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29
votes
3answers
3k views

Can I use an antenna as a light source?

Can I use a normal metal antenna to emit visible light?
18
votes
3answers
1k views

Detectability of interstellar messages

Recently a debate started whether it is a good idea to send more messages into space in the hope of having alien civilizations receive them. There are some predecessors, most notably the 1974 Arecibo ...
14
votes
2answers
16k views

Why is Near Field Communication (NFC) range limited to about 20cm?

Near Field Communication (NFC) operates at 13.56 MHz. Near Field is the region situated at a distance r << λ λ = c/f ...
8
votes
1answer
5k views

How does a digital radio tuner work?

I believe I understand how tuning a radio with an analog tuner works: turning the dial physically changes the length of the antenna, which determines which broadcast wavelength will resonate in the ...
7
votes
3answers
2k views

How do radio telescopes work?

If I search online for how radio telescopes work, the found articles talk about how RF is on the spectrum, etc, how the parabolic collector is the aperture which contributes to the sensitivity and ...
7
votes
2answers
210 views

How is extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation collected by a submarine antenna?

The U.S. Navy Project ELF managed to generate extremely low frequency (ELF) radiation at down to $\approx 76$ Hz (implying a wavelength of $\approx 3,945$ km!). I was curious, what kind of receiving ...
6
votes
2answers
422 views

Why doesn't my mobile phone pick up the electro-magnetic wave emitted by my water heater?

I admit my knowledge of physics is very little, but I did study topics on EM and stuff in school. I was reading about computer networks and I read about antennas and how they are just wires or strips ...
6
votes
1answer
4k views

Adverse Health Effects of Strong Radio Waves

A while ago, I was hiking near the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles. When I got to the sign, I found out it was fenced off; with several signs and a security camera promising prompt enforcement. As I was ...
6
votes
1answer
460 views

Why are fractal geometries useful for compact antenna design?

While most of what I've read about fractals has been dubious in nature, over the years, I keep hearing that these sorts of self-similar (or approximately self-similar) geometries are useful in the ...
6
votes
1answer
340 views

How is an inflatable parabolic antenna created?

I'm intrigued by this, and how it would work:- 3 sub-questions if I may: Construction: As I understand it's a flexible sphere constrained by a rigid edge. a. Do we simply glue 2 flat circular ...
6
votes
1answer
113 views

Astronomical-wavelength radio (AWR) transmissions between cosmic plasmas?

My son asked me if electromagnetic waves longer than radio exist. I told him that even though physics permits such waves, there are no antennas long enough to radiate or detect them. However, on ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Radio antennas that are much shorter than the wavelength

From my limited experience with ham radio when I was a kid, I expect transmitting and receiving antennas to have lengths that are on the same order of magnitude as the wavelength, and in fact I recall ...
5
votes
0answers
79 views

Is there any antenna with a single null?

If we designate the origin (the reference point from which all displacement vectors are measured) $\vec{0}$, and If we consider a sphere $\mathbb{B}\left(\vec{0},\mathcal{R}\right)$ of radius ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Effective aperture of isotropic antenna

I have always taken for granted that 'the aperture of a loss-less isotropic antenna is $\dfrac {\lambda^2} {4\pi}$'. On a whim, I tried to look up how this expression was derived, but so far I have ...
4
votes
2answers
204 views

What is happening to the electrons, and E & H fields, in an antenna with a standing wave inside?

Diagrams like the one shown below are often shown to explain antenna theory, but I have always had problem with the concept of voltage being a wave, and because of this the diagrams never make any ...
4
votes
2answers
639 views

Radio communication and antennas

I'm trying to understand how an antenna is able to understand, but have a few quesions: I understand that for an antenna to distinguish between 2 (or more) signals, they have to be in different ...
4
votes
1answer
465 views

What is the effect of ice on an antenna?

A local FM radio station transmitting at 89.3 MHz recently announced that it would be running at 50% power due to freezing weather and a forecast of ice accumulation, as "when ice is forecast ... it ...
3
votes
1answer
66 views

Power loss due to dipole antenna position mismatch

If we have two dipole antennas, it is well known that in order to transfer maximal power, two dipole antennas should be parallel and on the same height, which means that line that connects their ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

Radio waves and frequency of photon

How radio waves create the current in antenna in terms of photons? If it is Compton scattering then why is not changed the freuency of photons?
3
votes
2answers
141 views

Is there a differential equation that can represent a circuit with an arbitrary voltage source connected acrorss an antenna?

An RLC circuit with a voltage source can be characterized by the differential equation: $$ LC\;\ddot{I}\left(t\right) + RC\; \dot{I}\left(t\right) + I\left(t\right)-C \;\dot{V}\left(t\right) = 0 $$ ...
3
votes
2answers
524 views

Near-field around parabolic antenna?

Having a discussion at work about the $H$-field around a big parabolic antenna. All of the safety tests done around the antenna only mention $E$-Field. They state in the radiating near-field the $E$ ...
3
votes
0answers
98 views

Did Penzias and Wilson need such a large horn antenna to discover the CMB?

Penzias and Wilson discovered the 2.7K Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) Radiation using a 6 meter horn antenna, along with a cryogenic low-noise detector measuring at 4 GHz: ...
2
votes
5answers
149 views

If an antenna must be $\frac{1}{4}$ of the wavelength, how can car antennas be so small?

If the transmission antenna has to be $\frac{1}{4}$ of the wavelength, how can the car antennas' size be much less than that and properly receive the radio signal?
2
votes
5answers
984 views

Radio antenna producing waves in the visible spectrum

If a radio could produce waves in the visible light spectrum, what would the result be? This is a thought experiment that I've pondered for a few years now. I realize there are a few/many real-world ...
2
votes
2answers
315 views

What happens to a photon after it is absorbed by an antenna?

I recently have read about interception of wireless information, however this mentions that people can intercept the information, and then somehow the recipient also gets the information. Regardless ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

How to capture electomagnetic radiation/waves?

If I wanted to find out what kind of electomagnetic waves "travel" through my room at which frequency, what kind of equipment would I need? Suppose I want to view frequencies from 0 Hz to 6 GHz.
2
votes
4answers
2k views

Some questions about car radio and cellphone antennas

1-Why the antenna of the radio of cars is located outside the car and not inside? 2-If the answer to 1 is because that cars are like Faraday cages then how come my cell phone can receive signal ...
2
votes
4answers
182 views

How do radio waves reach receivers without being canceled out by interference?

When I think of waves traveling through a medium, I tend to think of the double slit experiment or waves in a pond. In those cases, waves are canceled out by destructive or constructive ...
2
votes
1answer
124 views

Is there a way to tell what frequency an unmarked antenna is designed for?

I have accumulated a large amount of R/C gear over the years. I have several antennas which are not labelled as to their original use. This antenna is either for 5.8ghz, 2.4ghz, or 910mhz. The ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

How does holographic radar work?

I'm trying to figure out how the mechanics of holographic radar work. AFAIK there is a continuous 3d transmission signal (a dome-shaped antenna?) But because there isn't a direction or time-domain, ...
2
votes
2answers
111 views

Can the magnetic fields of EM radiation be harnessed or measured?

We use the electric component of EM radiation to create the EM radiation and to detect it (antennas and Etc.), but does anyone know of a situation where the magnetic component of EM radiation is used? ...
2
votes
3answers
329 views

Equivalent circuit for an arbitrary receiving antenna

This Wikipedia entry tells me that the Thevenin equivalent circuit for an arbitrary receiving antenna on which an electric field $E_b$ is incident is a voltage source $V_a$ in series with an impedance ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

How is antenna gain correlated to beam width?

Let's say you have two dipole type antennas. Antenna A has a gain of 2.15 dBi, a horizontal beam width of 360 deg and a vertical beam width of 45 deg. Antenna B is similar to antenna A, but has a ...
2
votes
1answer
54 views

The influence of the antenna height

I am working on a model of a transmitter. The transmitter is attached to the wheel of the vehicle and thus constantly changes it's height. In other words capacitance between antenna and ground is ...
2
votes
1answer
36 views

Does array gain violate the laws of physics or not?

I am a bit disturbed lately since I don't know the answer this basic problem. Say we have a standard isotropic antenna with some fixed parameters (load impedance, etc), and we feed this antenna with ...
2
votes
0answers
69 views

Phased non linear array antenna - First Sidelobe

I have a problem I cannot seem to solve and I REALLY need some help. It's about phased-array antennas whose dipoles are not equally spaced, not equally phased, not equally fed (amplitude). Let's ...
2
votes
0answers
114 views

Signal strength drop-off from a geosynchronous satellite as a function of angular pointing error

If we have a compact antenna used to communicate with a satellite in geosynchronous orbit somewhere between the $K_u$ and $K_a$ bands of the spectrum (for high broadband applications where we can't ...
2
votes
0answers
50 views

Is the electrical signal delivered to a load by a receiving antenna always $\propto \frac {\partial}{\partial t}$ of the $\vec{E}$ or $\vec{B}$ field?

A time-varying $B(t)$ field through a loop antenna induces a voltage proportional to $\dot{B}(t)$. A Hertzian dipole along a time-varying $E(t)$ field also induces a voltage across a load--while I ...
1
vote
2answers
651 views

What happens when length of antenna >> lambda

Length of a dipole antenna according to antenna theory should be lambda/2 for best reception. I am just curious about the outcome when length of dipole antenna >> lambda. Impedance will be zero in ...
1
vote
2answers
104 views

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV

What is difference between the miltary radar in 1940's from commercial antenna that is for the use of TV? I have read article from some of the WW2 history website that call the German radar the ...
1
vote
3answers
3k views

Geometry of wireless signal strength

How does wireless signal strength correspond to distance? RSSI lies between -100 and 0 (at least, on my computer). Let's say I walk a distance x towards the router, and my RSSI goes from -60 to -50. ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Current distribution on a dipole antenna

It is known that the current distribution on a thin dipole antenna is always sinusoidal: http://www.antenna-theory.com/antennas/dipole.php How can I prove this?
1
vote
2answers
114 views

Physics of antenna requirements

I'm currently a junior at San Diego State University and ever since I learned on my intro physics courses that antennas are best 1/2 wavelength. I've read wimpy explanations that it is so it can ...
1
vote
1answer
108 views

Getting a given wavelength radio signal given an antenna with real-world constraints

Supposing you are given a transmitting antenna of whatever type of metal is most commonly used these days, and supposing that you are applying an AC current with the intent of transmitting a 1 m ...
1
vote
1answer
944 views

What are the optimal shapes, if any, for fractal antennae?

A DIY fractal antenna project is described at http://www.htpc-diy.com/2012/04/diy-flexible-fractal-window-hdtv.html Mainly idle curiosity, but I was wondering what the principles behind these might ...
1
vote
1answer
225 views

Fresnel Zones-How are they Formed?

How are Fresnel Zones formed? What phenomena of light allow ellipsoid areas to be in phase? I've tried reading articles, but they more or less introduce me to characteristics of light, and then tell ...
1
vote
2answers
321 views

Quantum Mechanics- Antenna emitting electromagnetic radiation

Radio signals are being transmitted in a frequency of $ 8.4 \times 10^9 \text{s}^{-1} $ and being received by an antenna that is capable of receiving power of $ 4 \times 10^{-21} \text{Watt} $ ($ 1 \, ...
1
vote
0answers
31 views

The relation between electric and magnetic potential equation [closed]

Use the principle of duality to derive: $$\textbf{A} = \frac{\mu e^{-j\beta r}}{4\pi r}\int\int_S\textbf{J}_s\, e^{j\beta\, \hat{\textbf{r}}.\textbf{r}'}dS'$$ from this $$\textbf{F} = ...
1
vote
1answer
34 views

Explanation for: A monopole antenna must contain a resistor (or equivalent) and therefore must have 2 terminals?

Could someone explain why this sentence makes sense: A monopole antenna transfers energy from electrical domain to the electromagnetic domain, hence must contain (equivalently) a resistor, hence ...
1
vote
0answers
39 views

How is it that 62" is the best length for 72Mhz receiver?

According the this article (which was published somewhere in 2005-2008 I think, but it's still comes up first in Google) the best length for a 72Mhz receiver antenna is 62" (~157.5cm). This puzzles me ...