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Radio Making Waves in America Radio-wave technology is one of the most important technologies used by man It has forever changed the United States and the world and will continue to do so in the future Radio has been a communications medium a recreational device and many other things to us When British physicist James Clerk Maxwell published his theory of electromagnetic waves in 1873 he probably never could have envisioned the sorts of things that would come of such a principle His theory mainly had to do with light waves but fifteen years later a German physicist named Heinrich Hertz was able to electrically generate Maxwells rays in his lab The discovery of these amazing properties the later invention of a working wireless radio and the resulting technology have been instrumental to Americas move into the Information Age The invention of radio is commonly credited to Guglielmo Marconi who starting in 1895 developed the first wireless radio transmitter and receiver Working at home with no support from his father but plenty from his mother Marconi improved upon the experiments and equipment of Hertz and others working on radio transmission He created a better radio wave detector or cohere and connected it to an early type of antenna With the help of his brothers and some of the neighborhood boys he was able to send wireless telegraph messages over short distances By 1899 he had established a wireless communications link between England and France that had the ability to operate under any weather conditions He had sent trans-Atlantic messages by late 1901 and later won the Nobel prize for physics in 1909 Radio works in a very complicated way but heres a more simple explanation than youll get from most books Electromagnetic waves of different wavelengths are produced by the transmitter and modulations within each wavelength are adjusted to carry encoded information The receiver tuned to read the frequency the transmitter is sending on
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