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Born: April 25, 1874, Bologna, Italy
Died: July 20, 1937, Rome

Guglielmo Marconi was an Italian physicist and inventor of a successful system of radio telegraphy (1896). In 1909 he received the Nobel Prize for Physics, which he shared with German physicist Ferdinand Braun. He later worked on the development of shortwave wireless communication, which constitutes the basis of nearly all modern long-distance radio. Major discoveries and innovations In December 1901, Marconi succeeded in receiving at St. John's, Newfoundland, signals transmitted across the Atlantic Ocean from Poldhu in Cornwall, England. This achievement created an enormous sensation in every part of the civilized world, and even though a lot remained to be learned about the laws of propagation of radio waves around the Earth and through the atmosphere, it was the starting point of the vast development of radio communications, broadcasting, and navigation services that took place in the next 50 years, in which Marconi himself continued to play an important part.

In 1902, Marconi received messages from distances of 1,125 km (700 miles) by day and 3,200 km (2,000 miles) by night. He was the first to discover that, because some radio waves travel by reflection from the upper regions of the atmosphere, transmission conditions are sometimes more favourable at night than during the day. In 1910 he received messages at Buenos Aires from Clifden in Ireland over a distance of approximately 9,650 km (6,000 miles), using a wavelength of about 8,000 metres (5 miles). Finally in September 1918, Marconi was able to send the first radio message from England to Australia.