is there any way to make electromagnetic waves reach a cell phone in Faraday cage although conductor surround cell phone everywhere? can we pass current through conductor to make charges move as a trick? then if electromagnetic field reach the conductor then no charge can prevent electric field as they are mobile not static charges.

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    $\begingroup$ Did you ever try to call from inside a Faraday cage? $\endgroup$
    – Bernhard
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 10:35
  • $\begingroup$ You could use an external aerial and put the aerial outside the Faraday cage $\endgroup$ Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 11:07
  • $\begingroup$ Metals are very good for blocking microwaves. If you still want transmission use very, very thin metals or drill holes, or both. $\endgroup$
    – my2cts
    Commented Jan 12, 2021 at 18:41

1 Answer 1


Actually, cell phones do work in Faraday cages these days. What happens is that the conductor in the cage is not ideal, and there is some amount of leakage of electromagnetic radiation to and from the inside of the cage, specially at high frequencies. In order for the cage to be perfectly blocking it would need to have no holes at all (hence it is no longer a cage, but a box) and made of a perfectly conducting material, such as a superconductor, with a thickness larger than about 3 times the penetration depth of the radiation for that material.

The sizes of the holes need to be smaller than the wavelength of the EM radiation, so that you can neglect the holes. The wavelength is inversely proportional to the frequency of the radiation, thus, Faraday cages are more efficient for low frequencies, such as a DC field or lightning. This is why light, which is also a form of electromagnetic radiation, can pass through the centimeters-sized holes of an ordinary cage.

  • $\begingroup$ but if it was an ideal conductor no way to pass electromagnetic wave (electric field) through it is it true, and is skin effect do any role in that $\endgroup$
    – Mai Fouad
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 11:57
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    $\begingroup$ Just so you know, a sheet of ordinary kitchen foil wrapped around a cell phone is sufficient to prevent it working - no need for superconductors! $\endgroup$
    – ProfRob
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 8:05
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    $\begingroup$ Try bluetooth, it's already quite hard to shield. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 11, 2021 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Replying to ProfRob: As I write this, I have my phone ringing while completely wrapped in kitchen foil, like a big chocolate bar. VoIP calls also work very well. Try it yourself. $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 12, 2021 at 18:03

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