Antennas are electrical circuits designed to facilitate the transmission and/or reception of electromagnetic radiation.

Antennas are specifically designed to transmit/receive as much electromagnetic radiation as possible, whereas most circuits are designed to emit/detect as little as possible. However, even a dummy load will emit a small amount of electromagnetic energy when radio-frequency oscillations are applied to it.

Optimized antennas will have dimensions of the same order as the wavelength of operation. A balanced antenna will typically be about a half-wavelength long, and an unbalanced antenna such as a vertical will typically be about a quarter-wavelength long. It is possible to shorten antennas drastically at the cost of efficiency.

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