What are the types of radio waves

Electromagnetic spectrum

Radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. The wavelengths can be longer than a soccer field and smaller than a soccer ball. Long wavelengths have the advantage that signals can be transmitted over great distances because the signal follows the curvature of the earth. However, only a small amount of information can be transmitted at once, which is why many applications today work with shorter wavelengths. For example, there used to be many long and medium wave radio stations. Today most radio stations broadcast exclusively in the VHF range.

If you want to know more about antennas, their shapes and historical developments in broadcasting, you can find information on the steam radio page.

Long and long waves

Long waves (very low frequency, VLF)

Wavelength: 10 to 100 \ (\, \) km

Frequency: 3 to 30 \ (\, \) kHz

Long waves (low frequency, LF)

Wavelength: 1 to 10 \ (\, \) km

Frequency: 30 to 300 \ (\, \) kHz

Application: Transmission of messages and radio over long distances (e.g. communication with submarines).

Medium and short wave

Medium frequency (MF)

Wavelength: 100 \ (\, \) m to 1 \ (\, \) km

Frequency: 300 to 3000 \ (\, \) kHz

Short waves (high frequency, HF)

Wavelength: 10 to 100 \ (\, \) m

Frequency: 3 to 30 MHz

Application: Amateur radio, now rarely for radio.

Ultra-short waves

(very high frequency, VHF)

Wavelength: 1 to 10 \ (\, \) m

Frequency: 30 to 300 MHz

Application: radio, amateur radio, emergency radio (e.g. from police and fire brigade).

Information from space

Radio waves are not only created artificially by humans: many objects in space also emit radiation in the radio wave range. The radio radiation coming from space is examined by means of large telescopes and gives us information about distant stars and galaxies. Including the Very Large Array in New Mexico, which is composed of 27 individual telescopes (Fig. 4).