By Dedi Walker
RF is an acronym that stands for Radio Frequency. Radio Frequency is a term that is usually referring to a rate of oscillation that takes place in the range of 30 kHz to 300 Ghz. These correspond to a special frequency that is used to transmit and receive radio waves, which is where the name comes from.
RF is a term that is almost always referring to an electrical oscillation, as opposed to a mechanical oscillation. However, it is important to note that mechanical systems of this type do indeed exist.
Before radio communication can be received, it is necessary to have an antenna in place to pick it up. However, since an antenna cannot distinguish between the thousands of signals that it will pick up at the exact same time during use, a tuner is needed to narrow down the source of the signal.
A tuner will help you to tune in to a specific frequency, which will in turn help you control what "channel" you are dialing into and picking up with your antenna. The tuner usually makes use of a resonator that amplifies oscillations of the desired frequency to a point where they are distinguishable over the rest of the "noise".
RF energy is also used in the medical field. For example, some minimally invasive surgeries make use of RF energy for coagulation and radio frequency ablation. This, for example, can be used to treat conditions such as sleep apnea.
RF electrical currents also display a very interesting set of properties. For example, RF currents can ionize air and create conductive paths right through it. Another example lies in how RF electrical currents travel along the surface of conductors instead of penetrating through...aka the "skin effect".
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