Ossobuco (peacebone) wrote in little_details,

Cell phone reception in airport x-ray scanner

Setting: Washington state, USA, current time. Basically last week.

What would happen to a cell phone's reception while the phone is going through an x-ray machine at an airport security checkpoint? Would the x-rays interfere with or block the signal, or would it work normally? If someone tried to leave a voicemail message (if, for example, the call got through but was not answered because the phone was in the scanner), would the resulting message be affected? Alternately, would the construction of the x-ray machine itself (I assume there's lots of lead and other metals involved) block the signal?

My ideal situation is that the protagonist, on his way out of the country, gets a call from his boss, who is trying to give him important information about sudden changes in their plan. I want the phone to ring, either in the x-ray scanner or just before going in, but either the phone's reception is cut off, or the message is garbled - the end result of the scenario should be that the necessary information doesn't get to the protagonist right away (but he knows that his boss tried to call him). Is this a reasonable scenario?

I've Googled various combinations of: cell phone reception in airport security x-ray scanner, are cell phones affected by x rays, do x rays affect cell phone reception, et cetera; I've also asked some technologically-savvy relatives, who weren't sure.

Thanks in advance!
Tags: ~technology (misc), ~technology: phones

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