EM wave penetration through walls...

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What are the factors that determine the property of wave penetration of bodies? For instance we can listen to fm radio from inside the walls of a room. But visible light is unable to penetrate the walls.

Similarly some metals reflect some frequency but absorb some. How atomic orbitals play role in wave penetration?
 

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berkeman
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What are the factors that determine the property of wave penetration of bodies? For instance we can listen to fm radio from inside the walls of a room. But visible light is unable to penetrate the walls.

Similarly some metals reflect some frequency but absorb some. How atomic orbitals play role in wave penetration?
Conduction?

EDIT -- Conduction as a function of frequency.
 
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phinds
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Conduction?

EDIT -- Conduction as a function of frequency.
Seems to me more like transparency / translucency / opacity than conduction (of course, I'm an EE so I think of conduction in a particular way). Glass is transparent to visible light waves, non-metallic walls are transparent to radio waves, etc. WHY things are transparent/opaque is of course still the real question.
 
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berkeman
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WHY things are transparent/opaque is of course still the real question.
Isn't that related to the conduction of the material at the frequency of the incident EM? I certainly could be wrong...
 
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phinds
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Isn't that related to the conduction of the material at the frequency of the incident EM? I certainly could be wrong...
I actually don't know anything about the conductivity of materials to incident EM waves, just of internal current flow (and that kind of conductivity does vary with frequency), and you certainly could be right.
 
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ZapperZ
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What are the factors that determine the property of wave penetration of bodies? For instance we can listen to fm radio from inside the walls of a room. But visible light is unable to penetrate the walls.

Similarly some metals reflect some frequency but absorb some. How atomic orbitals play role in wave penetration?
Question: how do you know that the radio waves were able to penetrate through the walls? How do you know that it isn't due to the long wavelength of radio waves when compared to visible light, i.e. simple diffraction?

Zz.
 
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