Who first invented radio?

Posted on Feb 4, 2021      71

With the spread of television and the Internet, wireless communication that uses radio waves as a medium has lost much of its popularity in the home, but radio is still an important form of communication in many areas of human activity. Do you know who first invented radio?

It is impossible to answer this question definitively, because in the world history the identity of the first inventor is controversial. The fact is that the very key invention of wireless communication using the entire frequency spectrum, namely the spark gap transmitter, is attributed to several scientists at once. Among them are the famous Serbian inventor Nikola Tesla, the Russian physicist Alexander Popov and the Italian radio engineer Guglielmo Marconi.

History of Radio

The history of radio actually began long before their inventions, in fact, back in 1820 when a simple experiment by Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted linked magnetism to electricity by showing how a wire with current flowing through it caused the magnetic compass hand to bend.

Eleven years later, in 1831, the English scientist Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction. He was the first to predict the existence of electromagnetic waves, founded the doctrine of the electromagnetic field, and designed the first model of an electric motor. Faraday’s work was continued in the 1860s by the British scientist James Maxwell. These discoveries laid the groundwork for the future invention of radio.

The world’s first patent for wireless communication was received in 1872 by Malone Loomis, and as early as 1878 the English and American inventor David Hughes, inventor of the microphone, the printing telegraph, inductive scales and the sonometer, received and transmitted radio waves for the first time in history. It happened by chance during an experiment when Hughes noticed that an inductive pendulum caused noise in the receiver of his telephone. Two years later the scientist showed his discovery, but called it simply induction.

American inventor Thomas Edison received a patent for a system of radio communication between ships in 1885, but he later sold his invention to Guglielmo Marconi. During the following years of the 19th century, scientists from around the world invented various important parts that would be used in radio engineering in the future, and confirming the very existence of radio emission.

As you can see, the very prehistory of the development of radio includes many names of prominent scientists, without whose works and experiments it would be impossible to imagine the further development of wireless communication, but why the main inventors of radio named three scientists at once?

Inventions by Tesla, Popov, Marconi and others

In 1893, Nikola Tesla showed wireless radio communications to the public. He used an apparatus that contained all the elements used in early radio systems before electronic tubes. It was Tesla who was the first to use electrical conduction specifically for wireless communication. Other experimenters later used his electromagnetic receiver. After Tesla’s demonstration, interest in the principles of radio communication increased, and other scientists worked on this type of wireless communication.

In 1984, independently of each other, British physicist Oliver Lodge and Indian physicist Jagadish Chandra Bose showed signal reception using radio waves, but they were not interested in patenting their work. The very next year, Alexander Popov introduced to the public a machine that could receive radio signals carrying information in Morse code. This began the era of radio technology suitable for practical purposes.

In 1896, Guglielmo Marconi showed a device that could both transmit and receive radio signals. He received a patent for an apparatus for transmitting electrical impulses and improving the transmission process itself. This patent was the first in radio, even though Marconi used the methods of other experimenters, primarily Tesla, and also used instruments invented and showed earlier, including those used by Popov.

Tesla received two other key patents in radio in 1900, but it was Marconi who received the patent for the invention of radio from the U.S. Patent Office. Historians attribute this to the fact that the Italian was also a skillful entrepreneur, and behind his back in the United States was Thomas Edison, a powerful financial patron and Tesla’s enemy.