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Variation of the frequency of a carrier wave (commonly a radio wave) in accordance with variations in the audio signal being sent. Developed by American electrical engineer Edwin H. Armstrong in the early 1930s, FM is less susceptible to outside interference and noise (e.g., thunderstorms, nearby machinery) than is AM. Such noise generally affects the amplitude of a radio wave but not its frequency, so an FM signal remains virtually unchanged. FM is also better able to transmit sounds in stereo than AM. Commercial FM broadcasting stations transmit their signals in the frequency range of 88 megahertz (MHz) to 108 MHz.
Variants of FM
FM in full frequency modulation
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on FM, visit Britannica.com.