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Antennas for personal communications devices transmit and receive electromagnetic (EM) waves (at microwave frequences) near the operator’s head. We have used the finite-difference time-domain method to model this EM radiation as it interacts with a model of the human head, and have generated animated movies to visualize this interaction. We have studied two antennas in detail—a 900-MHz terrestrial wireless antenna and a 1.8-GHz handset-to-satellite link. In one of our studies, the model of the human head was derived from magnetic resonance images; in another study, the model came from pictures of anatomical cuts. Movies showing the evolution of the fields in these models are available at the Society of Exploration Geophysicists world wide web site.

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