This write up discusses the role of inventions and discoveries in the establishment of radio. However some attention would first be directed to explaining the importance and uses of radio and radio waves as a communication device before diverting focus to discuss some inventors who played significant roles in establishing radio.
The discussion will as well highlight some modern developments in the radio industry. Radio continues to be accepted as one of the most indispensable medium of communication all over the world especially in efforts to break the walls of illiteracy and bring enlightenment to millions of people. It is a system of communication which employs and propagates electromagnetic waves through space. There are varying characteristics of radio waves therefore radio waves of different lengths are employed for different purposes and are usually identified by their frequency.
Radio waves are used not only in radio broadcasting but are also used in two-way immunization for law enforcement, telephone transmission, wireless Internet, television, navigational systems, GAPS, and space communication. Radio enables people to send messages over long distances in the form of words, music, signals, etc. However it is commonly used for one-way communication, I. E. Broadcasting; to broadcast music, news, discussion, interviews, sports, adverts and other programmer. Aside the one-way function of radio device, its signals is also employed by scientists to monitor weather conditions in the atmosphere.
The beginning of radio is traced back to the early asses. It important to indicate however that radio owes its invention to two other discoveries; the telegraph and the telephone. These two major discoveries until the invention of radio were the only means employed by people to send quick and long distance communications. It was during this era that inventors such as James Clark Maxwell, Heimlich Hertz, Gullied Marion and a host of other individuals employed various strategies to discover radio signals and radio as communication device for that matter.
The contributions of these individuals would be discussed further in subsequent paragraphs. Meanwhile it is important to state that due to a number of individual contributions to radio discovery, it is becomes difficult to single out an individual as вЂўhero” when talking about radio and its discovery. The development of radio is said to have revolutionaries communication considering that the two major discoveries that had existed could only reach places that were connected with wire.
On the contrary, the advent of radio signals which could pass through the air, sea, sky and even space, made it possible for people to communicate quickly irrespective of wire connections. The advantage of dado signals to connect places without passing through wires made it to be referred to as wireless. The development of radio Just as any other discovery began with experiments. One of the important ideas that brought radio to exist was generated by Michael Faraday in the early asses.
He experimented with electromagnets and propounded the induction theory; specifying that currents in one wire could produce Maxwell further explained the induction theory by performing series of other experiments to confirm that electromagnetic waves exist and that they could travel fast at the speed of light. He proved, mathematically, that if an electrical interruption is of short distance from the point at which it occurred, it would effect a passage of electrical current due to some sort of waves that move at the speed of light in which the electromagnetic energy travel.
The confirmation of the theory prompted Heimlich Rudolf Hertz, whose name is now associated with radio transmission scales I. E. , megahertz and kilohertz, to practicality the proven theories of Faraday and Maxwell through demonstration that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat. Guillemot Marion an Italian inventor was next to appear on the scene in 1895.
He combined earlier ideas and his own ideas and become the first inventor to send electromagnetic waves or radio signals through the air. The Marion radio equipment was first used to send signals across the Atlantic Ocean precisely from Cornwall, England to Newfoundland, Canada. The success of his innovation eventually led to the establishment of the first telegraph company in 1899. The system he discovered was called wireless telegraphy and since then the terms “radio” and “wireless” have been used interchangeably.
Lee De Forest, an American inventor, also contributed to radio with his discovery of a device called vacuum tube in 1906. The device was used to detect and amplify radio signals and it has since become an important component of radio receivers. His invention in effect formed the basis for the amplification needed to make voice transmission possible via wireless. The result of Lee De Forest’s work was the invention of amplitude-modulated (AM) radio. Edwin Howard Armstrong is also counted as one of the individuals who contributed to improve radio.
He discovered and invented frequency-modulated (FM) radio in 1933 which to improve he audio signal of radio. Radio waves, as mentioned earlier, travel at the speed of light. I. E. : three hundred thousand kilometers per second (300,km/s). However, the transmission of radio waves is in two ways: Amplitude Modulation (AM) and Frequency Modulation (FM). In amplitude transmission, the strength of the carrier waves is varied to match changes in the programmer signal coming form the radio station.
FM transmission on the other hand is such that the carrier waves remain constant but the frequency of the wave is also varied to match the programmer signals from the radio station. The FM and the high-frequency bands (88 to 108 Much) eave since become the most preferred mode of transmission considering that it has the advantage of producing broad signals that are relatively free from noise and interference arising from sources such as thunderstorms, which is a major defect of AM signals. Nonetheless FM signals are also disadvantaged with having a limited reception range.
Thus it has defined catchments area beyond which the signals cannot be received. Radio technology has grown significantly since its early development. In 1947 Bell Labs, a scientist invented the transistor and in 1954 a Japanese company called Sony introduced the first transistor radio. It is significant to mention that the first practical use of radio after its invention was mainly for ship-to- ship and ship-to-shore communication where it was used to save the lives of victims of ship disaster.
Meanwhile, commercial radio broadcasting after radio was an experimental radio in a suburb of Pittsburgh in 1916. The broadcast of the U. S. Presidential election in 1920 by the station is considered the beginning of professional radio broadcasting. Other radio stations soon began operation in many other countries such as Australia, Japan, and specific reference can be made to the British Broadcasting Corporation which was established in 1922. The spread of radio and broadcasting did not come without some restrictions and regulations. The U. S. Overspent had for instance, took over control of all patents related to radio technology during the First World War but later released its control in 1919. After the government released its control of patents, the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) was established with the purpose of redistributing the radio patents that had been restricted during the war. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was also established in United States to assign frequencies to various radio stations. In addition, the FCC was tasked to issue licenses to stations and other users of transmission equipments.
The commission could as well revoke the license of stations that violate broadcasting rules. In other countries such a Canada and the United Kingdom, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the British Broadcasting Corporation were responsible for regulating all broadcasting networks respectively. The period between asses and asses is referred to as the golden age of radio considering that it was the period when radio ad much entertainment role as television has today.
It was the period where families gathered around their radios to listen to radio programmer varying from live music, variety shows, dramas, comedy, sports, and several others. However, radio in the 21st century has become more of an individual other than a family source of entertainment. This has been made possible due technological advancements which have given birth to portable radio, cell phone radio; automobile radios as well internet radio with the help of digital and satellite radio broadcasting, another recent placement in the field.
As evident from the discussion it can be concluded that a series of contributions and discoveries have aid the growth of radio which has made radio a vital means of communication in today’s world. References Sanford . J. The Mass Media of the German Speaking Countries, (London: Oswald Wolff, 1979) Whittier. E. J, Form, Content and Significance of Mass Communication, (California: Walworth Publication Company, Belmont, 1991) World Book Encyclopedia Volvo. 16, World Book erg, U. S&T. M. Off, (Merchandiser’s, North Michigan,Cargo ILL:u. S. A, 2001)