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Radio wave attenuation and scattering and absorption

  1. Jul 23, 2012 #1
    I am trying to understand why radio waves are not greatly attenuated by the atmosphere due to scattering or absorption? I have tried searching the internet and can't find any satisfactory answers. Please help.
    Oh and does this property somehow relate to why they are used to transmit information.
    And I am only just starting physics so please explain in simple terms.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 23, 2012 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    For the most part, air (the atmosphere) is a lossless dielectric, with EM propagation very similar to a vacuum (free space). Why would you expect scattering and absorption at radio frequencies?

    Are you instead thinking of the ionosphere? It is conductive enough to influence the propatation of radio waves...
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