During the 1860s, Scottish physicist, James Clerk Maxwell predicted the existence of radio waves; and in 1886, German physicist, Heinrich Rudolph Hertz demonstrated that rapid variations of electric current could be projected into space in the form of radio waves similar to those of light and heat.
The hertz is named after the German physicist Heinrich Hertz (1857–1894), who made important scientific contributions to the study of electromagnetism. The name was established by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in 1930. It was adopted by the General Conference on Weights and Measures (CGPM) (in 1960, replacing the previous name for the unit, cycles per second (cps), The term cycles per second was largely replaced by hertz by the 1970s. It is the measurement unit of the speed and frequency of radio waves.
What part did Marconi play in the development of radio? Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor, proved the feasibility of radio communication. He sent and received his first radio signal in Italy in 1895. By 1899 he flashed the first wireless signal across the English Channel and two years later received the letter "S", telegraphed from England to Newfoundland. This was the first successful transatlantic radiotelegraph message in 1902.
Who were some of the other players in the invention of radio?
In addition to Marconi, two of his contemporaries Nikola Tesla and Nathan Stufflefield took out patents for wireless radio transmitters.
Later inventors learned to transmit voices, which led to broadcasting of news, music and entertainment.
In 1901, radiotelegraph service was instituted between five Hawaiian Islands.
By 1903, a Marconi station located in Wellfleet, Massachusetts, carried an exchange or greetings between President Theodore Roosevelt and King Edward VII. In 1905 the naval battle of Port Arthur in the Russo-Japanese war was reported by wireless, and in 1906 the U.S. Weather Bureau experimented with radiotelegraphy to speed notice of weather conditions.
In 1909, Robert E. Peary, arctic explorer, radio telegraphed: "I found the Pole". In 1910 Marconi opened regular American-European radiotelegraph service, which several months later, enabled an escaped British murderer to be apprehended on the high seas.
In 1912, the first transpacific radiotelegraph service linked San Francisco with Hawaii.
In my research I read that radio is an incredibly simple technology. Is that true?
The funny thing is that, at its core, radio is an incredibly simple technology.
A radio is a box filled with electronic components that catches radio waves sailing through the air, a bit like a baseball catcher's mitt, and converts them back into sounds your ears can hear.
With just a couple of electronic components that cost at most a dollar or two, you can build simple radio transmitters and receivers.
Wireless signals proved effective in communication for rescue work when a sea disaster occurred. A number of ocean liners installed wireless equipment. In 1899 the United States Army established wireless communications with a lightship off Fire Island, New York. Two years later the Navy adopted a wireless system. Up to then, the Navy had been using visual signaling and homing pigeons for communication.
The story of how something so simple has become a bedrock technology of the modern world is fascinating! Listen to entire broadcast at www.youngmediacritics.com