Q. In the oscillator lab lesson we build some LC oscillators and then pick up their signals on an AM radio. Why do the oscillators give off radio signals?
A. A radio wave is an electromagnetic wave. An alternating electric and magnetic ñeld travel together through space for each cycle of the wave. They travel at the speed of light. These waves are produced any time we have an alternating current in a conductor.
The wires and clips that you use to connect up the components of the oscillator act as tiny transmitting antennas. The power is low and the “antennas” are much shorter than the Wavelength of the signal, but a little energy is still radiated