Measuring Radio Waves
Name: Sergio S.
What do scientists use to measure radio waves? Is it expensive and/or hard
Scientists usually use a device very similar to what you have on your radio
or television. Scientists use an antenna. They set the antenna to be the
correct length and have the correct angle for the waves they want to
measure. They then connect the antenna to whatever device is appropriate.
If they want to see the pattern, an oscilloscope works well. Oscilloscopes
can be expensive. If they want to hear the signal, they use a less
expensive device: a simple one-speaker radio. Digital radios with automatic
tuners do not work well, but old-fashioned radios with knobs for tuners are
good. Still, it is the antenna that is most important.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
Click here to return to the Physics Archives
Update: June 2012