The Electromagnetic Spectrum - Radio Waves

Radio Waves

Radio Waves in the Electromagnetic Spectrum

The radio waves are the electromagnetic waves which have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum, so long that if you were to look at the sky with a radio telescope, instead of point sources like stars and clouds, you can see entire regions that promote star formation, distant quasars and probable remnants of supernovas. These waves have low energy levels and low frequencies ranging from around 3 kHz to around 300 GHz.

Due to their wide range, they are mostly used in communication systems like broadcasting, communication satellites, computer networking systems, radar and other kinds of navigation. How do you think FM/AM Radio works? Simply put, radio waves are generated and propagated by radio transmitters. These waves are then received by a radio receiver (tuned to a particular frequency/wavelength using a radio antenna) which then converts these into mechanical waves which are played through radios and different sounds.

Different Bands In Radio Spectrum 

Radio spectrums can be divided further into 9 bands depending on their frequency and wavelength ranges as follows

  • Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
  • Frequency Range Less than 3kHz
    Wavelength Range Greater than 100km
  • Very Low Frequency (VLF)
  • Frequency Range 3 to 300 kHz
    Wavelength Range 100 to 10 km
  • Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
  • Frequency Range 3kHz to 30 kHz
    Wavelength Range 10km to 100km
  • Low Frequency (LF)
  • Frequency Range 30 kHz to 300 kHz
    Wavelength Range 1km to 10km
  • Medium Frequency (MLF)
  • Frequency Range 3kHz to 30 kHz
    Wavelength Range 10km to 100km
  • Low Frequency (LF)
  • Frequency Range 300kHz to 3MHz
    Wavelength Range 100m to 1km
  • High Frequency (HF)
  • Frequency Range 3MHz to 30 MHz
    Wavelength Range 10m to 100m
  • Very High Frequency (VHF)
  • Frequency Range 30 MHz to 300 MHz
    Wavelength Range 1m to 10m
  • Ultra High Frequency (UHF)
  • Frequency Range 300 MHz to 3GHz
    Wavelength Range 10cm to 1m
  • Super High Frequency (SHF)
  • Frequency Range 3GHz to 30 GHz
    Wavelength Range 1cm to 10cm
  • Extremely High Frequency (SHF)
  • Frequency Range 30 GHz to 300 GHz
    Wavelength Range 1mm to 1cm

    Following is the table with links that are related to radio waves:

    Terminologies In Radio Waves

    Following are the list of terminologies that are used in radio waves:

    • AM radio waves: These are the waves that carry radio signals between 540 and 1600 kHz. The waves carried are commercial waves where the amplitude varies while the frequency remains constant.
    • FM radio waves: These are the waves that carry radio signals between 88 and 108 MHz. The waves carried are commercial waves where the frequency is modulated while the amplitude remains the constant.
    • Radio waves: It is a part of electromagnetic spectrum with the frquency range from 300 GHz to 3 kHz or with the wavelengths from 1 mm to 100 km.
    • Stay tuned with BYJU’S to learn more about other Physics related concepts.

Practise This Question

The period of oscillation of a simple pendulum in the experiment is recorded as 2.63 s, 2.56 s, 2.42, 2.71 s and 2.80 s respectively. Find the average absolute error.

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