The electromagnetic wave is said to be a combination of an oscillating magnetic and electric field, so why can't we use a Hall-effect sensor to detect a radio wave?

Some references say that the HF sensor will not detect anything, no matter how powerful the EM source is. Some people have said that the bandwidth of an HF sensor is not high enough, but the bandwidth of HF sensors is easily 250 kHz and radio waves start at 3 kHz so it should be well within the ability of an HF sensor to detect the magnetic component of radio waves.

Are there any experiments that have actually tried to do this? It would seem to be a sensible thing to try and this isn't something that you can just presume hasn't been done due to some limitation like bandwidth or power strength. I would think that a determined experimentalist could show this to be possible and that may open up a completely different way of receiving radio signals which could have practical usages. If it is true that the Hall-effect sensor is incapable of receiving a radio wave, then why is that?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Welcome! What's the sensitivity of your Hall sensor? What's the strength of the magnetic field you wish to receive? \$\endgroup\$
    – winny
    Nov 21, 2022 at 16:56

1 Answer 1


There are two different questions

  • is some process possible?
  • is that process sufficiently better than the other ways of doing it to be worth using?

For a sufficiently strong magnetic field, oscillating at low enough frequency, a Hall sensor will certainly detect it.

However, what's the noise level, or cost? A loop of wire, with a low noise amplifier, is probably cheaper and quieter, though it becomes less sensitive as the frequency drops.

Hall sensors were developed to do things a loop of wire cannot, such as measuring DC fields, and slowly changing ones.


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