Mapping WiFi Signal in Your Flat Using Physics

By Anupum Pant

People with big homes must have had trouble placing their WiFi router in a place so perfect that everyone at home gets good signal. With a small flat and a fairly powerful router, I don’t have that problem. However it’s still fun when it’s physics.

A PhD student, from the Imperial College London in the UK who goes by the name Jason Cole has made a brave attempt to model the intensity of electromagnetic radiation emitted from the router across his flat. For this he first mapped his floorplan, assigned refraction values to the walls, and then used the Helmholtz equation to create a simulation.

For us physics amateurs he was kind enough to make get an android app made. It enables everyone with a decently powerful android phone to map their floorplans and simulate the intensity of WiFi signal across their apartments. The app uses what they call it in science, 2D Finite Difference Time Domain method to solve Maxwell’s equation on a Cartesian grid – if you know what I mean. The app can be downloaded for free at the play store.

If you are more of a physics person and would be interested in having a look as to what goes on behind his simulation, go visit Jason’s page here.

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