antenna fundamentals


An antenna or aerial is an electrical device designed to transmit or receive radio waves or, more generally, any electromagnetic waves. Antennas are used in systems such as radio and television broadcasting, point-to-point radio communication, radar, and space exploration. Antennas usually work in air or outer space, but can also be operated under water or even through soil and rock at certain frequencies. Physically, an antenna is an arrangement of conductors that generate a radiating electromagnetic field in response to an applied alternating voltage and the associated alternating electric current, or can be placed in an electromagnetic field so that the field will induce an alternating current in the antenna and a voltage between its terminals. Some antenna devices (parabola, horn antenna) just adapt the free space to another type of antenna. Antennas were used for the first time, in 1889, by Heinrich Hertz (1857-1894) to prove the existence of electromagnetic waves predicted by the theory of James Clerk Maxwell.