Radio Waves

Topics: Radio, Electromagnetic radiation, Broadcasting Pages: 3 (719 words) Published: January 24, 2000
Before beginning our research
on radio waves, to us, radio waves were just
waves going through the atmosphere, carrying
sound from one place to another. Those were our
ignorant days! We did not realize the complicated
terms and theories involved. In the following
report you will see how we advanced in our
knowledge of radio waves, and we hope it will do
the same for you. Radio waves are a combination
of two kinds of electric vibrations. Audio
frequency waves, which represent voice and other
sounds and radio frequency waves, which carry
audio waves after being combined with them. Two
examples of broadcast waves are AM waves and
FM waves. AM which stands for amplitude
modulation, is a broadcasting method in which the
carrier waves (carry the sounds of a program) are
changed to match changes in the audio frequency
waves. These are electric waves that represent the
sounds of a radio broadcast. FM stands for
frequency modulation and these waves, that go
skyward, are not reflected. Instead, they pass
through the atmosphere and go into space. AM
signals, however, reflect off the atmosphere and
travel back down to earth, causing broadcasts to
be received at a much greater distance than FM
signals. Since FM travels all the way to space and
it does not bounce off the ground it does not
create as much static as AM does. Radio waves,
which travel at the speed of light, cannot be seen,
heard, or felt in any way. When you listen to the
radio, contrary to what some think, you are
hearing the receivers pick up the waves and turn
them into sound. Three more types of radio waves
are; ground waves, ionospheric waves and
tropospheric waves. Ground waves travel from
the antenna along the surface of the earth.
Ionospheric waves, otherwise known as sky
waves, are made up of radio waves that come
from a transmitting antenna and go into the sky.
The ionosphere is the region of the rare field and
ionized atmosphere around the earth, from 50 to
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