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National Association of Broadcasters
Heinrich Hertz Detects and Produces Radio Waves (1888)

Moment 72: Heinrich Hertz Detects and Produces Radio Waves

In 1888, German physicist Heinrich Hertz produced and detected electromagnetic waves in his laboratory by using a spark gap attached to an induction coil and a separate spark gap on a receiving antenna. He accomplished his goal of verifying predictions by Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell that light and heat are electromagnetic radiations. His discovery made possible the inventions of radio, television, satellite communications, mobile phones, radar and other devices.

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November 2, 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the first commercial radio broadcast. To celebrate this special anniversary, we’re shining a spotlight on 100 key moments in radio's history.

We hope you’ll join us in celebrating your favorite radio memories throughout 2020. Use the hashtag #Radio100 across social media to share these moments with the world. Here’s to 100 wonderful years of radio, and to at least 100 more!

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