Who Invented Radio

Radio refers to both the technology used to broadcast programs, and also the underlying science of radio waves, which are actually electromagnetic radiation that travels in waves just like light. Radio, even though it is used to broadcast audio signals is not in fact sound, though sound also travels in waves, but much much slower than radio waves.

Because radio is electro magnetic, it’s discovery goes back to around the same time that electricity was being experimented with in the early 1800s, however the ability to broadcast electromagnetic waves wirelessly wasn’t considered until much later. Many years of calculating the speed of electromagnetic waves, and creating formula for defining them went by. James Maxwell, the first person to start creating math for determining electromagnetic equations published his results in 1865, but the equations which are now known as Maxwell’s equations were extended by several other mathematicians, including Heinrich Hertz.

old radio Who Invented Radio

From these equations it became possible to experiment with broadcasting electromagnetic waves, and in 1879 David Hughes became the first person to successfully broadcast a morse code signal wirelessly across a room, however his achievements were dismissed and almost forgotten about, and Heinrich Hertz, a German university professor, has incorrectly been labeled the first person to send and receive radio signals.

Hertz deserves as much credit for helping the development of radio of any of his peers, but he in his own lifetime dismissed his radio experiments as worthless and doubted they would ever have a practical use. Hertz also inadvertently discovered radar, and once again dismissed his discovery as worthless and only useful in proving Maxwell’s theories to his students. Hertz died in 1894, so never saw how his discovery would change the world, but his writings were studied, and his experiments copied by a young Italian inventor named Guglielmo Marconi.

guglielmo marconi Who Invented Radio

Marconi is very well known worldwide as the inventor of radio, and in 1894 tested his first radio transmitter over a distance of a few yards. By 1896 he was in England working for the British Post Office developing a wireless telegraph system that would be cheaper and more convenient to use than running wire stretched between poles from one end of the country to the other. Marconi’s original techniques weren’t powerful enough to cover a great distance until he started using coils invented by Nikola Tesla.

Tesla had actually demonstrated wireless radio in 1891, several years before Marconi, at one time commenting that Marconi was a good chap who had used 17 of Tesla’s patents to build his business. In 1915, when Marconi received the Nobel prize forĀ  inventing radio Tesla became very upset, and started legal proceedings to have his place in history assured. In 1943 Tesla finally won his case, long after both Marconi had died, and sadly, a few months after Tesla himself passed away.

Learn about the complete history of radio and who invented the radio.

About the Author:

Sam Reese is a web enthusiasts and blogger. He is a history student and loves to write and read histories of different things.

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