Eli5: Why does passing of the car outside mess with my internet connection inside?


I am using my mobile internet, and i have noticed it on my phone, for example if i am watching some video it just stops playing as soon as some car passes by. It also happens when someone uses the elevator in my building. Like i lose the connection for a brief moment. Why is that?

In: Other

Your cell phone communicates using microwaves, a kind of electromagnetic radiation that is of a lower wavelength than visible light. Because of this they are able to pass through many kinds of objects like the walls of buildings. However they have trouble passing through conductive surfaces or grids. For example if you look at the door to a microwave oven you can see a perforated metal sheet with holes too small for microwaves to slip through without interacting with the sheet of metal.

The cell phone talks with a cell tower through direct line-of-sight microwave transmission. A conductive metal object large enough to block that signal coming directly between you and the cell tower can cause disruption in their communication; something like a car with sheet metal sides, or an elevator covered in metal sheeting.