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June 25 , 2010

Hertzian Wave Wireless Telegraphy


THE immense public interest which has been aroused of late years in the subject of telegraphy without connecting wires has undoubtedly been stimulated by the achievements of Mr. Marconi in effecting communication over great distances by means of Hertzian waves. The periodicals and daily journals, which are the chief avenues through which information reaches the public, whilst eager to describe in a sensational manner these wonderful applications of electrical principles, have done little to convey an intelligible explanation of them. Hence it appeared probable that a service would be rendered by an endeavour to present an account of the present condition of electric wave telegraphy in a manner acceptable to those unversed in the advanced technicalities of the subject, but acquainted at least with the elements of electrical science. It is the purpose of these articles to attempt this task. We shall, however, limit the discussion to an account of the scientific principles underlying the operation of this particular form of wireless telegraphy, omitting, as far as possible, references to mere questions of priority and development. The practical problem of electric wave wireless telegraphy, which has been variously called Hertzian wave telegraphy, Marconi telegraphy, or spark telegraphy (Funkentelegraphie), is that of the production of an effect called an electric wave or train of electric waves, which can be sent out from one place, controlled, detected at another place, and interpreted into an alphabetic code. Up to the present time, the chief part of that intercommunication has been effected by means of the Morse code, in which a group of long and short signs form the letter or symbol. Some attempts have been made with more or less, success to work printing telegraphs and even writing or drawing telegraphs by Hertzian waves, but have not passed beyond the experimental stage, whilst wireless telephony by this means is still a dream of the future.
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