If I put my mobile phone in my microwave oven and close its door, Should I be able to get incoming calls ? Because, I tried it and I was able to get calls, what does it mean? Does my microwave oven has a radiation leak?


1 Answer 1


No, your oven does not have a dangerous leak. It is designed to only contain only the frequency used by the magnetron (2.45 GHz). The frequency bands used by cell phones are very different.

In particular, the door "seals" are rather frequency-selective. Instead of trying to maintain a good electrical contact between the door and the rest of the oven box, they are designed as quarter-wave waveguide "traps" that prevent the microwave energy from getting past them. They have little to no effect on cellphone signals.

See Skeptics.SE for additional details.

  • $\begingroup$ I wonder (and must try this someday): If you enable WiFi (2.4GHz) on your phone disable 3G/4G and other data services, and you can "ping over WiFi" the phone from another machine on your WiFi network. (you might have to enable "ping" on your WiFi network/router) Would this ping either stop or influenced by placing it in a Microwave. This as the WiFi frequencies are certainly close to the frequencies used and "sealed" by the Microwave cage/door... $\endgroup$ May 31, 2016 at 8:14
  • $\begingroup$ @Edwin - Dave's link above on Skeptics talks about that very experiment, and one user reported a huge 36dBm attenuation. I'd like to put a small discone in one and run it out to my SA, but I don't know how to get the coax out without drilling a hole... But my worry is that the crusty cheese drips are increasing the door gap, lowering the critical frequency of the wavetraps. 8) -KC2JLJ $\endgroup$
    – SteveRacer
    Jun 1, 2016 at 17:31
  • $\begingroup$ The microwave door acts like a notch filter. Wi-Fi signals and cellular are lower in frequency.than the microwave ovens operation frequency and would pass. $\endgroup$
    – Old_Fossil
    Jun 13, 2016 at 6:08
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    $\begingroup$ @resident_heretic: WiFi signals are in a band from 2.4 to 2.5 GHz, which is within +/-2% of the operating frequency of the oven. $\endgroup$ Jun 13, 2016 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ @david tweed: I stand corrected on the Wifi-I thought they were in the 2300 Mhz, When I double checked that the center freq is between ch 8 & 9 $\endgroup$
    – Old_Fossil
    Jun 13, 2016 at 17:42

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