The Radio In 1933, E.B White denoted the radio and its influence on his rural community as "godlike presence"(Lewis 26). Radio, first modern mass medium of communication has influenced twentieth century as much as did the automobile. It transformed America into a land of entertainment, education, information exchange, and a common culture…
It came with immense power because only a single speaker had the ability to sow the seeds of entertainment, information, propaganda, political and religious fervor, culture, and even negativity everywhere (Lewis 26).This paper briefly studies the formation, evolution, and impact of radio on human life and concludes that radio is not doomed by its fleshier competitors, but it has evolved. Radio refers to the signaling or audio communication by using electromagnetic radiations. In its early days, it was developed as a "wireless telegraph", for one point to the other point links. The wireless telegraph made it possible to send messages to multiple locations at the same time, by using dots-and-dashes of telegraphic code in early days, while in full audio during later periods (White). The historical Background James Clerk Maxwell, a Scottish physicist was influenced by Michael Faraday's ideas and work on electromagnetism. Faraday's work described that electric and magnetic effects arise from the lines of force around conductors and magnets. Maxwell developed an analogy about the way lines of force behave and the liquid flow; he derived equations that represented the electric and magnetic field. Based on Faraday's ideas, Maxwell produced a paper in 1855. Moreover, he developed the model for a hypothetical medium with some fluid that could carry electric and magnetic effects. He considered hypothetical situations when fluid becomes elastic and charge is applied to it. He concluded that it would initiate disturbance in the fluid and the resulting waves would travel through the medium (Parker). Two Germans Friedrich Kohlrausch and Wilhelm Weber identified that these have the capability to travel at the speed of light. In 1873, Maxwell made these findings public in his "Treatise on Electricity and Magnetism" (qtd. in Parker). Heinrich Hertz confirmed Maxwell's ideas by discovering radio waves, a form of electromagnetic radiation which has too long wavelength for human eyes to see. He came up with a transmitting oscillator that radiated radio waves and detected them by using a metal loop with a gap at one side. Sparks are generated across this gap when the loop was positioned within transmitter's electromagnetic field. It implied that electromagnetic waves could be sent in the space and could be detected remotely. These waves are named after Hertz as 'Hertzian Waves' he detected them across the length of his laboratory (Parker). Hertz's discovery inspired Guglielmo Marconi, he realized that the if radio waves could be transmitted and detected over long distances, then wireless telegraphy can be developed. He started experimenting in 1894 by placing rough antennas in his family garden. Initially, he managed to received singles from 100 meters, by the end of 1895; he managed to extend the distance to over a mile. He shared his experimentation with Italian Ministry of Posts and Telegraphs. Knowing that Ministry was not interested in his work, he gave a demonstration in London at General Post Office in 1896.His transmission was detected from1.5 miles which was extended to 8 miles in few months. In 1897, Marconi got the patent for wireless telegraphy, and established the Wireless Telegraph and Signal Company at Chelmsford. There, they established the world's first radio factory in 1898. In May 1897, they successfully tested that the contacts were possible over the water. A ...
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