Wireles Networking is a practical guide to planning and building low-cost telecommunications infrastructure. See the editorial for more information....

Physics in the Real World

Don't worry if the concepts in this chapter seem challenging. Understanding how radio waves propagate and interact with the environment is a complex field of study in itself. Most people find it difficult to understand phenomena that they can't even see with their own eyes. By now you should understand that radio waves don't travel in a straight, predictable path. To make reliable communication networks, you will need to be able to calculate how much power is needed to cross a given distance, and predict how the waves will travel along the way.

There is much more to learn about radio physics than we have room for here. For more information about this evolving field, see the resources list in Appendix A. Now that you have an idea of how to predict how radio waves will interact in the real world, you are ready to start using them for communications.

Last Update: 2007-01-13