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Before music streaming platforms, online news portals, and podcasts, and even before television, people used to listen to a radio, one of the earliest applications of radio technology: the use of signaling and communicating radio waves.
See the fact file below for more information on the Radio Wave Technology or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Radio Wave Technology worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The word “radio” came from “radius”, a Latin word that means spoke of a wheel, beam of light.
- The term was applied to communications in 1881, at the suggestion of French scientist Ernest Mercader.
- When the scientist Heinrich Hertz discovered radio waves in 1886, they was initially referred to using a variety of terms such as “Hertzian waves”, “electric waves”, and “ether waves”.
- “Wireless telegraphy” was the term that used to refer to Radio Communications when Guglielmo Marconi developed the first practical radio communication systems in 1894-1895.
- A radio wave is a type of electromagnetic radiation.
- The radio frequency occupies a small part of the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum.
- Radio waves have the longest wavelength and lowest energy and frequency in the spectrum. The other regions of the spectrum are microwaves, infrared (IR), visible light, ultraviolet (UV), X-rays, and gamma rays.
- According to NASA, radio waves measure from about 0.04 inches to more than 62 miles.
- Radio waves range from 3 kilohertz up to about 300 billion hertz, or 300 gigahertz.
- Our communication devices such as televisions, mobile phones, and radios, use radio waves.
- These devices receive radio waves and convert them to mechanical vibrations. These vibrations turn into sound waves that we hear from our devices’ speakers.
THE HISTORY OF RADIO TECHNOLOGY
- Before the discovery of radio communications, the idea of “wireless communication” was already conceived in the 1830s and was done through experimentation with “wireless telegraphy” through ground and water induction.
- As early as 1864, the existence of radio waves was predicted when James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist, developed the Unified Theory of Electromagnetism.
- David Edward Hughes was the first to intentionally transmit signals through electromagnetic waves in 1880, however it was considered induction at the time.
- Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, a German scientist, conducted an experiment in 1888 that aimed to prove Maxwell’s theory of electromagnetism.
- Hertz succeeded to transmit electromagnetic signals through air.
- Many scientists followed to experiment with Hertzian waves such as John Perry, Frederick Thomas Trouton, Alexander Trotter, Nikola Tesla, and William Crookes.
- In 1894, an Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi engineered and built the first “wireless telegraphy system” that was based on Hertz’s airborne transmission of electromagnetic waves. This was the first commercially successful radio.
- Roberto Landell de Moura, a Brazilian priest, transmitted the human voice wirelessly in 1900.
- De Moura demonstrated it in front of journalists and the General Consul of Great Britain, C.P. Lupton, in São Paulo, Brazil.
- He transmitted his voice for approximately 8 kilometers, from Alto de Santana to Paulista Avenue.
- In 1901, de Moura received a patent for “equipment for the purpose of phonetic transmissions through space, land and water elements at a distance with or without the use of wires” from the Brazilian Government.
- Four months later, he left Brazil to patent his invention in the United States.
- De Moura’s “Wireless telegraph” was patented in 1904.
- The vacuum tube detector was invented by Westinghouse engineers.
- The first radio broadcast program happened on Christmas Eve of 1906, and was done by Reginald Fessenden from Ocean Bluff-Brant Rock, Massachusetts. His broadcast was heard at ships in the sea as he played O Holy Night on the violin and read a passage from the Bible.
- Fessenden’s transmission is known as amplitude modulation or AM radio.
- Marconi opened the first radio factory at New Street Works in Chelmsford, England, in June 1912.
- It was on August 31, 1920 when the first radio news program was broadcast, by the station 8MK in Detroit, Michigan.
- On October 14, 1920, the first college radio station began broadcasting.
- The college radio station was from Union College, Schenectady, New York, and was operated by Wendell King, an African-American student.
- The first public entertainment radio station was 2ADD and was launched in October 1920. It was renamed WRUC in 1947.
- The station aired a series of Thursday night concerts.
- The station was initially heard within a radius of 100 miles, and later was expanded to a radius of 1000 miles.
- The first broadcast of a sporting event happened in November 1920.
- In 1922, regular entertainment broadcasts commenced from the Marconi Research Centre at Writtle, England.
- Radio technology is used in radio and television broadcasting, cell phones, two-way radios, wireless networking, and satellite communication.
- Radio communication is done by radio waves carrying information from a transmitter, and propagates through space towards a receiver.
- The radio signal is modulated, meaning a piece of information is impressed or inputted that alters the signal.
RADIO PROPAGATION TECHNIQUES
- Radio propagation refers to how radio waves propagate, or are transmitted, whether from one point to another or through a certain radius through various parts of the atmosphere.
- Radio waves behave like light as it is also an electromagnetic wave, so it is affected by reflection, refraction, diffraction, absorption, polarization, and scattering.
- Types of Radio Wave Propagation:
- Line-of-sight propagation — radio waves travel in a straight line from the transmitting antenna to the receiving antenna. Used in cell phones, wireless phones, walkie-talkies, wireless networks, FM radio, television, radar, and satellite communication.
- Surface mode — lower radio frequencies propagate through the surface of the ground, and is used in AM radio stations.
- Ionospheric mode or Skywave — radio waves propagate through the ionosphere, the layer of our atmosphere containing charged particles called ions, used by marine and aircraft communications.
Radio Wave Technology Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Radio Wave Technology across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Radio Wave Technology worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Radio Wave Technology. Before music streaming platforms, online news portals, and podcasts, and even before television, people used to listen to a radio, one of the earliest applications of radio technology: the use of signaling and communicating radio waves.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Radio Wave Technology Facts
- EM Spectrum
- What’s in a Name?
- Fact or False?
- Timeline of Events
- Tale of Two Heads
- What Is It For?
- Definition of Terms
- Fill in the Blanks
- Radio Broadcaster
- I Listen to the Radio
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Link will appear as Radio Wave Technology Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, May 19, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.