The polarity of charges and the direction of the electric fields will reverse polarity and direction
periodically at the frequency of the voltage source. The electric field will build up from zero to maximum
in one direction and then collapse back to zero. Next, the field will build up to maximum in the opposite
direction and then collapse back to zero. This complete reversal occurs during a single cycle of the source
voltage. The HALF-WAVE DIPOLE ANTENNA (two separate rods in line as illustrated in figure 1-27)
is the fundamental element normally used as a starting point of reference in any discussion concerning the
radiation of electromagnetic energy into space. If rf energy from the ac generator (or transmitter) is
supplied to the element of an antenna, the voltage across the antenna lags the current by 90 degrees. The
antenna acts as if it were a capacitor.
When current flows through a conductor, a magnetic field is set up in the area surrounding the
conductor. In fact, any moving electrical charge will create a magnetic field. The magnetic field is a
region in space where a magnetic force can be detected and measured. There are two other fields
involvedan INDUCTION FIELD, which exists close to the conductor carrying the current, and the
RADIATION FIELD, which becomes detached from the current-carrying rod and travels through space.
To represent the magnetic field, lines of force are again used to illustrate the energy. Magnetic lines
are not drawn between the rods, nor between high- and low-potential points, as the E lines that were
discussed earlier. Magnetic lines are created by the flow of current rather than the force of voltage. The
magnetic lines of force, therefore, are drawn at right angles to the direction of current flow.
The magnetic fields that are set up around two parallel rods, as shown in figure 1-28 view A, are in
maximum opposition. Rod 1 contains a current flowing from the generator, while rod 2 contains a current
flowing toward the generator. As a result, the direction of the magnetic field surrounding rod 1 is opposite
the direction of the magnetic field surrounding rod 2. This will cause cancellation of part or all of both
magnetic fields with a resultant decrease in radiation of the electromagnetic energy. View B illustrates the
fact that if the far ends of rods 1 and 2 are separated from each other while the rods are still connected to
the generator at the near ends, more space, and consequently less opposition, will occur between the
magnetic fields of the two rods. View C illustrates the fact that placing the rods in line makes the currents
through both rods flow in the same direction. Therefore, the two magnetic fields are in the same direction;
thus, maximum electromagnetic radiation into space can be obtained.