The Frey Effect (or, When Microwaves Attack)


February 12th, 2019

1 hr 10 mins 11 secs

Season 1

Your Hosts

About this Episode

Rolf and Joe tackle an interesting perceptual phenomenon called the Frey Effect. In the Frey Effect, first discovered in the 1960s, pulsed microwave beams can cause the perception of a high-pitched sound. This has come up in the news recently as an explanation of possible "attacks" on the American embassy in Cuba. How exactly does this work? Should it be something we should worry about? Discussion is based around UC San Diego professor Dr. Beatrice Golomb's paper documenting the case that the Frey Effect is responsible.

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