Wednesday, 16 November 2005

MIT's Consumer Guide to Tinfoil Helmets

As a service to the more progressive readers of this blog, may I draw your attention to this paper :

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Foil Helmets: An Empirical Study

Ali Rahimi
(Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department, MIT)
Ben Recht
(Media Laboratory, MIT)
Jason Taylor
(Media Laboratory, MIT)
Noah Vawter
(Media Laboratory, MIT)

17 Feb 2005

Among a fringe community of paranoids, aluminum helmets serve as the protective measure of choice against invasive radio signals. We investigate the efficacy of three aluminum helmet designs on a sample group of four individuals. Using a $250,000 network analyser, we find that although on average all helmets attenuate invasive radio frequencies in either directions (either emanating from an outside source, or emanating from the cranium of the subject), certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified. These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC). Statistical evidence suggests the use of helmets may in fact enhance the government's invasive abilities. We speculate that the government may in fact have started the helmet craze for this reason.

Full report here.

1 comment:

A_H said...

Ahem, the methodology in this study is really really bogus. Placing the sensor just under the tinfoil is not a valid way to measure RF fields. There's just no physical way the results can be correct. For example, there's no way a piece of tinfoil can act as a 20db gain antenna. There's just not the right cross-section or directivity possible.