Talk:Radio wave

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This article probably should not have been created. The contents should be merged with radio frequency. Which title is best is debateable, but clearly there should be only a single article on this.--Srleffler 17:28, 31 January 2007 (UTC)

Both this article and the Radio Frequency article have been re-focused to distinguish them from each other. Radio Waves are waves that travel through space and carry energy, and are distinct from Radio Frequency, which is a rate of oscillation.
John 23:53, 31 January 2007 (UTC)
John 19:07, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
The RF article may be misnamed. Some context: Wikipedia's coverage of electromagnetic radiation includes separate articles for each important region within the spectrum. (See box, below.) Radio frequency is the article that covers EM radiation in the RF range. Radio waves is therefore a duplicate article. Perhaps Radio wave is a better title, and both articles should be merged under that name. I do not think that both articles should continue to exist independently. Note, though, that Radio waves does not comply with Wikipedia:Naming conventions, because it is plural.--Srleffler 05:12, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
Good idea, I would support that. The singular "wave" is awkward and technically problematic because in nature a wave is hard to launch, has no wavelength and the term is not very meaningful. Maybe the problem is with shortsighted naming conventions? Still, looking at the articles that link to RF, I there is probably a need for an article distinctly addressing RF that is distinct from radio waves. Linking those to radio waves may not be quite on target. John 15:19, 2 February 2007 (UTC)
That's actually a plus with this proposal. Moving radio frequency to radio wave and merging this article with it there would open up the possibility of a new article being created that covers radio frequency signals that are not electromagnetic waves in free space.
I don't see a problem with "radio wave". The issue is not really different than microwave, wave, and ocean surface wave. Yes, one much more commonly uses "radio wave" in the plural, but it is certainly possible to generate a single radio wave the same as one generates any other kind of wave.--Srleffler 01:32, 3 February 2007 (UTC)
Strongly support merger these are the same thing; however the surviving name should be Radio frequency; there has been a trend in the scientific community for four decades to prefer "radio frequency" to "radio wave", the latter of which is getting archaic (and certainly is old fashioned). Wikipedia needs to keep up with the times in scientific subject matter. In no case should this page be merged with electromagnetic radiation. regards. Anlace. 15:45, 4 February 2007 (UTC)
But Keep Radio Wave TitleI would prefer to see radio waves be the surviving title because it is a more useful concept. RF, if anything, is disappearing faster because it distinguishes a frequency for electric current, and that distinction is being eroded. Originally RF distinguished high frequency AC current that launched the radio waves from audio current that modulated them. Now with video modulation and broadband data, the baseband modulation is far higher in frequency than the RF that was known when the term RF was distinguished. Now RF current is only distinct because it behaves dramatically differently in an electrical circuit. Radio waves are an entirely different subject. John 15:17, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
It sounds like there is agreement on the merger. The name really should be Radio frequency. Doesn't anybody else here work in this field? Besides being outmoded, the term "radio wave" is really not nearly as encyclopaedic as "radio frequency". Google hits are 20:1 supporting Radio frequency, but more importantly Radio frequency hits are clearly tied to the more encylopaedic literature whereas many of the "radio wave" hits are linked to pop-science etc. Anlace 22:58, 7 February 2007 (UTC)
Support merger - however I also believe the surviving title should clearly be Radio frequency given both the scope of the topic and its role with respect to other articles in the encyclopedia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 11:32, 27 February 2007 (UTC). -- Oops, yes, forgot to sign. :) -- 11:34, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Need For 'Radio Waves If merging means loosing an article on Radio Waves I suggest we keep Radio Waves. Radio Waves is viewed by laymen as a very distinct 'thing' and there is a need to distinguish that electromatic transport mechanism at RF freq 'thing' from RF, which is a rate of change of signal voltage. Radio Wave (which transports information) is much more than the frequency of the signal that wave causes in an antenna. Radio Frequency (which affects skin depth) is much more than a sub band of the RF spectrum. Merging them will force us to abandon one or the other, or polute the definition of one or the other. I am OK with keeping both and sharpening the distinction. John 20:56, 27 February 2007 (UTC)
Adamantly against merge. I see the distinction between radio waves and radio frequency, what is the similarity, aside from their (I & Q) vector having the same angular velocity? The EM spectrum is much more than radio waves, to ignore radio waves dumbs us down too much. Xrays don't transport music or data. It doesn't seem to me that the definition of RF anything to do with any kind of waves. Maybe few really understand what a wave is; it is a very real train of disturbances that really travels through space, just because we can't see it does not mean it doesn't exist. Unfortunately, it may be that one has to work in this field to appreciate the distinction. A preceding comment is radio wave is outmoded; I wonder why? Could it be that no one knows (or cares?) why their garage door opener, cell phone or blue tooth works any more? Don't we have some obligation to resist this dumbing down of society? Are we leading or following? What is the case for merging? What 'good' does it do? 14:18, 3 March 2007 (UTC)
Comment and Question for - I could be misunderstanding you, but your comment appears to be at odds with the article. The first sentence of the article says: "Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic wave occurring in the radio frequency portion of the electromagnetic spectrum.". This introductory sentence appears to distinguish radio waves as a subset of other electromagnetic waves, which in turn are covered in the article on electromagnetic radiation. The way I see it, those of us supporting a merge of this article into the radio frequency article are suggesting that radio waves should be discussed within the radio frequency article, just as more generally electromagnetic waves are discussed in the electromagnetic radiation article. Obviously redirections and links would be put in place after merging, so anyone looking for "radio waves" would end up in the article which discusses them. Radio waves are an intrinsic part of any discussion of radio frequency, which really doesn't seem to need its own page, largely doubling up on content. Or have I just completely misunderstood you? -- 13:52, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Reply to Rob I re-read your comment several times and I suppose my point of view is so biased that it is not clear why you say it is at odds. Are you viewing frequency and wave as the same thing? I think to be precise, the RF article should define RF as the frequency of Radio Waves. I believe the RF article is a little imprecise, which may be part of the problem. I see a distinction between a frequency RF and a radio wave, even though a radio wave has a wavelength that corresponds to RF frequency (in free space at least). RF isn't a actually a "wave in the electromagnetic spectrum." RF is a frequency; if current is changed at the rate of RF in an antenna it can launch a wave in the RF spectrum. I sympathize with avoiding redundancy, but I also rather not be so imprecise as to explain a certain kind of wave under an article that talks about a frequency. Really, the only reason the term RF is distinguishable is that it happens to be the frequency of electrical current that launches this particular wave. RF is not always a current though, early instruments measured RF current by causing a fine wire to oscillate physically in a magnetic field at radio frequency. RF is a certain range of cycles per second (Hz) that a wire can mechanically vibrate or that AC current can flow back and forth or that an E and H field can oscillate in the air outside. The E and H field must oscillate at RF in a very special relationship for there to be a radio wave associated with it. And the wave is only associated with it, the wave isn't IT. I could go on about the distinction but I would probably put everyone (myself included) to sleep. 05:28, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Let me take another crack at this Surprisingly (to me) there must be a lot of confusion between the meaning of waves and frequency or there wouldn’t be so much discussion about this. To combine the articles would simply add to the confusion. Before we can proceed with a discussion, it might be a good thing for participants to first understand the distinction.
We have articles about kinds of electromagnetic waves, because, while radio waves is a subset of electromagnetic waves, there are kinds of electromagnetic waves that are distinct enough to warrant separate articles. If it looks like RF should be merged with Radio Waves, perhaps the articles don’t describe them properly?
Radio frequency is a kind of frequency. Radio frequency could conceivably be discussed under the topic frequency, but it would make the RF article unaccessable under that topic. It would not make common sense.
Radio waves is not a kind of frequency because waves are not frequency. Frequency is the time rate of oscillation, it does not travel. RF does not travel through space, RF is not even a thing, it is a rate of change. Waves are a thing, they travel through space.
Finally, just because waves can have a property of frequency doesn’t make them the same thing nor does it imply that any kind of waves are a subset of any kind of frequency, or vice versa. Waves have a property of amplitude too, but why are there no suggestions to combine it with some kind of amplitude topic? (I may regret that question...)John 06:04, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I Belive an impasse has been reached
Despite valuable and cojent arguments on both sides; there is the possibility that the Radio (disambiguation) article can hold a large list of all of the above subjects split into separate articles; in this way there will be no more overlapping. It is the overlapping issue (specifically the range of content for each article) that needs to be addressed first, surely? MonstaPro 02:31, 23 April 2007 (UTC)
Citing similarities doesn't justify merge
There is no consensus on merging. I think we can separate the content to eliminate overlapping too. Lets remove the "Merge Discussion" header at this time. John 17:03, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

Why is this here?! MonstaPro 02:31, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

I think it is better to leave them as they are.

I too disagree with merging. Radio frequency radiation consists of radio waves. That is what EM radiation with wavelengths between 1mm and 100 km is called. "Radio frequency", on its own, means very little... it is a compound adjective, and only refers specifically to radiation when it precedes that word, i.e. "radio frequency radiation". How many people say "That antenna is emitting radio frequency", rather than "That antenna is emitting radio waves"? About as many people as would say "UV frequency" instead of "UV light" or "UV rays", "X frequency" instead of "X rays", or "gamma frequency" instead of "gamma rays". I have not read the radio frequency article, but it should consist of "Radio frequency is the frequency, in hertz, of the radiation known as radio waves, and, as a term, is almost entirely used when referring to such radiation. It is sometimes used incorrectly on it's own to mean "radio waves". See radio waves." At least I try (talk) 08:12, 4 February 2016 (UTC)

Bending of Radio Waves[edit]

When long wave radio radiation hugs the surface of the Earth, what implications does that have for Einstein's theory of relativity? ( 16:17, 1 October 2007 (UTC))

Zero. Long-wave radio reflects off the ionosphere, which acts as a waveguide. Michaelbusch 17:28, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Rating Radio Waves for Physics[edit]

I am rating this page for physics to bring attention to this page. The purpose of radio frequency article and this article needs to be sorted out. The term radio waves is of high importance to physics, in my opinion.

It is also of high importance to the English language; it is what EM radiation with wavelengths between 1 mm and 100 km is called. "RF" is often used as an abbreviation, as in "The long term effects of exposure to RF are unknown." One would not substitute "radio frequency" for "RF" in that sentence. Maybe that is the source of the urge to merge these articles, but if that occurs, Wikipedia will be the first encyclopedia not to have an article on radio waves since they were discovered. At least I try (talk) 08:30, 4 February 2016 (UTC)


Isn't it WP standard not to use plural in titles? --‭ݣ 02:43, 10 October 2009 (UTC)


There are three articles -- Radio waves, Radio spectrum and Radio frequency -- that seem to have significant overlap. There is some discussion at Talk:Radio_frequency#Merger_proposal. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:54, 4 November 2009 (UTC)

There's so little content in all three of these articles, (about a paragraph each), they might as well be lumped into Radio. Radio spectrum might serve as a list of all those spectrum designators. I propose to cary out this change unless there's a lot of different opinino expressed. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:30, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
It might make sense to keep radio waves to discuss the physics, and leave the applications stuff in Radio spectrum, history of radio, etc. --Wtshymanski (talk) 15:43, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I think that approach might address a lot of dissenting opinions. John (talk) 22:21, 16 November 2009 (UTC)

Frequency range[edit]

Comment from User: removed from article for consideration here:

"What is the range of frequencies and wavelengths???? Important information missing!"

May have a point. --Old Moonraker (talk) 16:00, 19 April 2011 (UTC)

But it already says Radio waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum longer than infrared light. A rare thing on the Wikipedia - accurate, comprehensive, and simple. --Wtshymanski (talk) 18:39, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
I love simple explanations in articles. What about adding a WP:SS link to Radio spectrum? Wouldn't complicate anything here. --Old Moonraker (talk) 21:21, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
On this image it shows to radio wavelength in meters to be 10 to the third power. This means the wave would be 1000 meters. On this page it says they can be up to 100 kilometers which is 100,000 meters. Which is accurate? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:44, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

Now the second sentence reads: "Radio waves have frequencies from 300 GHz to as low as 3 kHz...". I thought all electromagnetic radiation with low frequencies were called radio waves as it seems to be defined in Radio spectrum. If there should be a lower bound I think it should instead be at 3 Hz since the article on Extremely low frequency talks about radio waves. Ulflund (talk) 20:41, 30 May 2012 (UTC)

Microwaves sit in between radio and infrared waves. It is common to call microwaves radio waves, but they are not technically the same. Ffgamera - My page! · Talk to me!· Contribs 15:48, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

Vandalism by[edit]

User (Tosser more appropriate) has vandalized this article recently, adding gibberish. Please someone revert these edits and take further action. Thank you! (talk) 19:27, 30 August 2012 (UTC)

Why no radio wavelength / frequency table in this article?[edit]

Hi - Yes, I'm aware of the existing disagreement of what to do with mutiple short articles on radio waves, frequency, spectrum, electromagnetic spectrum, blah blah blah

- but why is a table listing wavelengths and frequencies omitted in this article (yes I know there's a table in one of the other articles)

I don't understand why such educated authors and editors can't come to a consensus (everyone seems to be selfishly disagreeing - I've been reading all the talks and looking at all the histories of edits) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:10, 17 June 2013 (UTC)

Influences from Tesla[edit]

There has been a number of discoveries regarding the influences of Nicola Tesla prior to Marconi's involvement including Marconi's renaming of patented devices to avoid sharing any credit with Tesla. I would like to know if there will be any updates to the Radio articles regarding this?

FriarGregarious (talk) 13:52, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Can you give a source stating these "discoveries"? Tesla was responsible for a few technological advances in radio. You may be referring to his demonstration of the first "tuned" radio wave transmission in March 1893 using the resonant transformer, which Marconi later claimed in his controversial "four circuit" patent of November 1900 [1], which became the focus of a famous long-running court battle. However this was a demonstration of wireless power transmission, which was Tesla's main interest, not communication. He actually believed that "Hertzian waves" (radio waves) were useless for communication purposes. --ChetvornoTALK 14:57, 5 May 2016 (UTC)

Vandalism in discovery and exploitation[edit]

Vandalism on the first line in the edit:

04:16, 7 August 2017‎ (talk)‎ . . (12,084 bytes) (-47)‎ . . (→‎Discovery and exploitation) (undo)

Please help revert this change! — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:06, 28 August 2017 (UTC)