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Extremely low frequency
- ELF redirects here. If you came here to read about elves, see woo. For people who think they are elves, see otherkin. For Ronnie James Dio's former band, see heavy metal music. For elf bowling, see Santa Claus. For the hard green group, see Earth Liberation Front. For any of the other myriad uses, go to wikipedia[wp] (But come back soon!)
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Extreme low frequency (ELF) is a designation for radio waves with frequencies from 3 to 30 Hz, popular in conspiracy theories of mind control and weather control. The low frequency waves allow for easier propagation through fluids such as the ocean and are used for submarine communications. Ionospheric heaters (such as HAARP) are capable of turning the Earth's ionosphere into an ELF antenna (albeit a rather unreliable one).
Many ELF conspiracies centre around fantasies about Nikola Tesla, since he popularised the concept in his attempts to create wireless energy by pumping large amounts of ELF into the ionosphere. Tesla's ideas turned out to be impractical, but his status as a crank martyr has led some to postulate that his devices have been subverted by evil government conspiracies.
The mind control properties of ELF are usually attributed to the fact that the "alpha waves" of the brain cycle are within the ELF range. Of course, no physical, rational explanation is given for how ELF generators can use this fact to control thoughts. Since the Schumann Resonance lies within the ELF range, weather control is usually attributed to ELF creating "blocks" in the ionosphere, controlling fronts and causing droughts and floods. Known ELF generators such as HAARP are the targets of many conspiracy theories.
You simply can't build an ordinary quarter-wave antenna for this stuff. Why? Well, wavelength varies with the inverse of frequency, that's why. For this reason, ELF is never an energy efficient solution.