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Variation of the amplitude of a carrier wave (commonly a radio wave) in correspondence to fluctuations in the audio or video signal being transmitted. AM is the oldest method of broadcasting radio programs. Commercial AM stations operate in the frequency range of 535 to 1605 kHz. Because radio waves of these frequencies are reflected back to the Earth's surface by the ionosphere, they can be detected by receivers hundreds of miles away. In addition to commercial radio broadcasting, AM is also employed in short-wave radio broadcasts, and in transmitting the video portion of television programs. See alsoFM.
Variants of AM
AM in full amplitude modulation
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on AM, visit Britannica.com.