I am new to here.

I am not familiar with physics well, but since this question in my opinion does not seem to belong to ELL, kindly pardon me to ask here.

When given such a sentence below,

radio waves can be picked up by radios that are surrounded by walls.

Would that mean, radio waves can be "picked up" aka "heard" if, only if, the wave reflects or refracts on the surrounding materials such as "walls"?

I have almost no knowledge of physics, so kindly pardon me and I appreciate any kind of support. Thank you in advance.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I think 'detected' is really the best word. But my opinion is that it's more of an english thing than a physics terminology issue. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:35
  • $\begingroup$ You may be right. I might have been confused by their wording "radio waves can be picked up by radios"...but thanks to Dakkvader, I understood completely. And I appreciate your further augment. $\endgroup$
    – Kentaro
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:46

1 Answer 1


No, the text most likely points to a radios ability to detect signals DESPITE the walls. Optical electromagnetic waves can't penetrate the typical wall (hence, we cannot se through them), radiowaves however can. This should be the point they're trying to make i'd assume. And this ability have nothing to do with the actual radio inside the room, any device that picks up radiowaves can do it inside a room since such wwaves tend to travel through walls and therefore they can be picked up.

  • $\begingroup$ Simple and great answer. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. $\endgroup$
    – Kentaro
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:20
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks. If you've any more questions feel free to ask here in the comment $\endgroup$
    – DakkVader
    Jul 25, 2018 at 11:21

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