What is RF?

Radio Frequency

Short for radio frequency, RF consists of waves of electromagnetic energy moving through space.  All types of electromagnetic energy are grouped together in the electromagnetic spectrum.  RF waves can be characterized by a wavelength and a frequency.  The number of waves generated in one second is known as frequency and it is measured in cycles per second or Hertz (Hz).  The wavelength is the distance covered by one complete cycle of the electromagnetic wave.  The higher the frequency, the shorter is the wavelength.  RF is generally defined as that part of the spectrum where electromagnetic waves have frequencies in the range of about 3 kHz to 300 GHz

Often the term RF is used to indicate the presence of electromagnetic field or RF energy.  RF energy is mainly used in telecommunications, emanated by transmitting antennas or to generate heat in many industrial applications.

These frequencies make up part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum:

  • Ultra-low frequency (ULF) — 0-3 Hz
  • Extremely low frequency (ELF) — 3 Hz – 3 kHz
  • Very low frequency (VLF) — 3kHz – 30 kHz
  • Low frequency (LF) — 30 kHz – 300 kHz
  • Medium frequency (MF) — 300 kHz – 3 MHz
  • High frequency (HF) — 3MHz – 30 MHz
  • Very high frequency (VHF) — 30 MHz – 300 MHz
  • Ultra-high frequency (UHF)– 300MHz – 3 GHz
  • Super high frequency (SHF) — 3GHz – 30 GHz
  • Extremely high frequency (EHF) — 30GHz – 300 GHz