Radio waves Vs Microwaves

Electromagnetic Waves

         Energy in the form of microwaves, infrared radiation (IR), visible light, ultraviolet light (UV), X-rays, Radio waves and gamma rays are all transmitted via electromagnetic waves.

         Typically, electromagnetic radiation is thought of as a wave motion. The magnetic and electronic fields oscillate in directions that are opposite from one another and the wave’s velocity.

Types of Waves

Types of Waves
Types of Waves with ranges

Why study Electromagnetic Waves and Microwaves?

         Due to their many applications, particularly in the telecommunications industry, microwaves and radio waves are two of the most commonly employed forms of electromagnetic waves. Since they were first utilized during times of conflict, they essentially unite us all.

Radio waves

  • In the electromagnetic spectrum, radio waves have the least frequencies and the longest wavelengths.
  • The radio waves have wavelengths between 1 mm and 100 km and have a frequency between 3 kHz to 300 GHz.
  • Radio waves move at the speed of light in a vacuum, just like all other electromagnetic radiation.
  • Natural sources of radio waves include celestial objects and lightning.
  • Information are transmitted over a long distance.
  • Through the use of an antenna, a radio collects radio waves and transforms them into sound waves.
  • High frequency waves can be reflected by the upper layer of the atmosphere; each radio station in a region broadcast at a distinct frequency. This makes it possible for the waves to travel over long distances.

How radio waves are produced?

  • A wire is subjected to a direct electrical current.
  • There is a built-in electromagnetic field.
  • This field radiates a wave from the wire. The field dissipates when the current is interrupted.
  • This causes a new wave to be sent.
  • Over time, the current is repeatedly applied and removed. If the current frequently changes its polarity or direction, waves may also be produced.
  • The creation of radio waves inside transmitters is essentially explained by this phenomenon, which forms the basis of electromagnetism.
  • Natural processes like nuclear fusion in a star can produce radio waves and other types of electromagnetic radiation.

Features of Radio waves

  • Long distances can be covered by radio waves. Materials can be penetrated by radio waves.
  • Radio waves cannot be felt as they are invisible.
  • Lightning and celestial objects with shifting magnetic fields naturally emit radio waves.
  • Additionally, different electric currents can produce them. Reflection, refraction, absorption, diffraction, and polarization all occur in radio waves.
  • Both electric and magnetic components can be found in radio waves.
  • At the speed of light, they move and transform the copper wire’s electrons. Make electrical currents flow across the wire.

Advantages of radio waves

  • The ability of radio waves to deliver messages over great distances is a benefit.

Disadvantages of radio waves

  • Radio waves have a low frequency, which limits their ability to deliver large amounts of data at once.

Applications of radio waves

  • Mobile communication, television.
  • Radio waves are used for communication.
  • Transmit data wirelessly over non-conductive materials without the use of wires
  • Radio waves of a specific frequency are captured using resonance.
  • Images can also be created using radio waves.
  • Used in AM/FM radio, space probes, television, and Wi-Fi

Real Time Radio Wave Applications

Radio waves are used in medicine.

  • The use of radio frequency (RF) radiation in medical procedures:
    • For coagulation and minimally invasive operations.
  • Radio frequency waves are used in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI):
    • Create human body picture images.

Radio waves reflect, they can be used Navigation

  • Detect an object’s presence;
  • Detect an object’s speed;
  • Map an object.

Radar Application

  • Air traffic control to monitor and direct aircraft
  • Speeding vehicles are monitored by traffic police
  • Weaponry are monitored by the military
  • Storms, volcanoes, and hurricanes are monitored by meteorologists


  • The wavelength of a microwave, an electromagnetic wave, can range from 10 micrometers to 10 meters.
  • High frequency electromagnetic oscillators typically produce these waves in electrical circuits.
  • Radar, telemetry, and microwave ovens all frequently employ microwaves.
  • Telephone communications are also transmitted using them.
  • Since microwave energy can pass through clouds, smoke, light rain, and snow, it is useful for sending information from one location to another. Remote sensing uses microwaves with a shorter wavelength.

Microwaves Features

  • Microwave have wavelengths between 30 cm and 3 mm with a frequency that ranges from 3 billion cycles per second (3 GHz) to around 30 terahertz (THz).
Microwave Features
  • Unlike mechanical waves, which require a medium to propagate, microwaves can travel through a variety of media. Because they move in straight lines, microwaves are hardly ever impacted by the troposphere. They are neither refracted nor reflected by the upper atmosphere’s ionized regions.

How micro waves are produced?

  • Vacuum tube technology, which relies on the ballistic motion of electrons governed by magnetic or electric fields, generates microwaves.
  • Instead of using a continuous flow of electrons, they operate in the density modulated mode, which is based on clumps of electrons traveling through them in a ballistic manner.
  • Some solid-state devices, such as the FET (field effect transistor), the tunnel diode, the Gunn diode, and the IMPATT diode, can generate lower power microwaves.

Advantages of Microwaves

  • Microwave energy can pass through smoke, clouds, light rain, and snow.

Disadvantages of Microwaves

  • If there are any obstructions, such as brand-new buildings, the line of sight will be obstructed.
  • The atmosphere’s signal absorption. Atmospheric conditions cause attenuation in microwaves.

Applications of Microwaves

  • Radar Telemetry
  • Terrestrial & Satellite Communication
  • Oven

Real Time Applications of Microwave

Microwave Oven

  • Microwaves vibrate the molecules of water and fat, heating them up. This enables molecular friction which produces heat to cook meals in the microwave oven.

Microwave in Transmission

  • Microwaves are also used in mobile phones since they can be produced by a tiny antenna, allowing for the creation of miniature phones.Transmitter towers are used by network service providers, and the more towers you have, the more likely it is that your customers will have a better signal.
Microwave in Transmission


  • Microwaves are also employed by “RADAR,” which stands for “RAdio Detection And Ranging,” and fixed traffic speed cameras.

Radio Waves Vs Microwaves

Frequently asked Questions

When comparing the radio waves and microwaves which one is better, Why?

  • The lowest energy photons are found in radio waves.
  • Radio waves lack the energy that microwaves do.
  • While radio waves are typically utilized for communication, microwaves are mostly used in industry and astronomy.
  • Radio waves travel more slowly than microwaves.

List few similarities that found in Radio waves and microwaves

  • Through air, they move at the same speed.
  • Through a hoover, they move at the same pace. Both of them are transverse waves.
  • They can also be reflected, refracted, diffracted, and absorbed, which are other acceptable responses.

Why microwaves better than radio waves?

         As microwaves have more energy it is better than are better than radio wave.

Which is more secure radio waves or microwaves

Microwaves are not ionizing and typically do not produce ionization, yet they still have sufficient energy to damage our tissue by transferring sufficient kinetic energy to our atoms, i.e., by heating us up.

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