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What is Radio?

General Knowledge | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod

Definition of Radio

Radio is the radiation (wireless transmission) of electromagnetic energy through space.

All of you are fond of tuning in to your favourite radio channel to listen to the programs you like the most. Have you ever wondered how these programs reach from the distantly placed radio stations to your radios and music systems?

What are Radio waves?

Radio signals are created by two kinds of waves: sound waves that represent the sounds being sent to the audience and the radio frequency waves that carry the sound waves to radios in homes and cars. Let us understand the whole process in detail.

How Radio Waves Works?

At the radio studio, the sound waves of a program are recorded into a microphone that has electrical current running through it. The technicians at the radio station run these sound waves through a transmitter that converts these sound waves into radio waves and sends them out. It is important to convert the sound waves into radio waves because the sound waves cannot travel too far in the atmosphere. The signals would get lost after travelling only a few meters while the radio waves can travel large distances without getting lost or being distorted by the weather phenomenon. They can travel quickly through space in all directions, just like the ripples of water travel when a stone is thrown into a body of water.

You cannot hear, see or feel these radio waves moving in the air, but the inbuilt or external antennae of your radios and music systems can efficiently catch these waves from a number of radio stations at the same time. Each radio station is assigned a particular frequency like 99.6 or 93.8 MHz and by turning the tuning dial, you can choose the station you want to listen to. There is an amplifier fitted in your radio that strengthens the radio waves again, and the speakers change the radio waves back into the original sound waves that were recorded in the microphone at the radio station.

5 Interesting Facts about Radio

  1. Wireless radio was discovered by a German inventor, Heinrich Hertz, in the late 1800s.
  2. An Italian inventor, Guglielmo Marconi, is known as the ‘Father of Radio’ because he made practical and useable radio sets based on the Hertz discovery.
  3. Radio waves travel at the speed of light- 186,282 miles per second.
  4. Radio waves transmit music, talks, pictures and information invisibly through the air, often over millions of kilometres—it happens every day in thousands of different ways!
  5. There are a vast number of everyday technologies that depend on radio waves apart from the radio broadcasts. Cordless phones, cell phones, radio controlled toys, television broadcasts and satellite communication—everything depends on the radio waves. Even gadgets like radar and microwave ovens use radio waves.