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How do Antennae Work?

Richard F. knows all about radios so we asked him to answer this question. We hope you meant radio antennae. Television antennae work in the same way. Here is Richard's answer.

An antenna picks up radio waves and sends them to a radio. The radio amplifies (strengthens) and decodes the signal and sends it to a loudspeaker or headphones so you can hear it.

What are Radio Waves? Actually, they are electrical waves. Don't worry, you can't get a shock from them. A typical radio wave from a station far away might give an electrical signal of a few millionths of a volt. (A flashlight battery produces one and a half volts). The antenna is made of electrical conductors, like wires, to pick up these electrical signals. Different-sized antennas are good at picking up different radio signals, but it's the circuits inside the radio that separate out the signal you want to listen to.

Keep looking at the science corner in your school Library. There will be a radio displayed there soon showing it's antenna. It may even work!

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