0 Morty Asked: June 13, 2019In: Physics What exactly are radio waves? How are we able to transmit (cause) and receive them? 0 Looking for a specific, molecular explanation. In: Physics Share Facebook 2 Answers Voted WRSaunders Added an answer on June 13, 2019 at 4:29 am Radio waves are streams of photons. These are fundamental particles, but not matter like molecules. Photons can have many different frequencies, and a narrow band of those frequencies can be detected by our eyes. We call photons in those frequencies light. Radio waves are much longer, lower frequency than light. We mostly make radio waves with antennas. At its most ELI5, an antenna is a wire made of conductive atoms, like copper. Electricity in the wire excites the electrons in these atoms, adding energy to the electrons. When the electrons relax to their resting state, they have to release the energy, so they produce a photon and it zips away at the speed of light. Making a large or powerful radio signal is more complicated, you need a wire of the right length to spread out the excited electrons and you need the electricity to alternate at the right frequency, but it all builds on this effect. This is also related to how an LED works, but the LED makes photons in that narrow range we can see. 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Target880 Added an answer on June 13, 2019 at 3:48 am The explanation for individual molecules is not what you what. Radio is [Electromagnetic_radiation](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_radiation) so you should look at is from a electric and magnet point of view. It is moving charges. Magnetic and electric effect follow [Maxwell’s equations](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maxwell%27s_equations) and from them you can get electromagnetic waves. So in may way is happen on a lower lever then molecules because electromagnetism is one of four fundamental forces, the other is the week and strong force that is relevant for atomic nucleus, the last one is gravity. So it is a lot more the case that electron in a atom and interaction between atoms is explained by electromagnetism. So radio waves in on lower level then molecules. If you have a electric conductor and then move electric charges trough it ie a electron you will create electromagnetic radiation. The opposite is also true and if a electromagnetic wave move over a electric conductor it will create a current. It will always happen even it you do not like it to happen but the amount radiated away depend on the physical structure of the conductor and other conductors around it. So you maximize it for a antenna and minimize in other part. There is legal requirement for testing electronics so the do not create to strong radio waves unintentionally. So radio signal is created buy running a changing current trough a conductor. The amount it will radiate away depend on the physical shape and for a simple antenna a wire that is connect to a circuit on one end and the other end is not connected to anything. You also need to have it the correct length depending on the frequency. The molecules in the antenna in not important as long as they conduct electricity. The radio signal is created from the moving electron the the rest of the atom 0 Reply Share Share Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share on WhatsApp Leave an answerLeave an answerCancel reply Attachment Select file Browse Featured image Select file Browse What is the capital of UK? ( London ) Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.