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In ad hoc networks, it is necessary to suppress transmissions by nodes around the desired receiver in order to achieve successful communication. This minimum separation, the critical radius, has important implications on carrier sensing and other MAC-level protocols. Previously, the critical radius has not been well understood. The critical radius is investigated in CDMA ad hoc networks, with non-spread spectrum ad hoc networks being a special case where the spreading gain is unity. It is shown that the size of this exclusion zone has a large impact on the transmission capacity of ad hoc networks, and an optimal critical radius is found using stochastic geometry.