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Hertz Experiment for Production and Detection Electromagnetic Wave

Em Waves are generated and detected using electrical sources. An induction coil is connected to two spherical electrodes with a narrow gap between them (the transmitter). The coil provides short voltage surges to the sphere charging once positive, the other negative. A spark is generated between the spheres when the voltage between them reaches the breakdown voltage for air. As the air in the gap is ionized, it conducts, more readily and the discharge between the spheres becomes oscillatory. From an electrical circuit viewpoint, this is equivalent to an LC circuit, where the inductance is that of the loop and the capacitance is due to the spherical electrodes.

For an LC circuit, frequency 1/2π √LC. Since L and C are quite small, the frequency of oscillation is very high = 100Mhz. Em waves are radiated at this frequency as a result of the oscillation (and hence acceleration) of free charges in the loop. Hertz was able to detect these waves using a single loop of wire with its own spark gap (the receiver) this loop, placed several meters from the transmitter, has its own effective inductance, capacitance, and natural frequency of oscillation. Sparks were induced across the gap of the receiving electrodes when the frequency of the receiver was adjusted to match that of the transmitter. Thus, Hertz demonstrated that the oscillating current induced in the receiver was produced by em waves radiated by the transmitter.

Detection Electromagnetic Wave

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