Guglielmo Marconi and the invention of radio

Guglielmo Marconi is universally recognized as the inventor of radio, the man who revolutionized communications and paved the way for a new era of global connection. 

Foto : dal web

Today, technology is an integral part of our daily lives; indeed, some people can not imagine a world without devices and connection to the network but in the second half of the nineteenth century the world was not interconnected as now. For this reason, among the technological innovations that have shaped the modern world, the invention of radio is undoubtedly a fundamental chapter. 

Despite some controversy, the authorship of radio is universally recognized by Guglielmo Marconi, an Italian inventor who played a fundamental role in the development and dissemination of this technology. 

What Guglielmo Marconi discovered: biography and contributions

Born in 1874 in Bologna, from the early years, Guglielmo Marconi showed a fervent interest in science and technology that led him to revolutionize the way he communicated thanks to his pioneering invention of radio.

At the age of twenty-one, he carried out his first significant experiment, transmitting wireless signals through a “domestic” transmitting antenna system and demonstrating the possibility of transmitting information without the use of cables.

Two years later, having sensed the impact of his discovery, he filed a patent for wireless telegraph transmission in London and founded the telecommunications company Wireless Telegraph Trading Signal Company (later renamed Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company).

Shortly thereafter, he experimented with radio communication between ships aboard the Royal Navy’s Carlo Alberto, providing the tool that would significantly contribute to the rescue of the survivors of the sinking of the Titanic.

1909 is the year in which Marconi received the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm, sharing it with Karl Ferdinand Braun, for his contribution to the development of wireless telegraphy. 

In the 1930s, the inventor devoted himself to the study of microwaves, thus providing the basis for radar development.

Further experiments and innovations in telecommunications accompanied him in the following years, until Guglielmo Marconi died in 1937. Cause of death was a heart attack.

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The doubt: is the inventor of the radio Tesla or Marconi?

Today the name of Guglielmo Marconi is linked to the history of radio, but the debate on who invented radio has been the subject of controversy over the years. 

The Italian inventor is known for his pioneering work in wireless transmission and has been successful in transmitting radio signals over long distances, even reaching transatlantic transmission. 

On the other hand, however, the Serbian physicist and engineer Nikola Tesla was the first to use electromagnetic waves for wireless remote transmission. 

In an attempt to end the dispute, the English High Court of Justice recognized the paternity of the radio to Marconi the day after the Nobel Prize was awarded.

Despite this recognition, the United States Supreme Court gave credit for inventing radio to Nikola Tesla. However, in addition to keeping the debate alive, the judgment of the 1930s is only valid on American soil.

Although Marconi is often acknowledged for completing radio broadcasting, it is undeniable that the Serbian experiments have made an important contribution to radio technology and, Thus, one should embrace the idea of an evolution of technology as the result of collective ideas and efforts.

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Guglielmo Marconi: 9 curiosities

The interest around the inventor of the universally recognized radio shows no sign of diminishing even after decades. Here are some curiosities about Guglielmo Marconi:

  • For example, Marconi filed the patent in London because the then Minister of Post and Telegraphs, Pietro Lacava, dismissed it and refused the grant request.
  • I respect who was the true inventor of radio, Marconi denied having read the research of the Serbian colleague, claiming to have found inspiration in the studies of Rudolph Hertz.
  • Why did Guglielmo Marconi win the Nobel Prize? The Prize was awarded to him in recognition of his contribution to the development of wireless communications, that is, for creating the innovation that later led to the development of modern radio.
  • The first radio could only transmit electrical signals thanks to a generator, an oscillator (born from the genius of Hertz) that transformed the current into radio waves, an antenna and a metal-filed detector for reception.
  • What was the first radio message sent across the Atlantic Ocean? The first radio message consisted of the sequence of three letters: S.O. S.
  • Few people are aware of the international recognition given to Marconi for his contributions. He was honored with the title of Sir from England for the technology used to manage the recovery of survivors of the sinking of the Titanic.
  • Guglielmo Marconi also obtained recognition from Italy, becoming first senator and later Marquis. He also received the important charge of presiding over the Academy of Italy and was appointed president of the Italian Encyclopedia.
  • Guglielmo Marconi taught at the university, sharing his knowledge as a professor of electromagnetic waves at the Sapienza of Rome. 
  • The inventor was depicted on a hundred lire coin in the seventies and on a two thousand lire note until the entry into force of the euro.

The endless applications of his discoveries are now summarized in the smartphones that we carry in our pockets, because phone and mobile internet travel today on radio waves.

Copertina: dal web

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