How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 286

How does turning the dial on your radio allow your radio to distinguish between stations? How does the receiver only recognize one frequency at a time?
When you turn the dial on your radio, you are adjusting the resonant frequency of its tank circuit (or some electronic equivalent). The tank circuit only responds to charge sloshing on the antenna when that charge is moving back and forth at the tank circuit's resonant frequency. When you tune the tank so that its resonant frequency is the same as the broadcast frequency of your favorite radio station, it only responds to charge moving up and down at that frequency. As a result, your radio detects signals from your favorite station but no others.

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