In this Activity, students investigate properties of radiation using a handheld radio. Students compare the abilities of conductive and dielectric materials to attenuate or block, radio waves, and compare the attenuation of AM versus FM radio waves. The radio is placed inside different objects and students record which materials blocked or attenuated the waves. It is often difficult for students to visualize the electric and magnetic fields that compose light and that different frequencies of light have different wavelengths. This Activity helps students to explore these concepts in a novel fashion, and leads them to interactively investigate properties of something that can’t be seen (radiation).
Anthony A. Smith and Charles A. Smith, J. Chem. Educ. 2005, 82, p560A.