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Over The Waves Essay

583 words - 3 pages

The discovery of radio waves in the 19th century prompted a revolution in atomic science and human communication. Predicted and then proven, radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than those of infrared light and a frequency between about 104 and 1011 or 1012 Hz. The initial discovery in conjunction with its placement in the electromagnetic spectrum indicated a turn of events in the future of scientific studies and electronics. Through rapid development and practical application, radio waves have found use in a medium that has positively marked history and modern technological progress.
Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell initially predicted the existence of radio waves through intense mathematical work in 1867. After meticulous evaluation of the wavelike properties of light and similarities in electrical and magnetic observations, Maxwell proposed a series of ...view middle of the document...

One wire, acting as the transmitter, creates an electric field and then a magnetic one, moving outward at the speed of light. A second wire, known as the receiver, picks up that signal and the field is converted back into the motion of electrons. These are detectable as an electric current. Engineer Nikola Tesla followed an approach of pulses and, in 1893, transmitted a radio signal across a short distance. Italian inventor Guglielmo Marconi unintentionally discovered that grounded antennas could send signals over distances exceeding a mile and, with further refinements, he developed a way for vessels to communicate utilizing Morse code.
International occurrences quickly proved the merit of Marconi’s work during the First World War. Intercepted communication lines time and again aided the Allied Powers in their battles against the Central Powers, most notably with the infamous Zimmermann telegram that eventually led to American intervention in early 1917. Radio later evolved into more sophisticated telecommunications networks as governments acknowledged the radio waves as a potent weapon in war. Broadcasted radio boomed in the 1920s as the radio entered the homes of millions of Americans, connecting them in a mass consumerism media atmosphere. Armed with the radio and its accessibility, Americans saw an increased awareness in current events as trusted reporters and journalists revealed updated news bulletins and the voices of politicians, sports announcers, and jazz singers filled their living rooms.
Radio waves are fundamental in many of the most important technological advances of the 20th century and form the basis for almost all non-written communication and a large portion of existing wireless technologies. They transmit signals that carry pictures, data, music and conversations imperceptibly over great distances. Beneficial to the masses in providing needed information, the radio, with its ability to disseminate, has altered the most basic means of long-distance and immediate communication. The discovery of radio waves has resulted in the ambition of engineers and scientists to better comprehend these waves’ composition and find new ways of employing their capabilities.

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