How Everything Works
How Everything Works How Everything Works

Question 288

How is charge distributed to a tank circuit with the "correct" frequency?
The transmitting station has an electrical oscillator, an electronic system that experiences periodic reversals of current. This oscillator contains a tank circuit or some other clock-like system that acts as a timekeeper. With the help of its timekeeper, the oscillator causes the transmitting station to send current to the main antenna tank circuit at just the right moments to sustain and enhance the sloshing current there. The oscillator and the current sloshing in the tank circuit remain in perfect synchrony with one another. One of the best clock-like systems is a quartz crystal oscillator, like that in a typical wristwatch. In a quartz oscillator, a quartz crystal vibrates like the bar of a xylophone. In a watch, these vibrations are used to control a digital clock system so that it keeps accurate time. In a transmitter, these vibrations are used to control the distribution of current to the tank circuit at the antenna.

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