Electronics Assembly Knowledge, Vision & Wisdom
The Overheated Professor
The Overheated Professor
A professor was having hot flashes. Was it a medical condition or something else? Could his students be involved?
Mysteries of Science
Dr. Gilleo
Mysteries of Science by Dr. Ken Gilleo
Dr. Gilleo is a chemist, inventor and general problem solver. Ken has been tracking industrial forensics and collecting case histories for decades. These cases are taken from the vast world of industry and commercial enterprise.

Check out Dr. Gilleo's eBook, 100 Mysteries Solved by Science. We hope you enjoy these case histories. You need not be an engineer or scientist to understand the problems and appreciate the solutions.
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Transcript
A chemistry professor at the university had trouble staying warm unless it was at least 73 degrees. He wore a tattered old wool sweater to stay warm and also because he thought it gave him a touch of class.

He had been taking walks outside because his small office was getting to warm. But once outside he quickly felt cold. To accurately gauge the temperature he placed a lab thermometer on his desk. A few days later at 70 degrees he felt very warm, normally a temperature that was too cold for him. A visit to his physician did not turn up any answers.

This mysterious phenomenon went on for several months until the semester ended.  Once classes were out no more hot spells. What was causing the professor's hot flashes?

Here's the rest of the story.

Two of the professor's students discovered an old piece of equipment that had been donated to the university. It looked like a weapon from a B-rated sci-fi movie.

There was an arm protruding with a 12" round disk that looked like a small radar antenna. The disk was actually a radar dish, or a microwave antenna, to be precise. It was an old Diathermy machine. The machine generated microwaves that weren't too different from a modern microwave oven.

The principle behind the machine was that microwaves could be aimed at sore muscles or joints, to heat up the tissue, and somehow provide a medical benefit. When everything was adjusted, the heating effect worked over quite a distance and the antenna apparently had a tight focus. The trouble making students placed the machine so it aimed at the professor's chair and rigged it with a remote control device.

Anyone sitting in the professor's chair could be warmed up at the push of a button You guessed it; the professor's hot flashes were student-induced. He was being microwaved.



Comments
Interesting story. I did feel it was unethical for the students to have pulled such a prank that could have resulted in injury or death. On the other hand, it seems they had the technical knowledge to carry it out safely and undetected for so long.

I would be interested to know of subsequent details. Were the students ever identified? How long before their identities became known? What happened to them, short term, and after college life? What are they doing now? What was the professor's reaction when he found out the principle and participants behind his warming? Did he suffer health issues because of the several-months-long prank?
Wanda Hill, Cadence, USA
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