What’s the Physics Behind Texting?


What’s the science behind texting? When you hit send, how does your message leave your phone and make the journey to your friend’s phone?
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Host, Writer, Animator, Editor:
Greg Kestin

Special thanks:
Tyler Howe
Julie Elsky
Lissy Herman
Patrick Mitran
Jerry Gibson
Lauren Aguirre
Kristine Allington
Anna Rothschild
Allison Eck
Ari Daniel
Lauren Miller

From the producers of PBS NOVA
© WGBH Educational Foundation

Funding provided by FQXi

– Messages can also be encoded by altering the phase of the signal being sent from the antenna.
– Phones use several (~8) frequencies at one time, and since there are limited frequencies (~100) for the tower to use, manages the sharing of them.


Music provided by APM:
Curio C

Sound effects:

Two tree cell towers (Devra)
Top of cell tower (Ervins Strauhmanis)

Stock footage from Pond5:

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