Glossary  >  Radio Frequency

Radio Frequency


Radio frequency (RF) refers to the rate of oscillation within the range of 3 kHz to 300 GHz, which occurs in alternating electric currents or electromagnetic waves.

Within this frequency range, energy can radiate off a conductor in the form of radio waves—thus defining the radio frequency range.

Electromagnetic waves within this spectrum are measured using two parameters:

  • Wavelength, which describes the distance covered by one complete cycle of the wave.
  • Frequency, which describes the number of waves passing a point in one second and is measured in Hertz (Hz), including its multiples: Kilohertz (kHz), Megahertz (MHz), and Gigahertz (GHz).

Different bands within the radio frequency range also have distinct names. For instance, millimeter waves (mmWave) refer to radio waves with wavelengths between 1 cm and 10 cm, corresponding to frequencies between 30 GHz and 300 GHz.

Radio frequency bands

Radio frequency bands

The radio frequency range is utilized in various technologies and applications, including:

  • Radio broadcasting, like AM and FM radio
  • Wireless cellular communications such as 5G
  • Radio frequency remote controls
  • Remote sensing, including weather forecasting
  • Satellite navigation systems, such as GPS

Example of Radio Frequency in a sentence

"Radio frequency waves occupy the lower limits of the electromagnetic spectrum."

Related Terms for Radio Frequency

See Also: How to Boost Cell Phone Signal and Improve Reception