Electromagnetic radiation of lower frequency (hence longer wavelength) than visible light or infrared radiation, and consisting of the range of frequencies used for navigation signals, AM and FM broadcasting, television transmissions, cell-phone communications, and various forms of radar. For radio transmission, information is imparted to a carrier wave by varying (modulating) its amplitude, frequency, or duration. The technology of radio arose from the work of Michael Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Heinrich Hertz, Guglielmo Marconi, and others, and improvement followed the development of the vacuum tube, the electronic-tube oscillator, the tuned circuit, and other components. Later innovations have included the replacement of tubes by transistors and of wires by printed circuits. See also radio and radar astronomy.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on radio, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up radio? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.