MLA Citation: Bloomfield, Louis A. "Question 289"
How Everything Works 20 Jan 2018. 20 Jan 2018 <http://howeverythingworks.org/print1.php?QNum=289>.
289. How is the charge moving in the waves related to what is actually played on the radio?
First, there isn't any charge moving in the waves themselves. The waves contain only electric and magnetic fields. These fields will push on any electric charges or magnetic poles they encounter, but they are not themselves electrically charges or magnetically poled. The amount of fields in a radio used for audio transmission depend on the station's transmitting power and on the encoding format for the music. In AM (Amplitude Modulation) encoding, the music is encoded as the strength of the radio waves. Each time the radio wave's strength goes up and down once, the speaker cone in your receiver goes forward and backward once. In FM (Frequency Modulation) encoding, the radio wave's strength remains steady but its precise frequency changes slightly. Each time the radio wave's frequency goes up and down once, the speaker cone in your receiver goes forward and backward once.

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