Automobiles Cosmetics Drones Environment Fashion Gaming Music SmartPhones Social Media Sports





Mason Crest PO Box 221876 Hollywood, FL 33022 (866) MCP-BOOK (toll-free) • www.masoncrest.com

Copyright © 2022 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 ISBN (hardback) 978-1-4222-4524-8 ISBN (series) 978-1-4222-4516-3 ISBN (ebook) 978-1-4222-7293-0 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Dean, Mary (Mary Elizabeth), author. Title: Smartphones / Mary Dean. Description: Hollywood, FL : Mason Crest, [2022] | Series: High-interest STEAM | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2020007269 | ISBN 9781422245248 (hardback) | ISBN 9781422272930 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Smartphones–Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC TK6564.4.C45 D43 2022 | DDC 004.167–dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020007269 Developed and Produced by National Highlights, Inc. Editor: Andrew Luke Production: Crafted Content, LLC

QR CODES AND LINKS TO THIRD-PARTY CONTENT You may gain access to certain third-party content (“Third-Party Sites”) by scanning and using the QR Codes that appear in this publication (the “QR Codes”). We do not operate or control in any respect any information, products, or services on such Third-Party Sites linked to by us via the QR Codes included in this publication, and we assume no responsibility for any materials you may access using the QR Codes. Your use of the QR Codes may be subject to terms, limitations, or restrictions set forth in the applicable terms of use or otherwise established by the owners of the Third-Party Sites. Our linking to such Third-Party Sites via the QR Codes does not imply an endorsement or sponsorship of such Third-Party Sites or the information, products, or services offered on or through the Third-Party Sites, nor does it imply an endorsement or sponsorship of this publication by the owners of such Third-Party Sites.

CONTENTS Chapter 1: SCIENCE IN SMARTPHONES ��������������������������� 7 Chapter 2: TECHNOLOGY IN SMARTPHONES ������������������ 21 Chapter 3: ENGINEERING IN SMARTPHONES ������������������ 37 Chapter 4: ART IN SMARTPHONES ������������������������������������ 51 Chapter 5: MATH IN SMARTPHONES �������������������������������� 65 Further Reading ������������������������������������������������������������������ 76 Internet Resources & Educational Video Links �������������� 77 Index ������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� 78 Author Biography & Photo Credits ����������������������������������� 80


Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the readers’ understanding of the text while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, providing them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more! Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis.


analog sounds— sounds that are not digital; not computerized; true to the original sound waves insulator— a material that is a poor conductor (as of electricity or heat) microprocessor— a computer processor contained on an integrated circuit chip wavelength— the distance in the line of advance of a wave from any one point to the next point of corresponding phase


Smartphones have become one of the most widely used pieces of technology in the world today. In fact, a 2016 Pew Research Center study found that at least 84% of Americans have at least one smartphone in their homes. Smartphones play a huge role in the way we shop, interact with our friends and family members, and even how we entertain ourselves. What is behind these remarkable devices? Science plays a significant role both in the evolution and the future of smartphones as we know them today. SCIENCE AND THE EVOLUTION OF SMARTPHONES If you have ever used your smartphone to take a photo, surf the web, or connect with an old friend, you probably don’t think about all the processes going on in the background to make that possible. Many of the things you do on your smartphone can be attributed to at least one branch of science. Thanks to the hard work of dedicated SCIENCE IN SMARTPHONES CHAPTER 1


Smartphones have come a long way in 40 years, from a bulky two-way radio to a handheld supercomputer.

scientists, we can now enjoy the luxury of touchscreen interfaces, optimal cell connection, and even wireless accessory capability. In the past, a mobile phone was not much different than a two‑way radio. Cell phone users could call a friend or family member and maybe play a few games, but the devices didn’t offer any other life-changing features. The thing that makes a smartphone “smart” is the fact that it is truly a miniaturized supercomputer. Besides being able to bring the internet to the palm of your hand, pinpoint your location down to the foot, and talk to someone almost anywhere in the world, it has so many other extra capabilities. The high-tech camera, external speakers, and the apps you download for your device are all features with roots in physics, chemistry, and computer science.


Before smartphones were introduced to the world, many people used two devices to keep track of their daily lives and communicate with



the outside world. These devices were mobile phones and personal data assistants (PDAs). Since cell phones were only equipped to handle phone calls, other tasks such as instant messaging, emailing, and keeping track of a calendar were all completed on a person’s PDA. Computer science created the opportunity to merge these two devices together, thus creating smartphones. The microprocessor is a piece of technology behind how smartphones process and display information. These tiny chips operate as the “brain” of your smartphone, taking commands such as a tap on the touch screen and translating it into an action. This is the process that is responsible for allowing you to open apps, navigate around webpages, and play games. The people in charge of developing this technology are called computer scientists. Even though their name suggests that they might deal mostly in laptops or desktop computers, that’s not actually the case. In reality, smartphones are actually powerful computers, and in most cases, they even share the same technology as their traditional computer counterparts. Like computers, smartphones depend on an operating system and a user interface to work properly. One common occurrence for any modern-day smartphone is a software update. This update consists of a code that is written by computer scientists, which essentially contains instructions that tell the smartphone to perform programmed tasks in new, updated ways. These software patches also might include supplemental coding that fixes minor bugs in the programming or helps the phone to operate more quickly when users access the internet or navigate between tasks on their smartphones. Computer scientists are responsible for formatting the technology that takes this coding and translates it into a language that a smartphone can understand.



SMARTPHONES AND PHYSICS Physics is a branch of science that deals with matter and energy, and plays a significant role in the capabilities of smartphones. In fact, you can thank physics for Bluetooth, cellular data, fast charging, and much, much more. Bluetooth was first invented in Sweden in the late 1990s to replace wired communications entirely. The science behind Bluetooth is relatively straightforward: the technology creates a personal area network (PAN) between devices over short wavelength radio waves in the air. This network is utilized to transmit data such as photos, videos, and sound to wireless

Bluetooth technology has become an indispensable feature of smartphones.



This video explains how Bluetooth works using wavelengths.

speakers, computers, tablets, and other devices, including smartphones. But what does physics have to do with any of this? Physics has a critical role in Bluetooth in terms of the wavelengths that it operates on. Bluetooth relies on radio waves in a specific frequency range, between 2.4 and 3.5 gigahertz. There are 79 frequencies in the range, from which a Bluetooth device will randomly select one about 1,600 times per second. Physics helps us understand how energy moves through waves in the air and, at low frequencies, even through walls and other solid objects, therefore allowing us to create and enjoy things like wireless speakers and hands-free headsets. The reason we are even able to communicate over long distances on our smartphones is explained by physics. Much like how low-frequency radio waves allow us to send information via



Bluetooth, different higher-frequency wavelengths are responsible for allowing us to talk on the phone with our friends and loved ones. A smartphone operates just like a two-way radio. When we talk face to face with someone, we hear what is called an analog sound . Smartphones work by converting these analog sounds into electric signals and transmitting them over wavelengths to mobile network towers and satellites. These signals travel at the speed of light across the mobile network until the designated device receives them. Physics comes into play during this transfer of information. Smartphones convert signals from a global positioning system (GPS) and Wi-Fi networks as well, translating radio waves into understandable information.

Smartphones transmit and receive signals to and from networks of cell phone towers.



If it weren’t for physics, rechargeable smartphones wouldn’t be a reality. One recent innovation in smartphone technology has taken the recharging concept to the next level. The battery in your phone is rechargeable because it can both absorb and emit electricity, unlike a standard battery that is capable of producing only chemical reactions that generate electricity. When you plug your phone charger into a power source, the charging receptacle receives electrical current from your city’s grid. Then, the energy is passed through wires and fed into the battery on your smartphone. When electricity passes through these wires, it is called a current. When the current enters a rechargeable lithium-ion battery, chemical reactions absorb power. The greater the current (and the voltage) or the amount of electricity flowing into the phone’s battery, the faster it charges. Physics plays a vital role in smartphones as we know them today. Without understanding its properties, wireless capability and many other advancements would not be possible. The next time you pull out your smartphone, remember the science of what’s going on—the work of many scientists and physicists has probably paved the way for internet surfing and the online shopping that you are so accustomed to. SMARTPHONES AND CHEMISTRY The science behind smartphones doesn’t stop with astronomy and physics. Chemistry represents another branch of science that makes smartphones so great. You might be surprised at all the capabilities your phone has that chemistry is responsible for. Everything from your phone’s speakers, vibration settings, and touchscreen, all the way down to the circuits that make up the internal pieces can all be attributed to this branch of science.



Smartphones contain about 70 of the elements.

At the heart of chemistry is the periodic table. This visual representation of elements found in our ecosystem gives us insight into just how much science goes into building a high-quality smartphone. In this table, there are 83 non-radioactive elements. Of these, at least 70 can be found in smartphones. This means that 84% of stable elements found on the earth are contained within your cell phone! A large percentage of elements contained in a smartphone is metals. Of the at least 70 elements that are found in smartphones, around 62 are metals. It doesn’t stop there either—smartphones actually utilize some of the most rare forms of metals, appropriately called rare-earth metals. Elements such as scandium and yttrium are among these. These obscure metals are responsible for many of the bright-red, green, and blue colors that appear on your smartphone’s display. These same metals are also used in your phone’s speaker and in the



Made with FlippingBook flipbook maker