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Chapter 3. How Wireless Works

Chapter 3. How Wireless Works

The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.

—ATTRIBUTED TO ALBERT EINSTEIN

Whether or not Einstein actually said this, it's apt: wireless transmission doesn't make intuitive sense; we can only use analogy to understand how information moves from one place to another without physical elements we can see in between. Fortunately for us, wireless just works—look at cordless phones, cell phones, AM and FM radio stations, walkie-talkies, and satellite television dishes. Wireless is all over these days, and unintuitive or not, it is rooted in basic physics.


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