Rob Vincent, an employee in the University of Rhode Islands Physics Department, proves the adage that necessity is the mother of invention.
An amateur radio operator since he was 14, Vincent has always lived in houses situated on small lots. Because he couldnt erect a large antenna on a confined property, he has been continually challenged over the years to find a way to get better reception.
"I was always tinkering in the basement. Thank goodness, my parents were tolerant. I can still remember my poor father driving up our driveway after a hard days work to see wires wrapped around the house," Vincent recalls. "The Holy Grail of antenna technology is to create a small antenna with high efficiency and wide bandwidth," explains Vincent. "According to current theory, you have to give up one of the three--size, efficiency, or bandwidth--to achieve any one of the other two."
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