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Is an Unmodulated Carrier a Carrier?

March 16th Fact-of-the-Day

Ask a radio engineer what a carrier is and you probably will be told that a carrier is a radio frequency sinewave that is modulated in amplitude, frequency or phase by some type of information. However, the term 'carrier' has a more fundamental meaning. Two things are needed at the most fundamental level to communicate information between two points. A path of some kind must exist between the two points and there must be a vehicle of some kind to carry information over the path. The path can be a trail and the carrier can be a human being; or the path can be an electrical cable and the carrier can be electrical energy; or the path can be space and the carrier can be an electromagnetic wave. Is an unmodulated 'carrier' that is not carrying anything truly a 'carrier' or does it merely have potential to be a carrier if given information to carry? ©2005 Martek, International. All rights reserved.


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