Radio: From the beginning to the evolution of today's technology Broadcast media has been around for many, many years and the grandfather of them all is the radio. The radio has been around for so long and has become such a prominent fixture in our society that we take it for granted. Every day many of us are exposed to some form of radio without realizing it. From the beginning of its technology, other forms of media have evolved also; television, wireless internet, and cellular phones, which most of us use daily. Something we do not think of is, where did it all start, whose idea was this to begin with, and what will the radio of tomorrow be like or will there even be radio in the future. I guess we will see. What is Radio?
Many of us know what a radio is. We think it comes in your car, or when you buy a home stereo, only then it is known as a tuner, or how about those little radios that fit in your shirt pocket. Some of us work for companies that have company radios mounted in our company vehicles. However, what is a radio really? According to Encarta Encyclopedia (2007), a radio is a "
system of communication employing electromagnetic waves propagated (transmitted) through space." The range of these waves varies from a few kilohertz to several gigahertz. A normal radio communication system is made of two separate components, a transmitter and a receiver. The transmitter emits an electrical fluctuation at a frequency known as the carrier frequency. Frequency modulation has more than just one pair of sidebands, which produces the variations that translate into the speech or any other sound that a radio broadcasts or the alterations of light and darkness in television broadcasting (Encarta Encyclopedia, 2007). The Invention and the Inventors
Although there were many different discoveries in the taming of electricity, the first recorded discovery was the publication by British physicist James Clerk Maxwell in 1873. The theory Maxwell had was with light, but 15 years later German physicist Heinrich Hertz used the same principle with electricity. Hertz found that by sending an electrical pulse to a capacitor and short-circuited the capacitor through a spark gap, the electrical pulse rushed past the neutral point building an opposite charge in the capacitor sending it back and continuing to fall back and forth creating an electrical oscillation. During this process, some of the energy escaped into the air causing electromagnetic waves. Hertz measured these waves and many of the properties as well as wavelengths and velocity. These pulses are measured in cycles per second or hertz; 1 kilohertz (kHz) is 1000 per cycle, 1 megahertz (MHz) is 1 million cycles per sec, and 1 gigahertz (GHz) is 1 billion cycles per sec (Encarta Encyclopedia, 2007). Wireless radio technology was not introduced until 1893 when Nikola Tesla gave a demonstration of wireless transmission in St. Louis, Missouri. Addressing the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and the National Electric Light Association, Tesla described in detail the principles of radio communication. The system he used had a more sensitive electromagnetic receiver that was unlike the ones used by Guglielmo Marconi. In 1895, Marconi received a telegraph message without wires, but did not send voice over the airwaves. The beginning of the same year Tesla received signals from his lab in New York, a distance of 50 miles. This technology bounced back and forth between these two men until 1904 when Marconi; backed by Thomas Edison and Andrew Carnegie, filed for a patent for the invention of the radio. International Government and American Military
The radio became a major discovery worldwide, and from its inception, governments around the world began conferences to see who and how the radio would be controlled. The first conference was held in Berlin, Germany in 1903. Thomas White (n.d.) stated that this was basically a, "
preliminary conference concerning wireless telegraphy." In this...
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