Antenna

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What Does Antenna Mean?

An antenna is a transducer that converts radio frequency (RF) fields into alternating current or vice versa. There are both receiving and transmission antennas for sending or receiving radio transmissions. Antennas play an important role in the operation of all radio equipment. They are used in wireless local area networks, mobile telephony and satellite communication.

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Techopedia Explains Antenna

Antennas have an arrangement of metallic conductors with an electrical connection to receivers or transmitters. Current is forced through these conductors by radio transmitters to create alternating magnetic fields. These fields induce voltage at the antenna terminals, which are connected to the receiver input. In the far field, the oscillating magnetic field is coupled with a similar oscillating electric field, which defines electromagnetic waves capable of propagating the signal for long distances.

Radio waves are electromagnetic waves that carry signals through air at the speed of light without any transmission loss. Antennas can be omni-directional, directional or arbitrary.

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Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor
Margaret Rouse
Senior Editor

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.