at least 2006. The version discussed here typically travels as a Microsoft Word email attachment, complete with photographs.

The information in the message is untrue. An article that detailed how to cook an egg with mobile phones was first published on the Wymsey Village website in 2000, supposedly by Suzzanna Decantworthy and Sean McCleanaugh. However, the article was a hoax and the names of the writers were made up. The creator of Wymsey Village Web, Charlie Ivermee, eventually admitted to Gelf Magazine in 2006 that he was the real author of the prank article. He explains that, back in the year 2000, he decided to "add to the silliness" surrounding mobile phone health concerns by penning the piece. He explained to Gelf that he "really underestimated how many people would take it seriously".

During 2006, two Russian journalists, Vladimir Lagovski and Andrei Moiseynko, gave the hoax a whole new life when they claimed to have cooked an egg in around 65 minutes using two mobile phones. Ivermee's original hoax article was apparently the inspiration for the experiment. An article discussing the experiment was featured in Russian publication, Komsomolskaya Pravda. The photographs and text in many of the circulating versions of the story are derived from this Russian article. However, the results of the Russian experiment have never been substantiated and are highly questionable. Others who have tried the same experiment have failed to even warm the egg, let alone actually cook it. The Three Wise Men website details an experiment in which three mobile phones, and several other devices that emit radiation were all combined in an egg cooking attempt that turned out to be a dismal failure. Freelance food writer Paul Adams also attempted the experiment and subsequently wrote about it in a New York Times article. He told National Public Radio (NPR) that, although he left an egg between two cell phones for around an hour and a half, the egg did not cook. Moreover, UK television science show, Brainiac, tried the experiment with no less than 100 mobile phones, but, again, the egg did not cook.

Most commentators agree that two mobile phones simply could not emit enough energy to actually cook an egg. An article debunking the hoax on the Mobile Manufacturers Forum website notes:
[T]he claim that RF energy from two mobile phones can cook an egg in 60 minutes cannot be true as it is impossible for the egg's temperature to rise to a level that will cook the egg. We can demonstrate this as follows: even if you assume that each mobile phone is emitting RF energy at its maximum average power of 0.25 W (based on a peak power of 2 W per phone) for 60 minutes; and even if the total power (2 X 0.25 W = 0.5 W) of both phones was completely absorbed by the egg (assuming it weighs 50 g), then the result would be a maximum temperature rise after 60 minutes of only 13 C. Even if the egg was at room temperature before starting the experiment, the result would still be far below the temperature actually needed to cook an egg (which is approx. 65- 70 C).

In reality, an egg placed between two phones would have a much lower temperature rise because the egg is not thermally insulated and it would only absorb a small portion of the energy emitted.
So, although this story has spread far and wide, and some of the sites on which it has been published still claim it to be true, in reality, it has no basis in fact. You cannot cook an egg with a pair of mobile phones.

References:
Wymsey Weekend - Weekend Eating: Mobile Cooking
How to Cook an Egg (and Create a Viral Sensation)
Translated Version: Can I cook the egg with a mobile phone?
Original Russian Version: Can I cook the egg with a mobile phone?
HOW-NOT-TO, Cook an Egg With Your Cell Phone
Take Egg Off Speed Dial
A Hard-Boiled Writer Eggs Himself On
Brainiac - Episode 14: Micro Waves
Mythbusters Fanclub: Cooking an egg with cell phones
Cooking an egg by two mobile phones: Hoax

Last updated: 20th June 2007
First published: 20th June 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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