Tracer galaxies probe the cosmic background

The universe, perhaps surprisingly, is not comprised of galaxies randomly distributed throughout space; that is, it is not very homogeneous. Instead, its galaxies are clustered into distinct structures, typically gigantic ...

What happened before the Big Bang?

A team of scientists has proposed a powerful new test for inflation, the theory that the universe dramatically expanded in size in a fleeting fraction of a second right after the Big Bang. Their goal is to give insight into ...

Diamond – an indispensable material in fusion technology

Fusion power plants promise nearly unlimited climate-friendly energy and scientists worldwide cooperate to reach this goal. A little known aspect of this highly specialized field of research concerns diamond which is in fact ...

CFRP recycling—into the battery instead of the garbage

Carbon fiber-reinforced plastics are gaining importance as components of aircraft. The trend is increasing the need for sustainable recycling concepts. At the ILA from April 25 to 29, 2018 in Berlin, Fraunhofer will present ...

The future of wireless communications is terahertz

Electrical and optical engineers in Australia have designed a novel platform that could tailor telecommunication and optical transmissions. Collaborating scientists from the University of New South Wales in Sydney and Canberra, ...

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Microwaves are electromagnetic waves with wavelengths ranging from 1 m down to 1 mm, or equivalently, with frequencies between 0.3 GHz and 300 GHz.

Apparatus and techniques may be described qualitatively as "microwave" when the wavelengths of signals are roughly the same as the dimensions of the equipment, so that lumped-element circuit theory is inaccurate. As a consequence, practical microwave technique tends to move away from the discrete resistors, capacitors, and inductors used with lower frequency radio waves. Instead, distributed circuit elements and transmission-line theory are more useful methods for design and analysis. Open-wire and coaxial transmission lines give way to waveguides, and lumped-element tuned circuits are replaced by cavity resonators or resonant lines. Effects of reflection, polarization, scattering, diffraction and atmospheric absorption usually associated with visible light are of practical significance in the study of microwave propagation. The same equations of electromagnetic theory apply at all frequencies.

While the name may suggest a micrometer wavelength, it is better understood as indicating wavelengths very much smaller than those used in radio broadcasting. The boundaries between far infrared light, terahertz radiation, microwaves, and ultra-high-frequency radio waves are fairly arbitrary and are used variously between different fields of study. The term microwave generally refers to "alternating current signals with frequencies between 0.3 GHz (3×108 Hz) and 300 GHz (3×1011 Hz)." Both IEC standard 60050 and IEEE standard 100 define "microwave" frequencies starting at 1 GHz (30 cm wavelength).

Electromagnetic waves longer (lower frequency) than microwaves are called "radio waves". Electromagnetic radiation with shorter wavelengths may be called "millimeter waves", terahertz radiation or even T-rays. Definitions differ for millimeter wave band, which the IEEE defines as 110 GHz to 300 GHz.

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