The most recent decades have witnessed the processes of differentiation and integration of varioussciences. On the one hand, specialization of the sciences is becoming more profound, being accompaniedby a narrowing of the various fields of knowledge with a simultaneous acquisition of more profound knowledge in each of the fields. On the other hand, at the junction between different fields which are often farapart new hybrid divisions of science and engineering are being born in which either the theoretical investigations performed in one field to explain new phenomena in another field are finding application, or an expansion is occurring of the application of experimental methods developed in one field of knowledge in orderto enhance the methods developed in other fields. A somewhat different situation developed in the field ofradio engineering, radio physics, and radio electronics in which theory and methodological questions areespecially tightly interlocked. Moreover, if one critically examines the development of these three fieldsof knowledge it is easy to notice that many of them alternately replace each other. For example, the experiments performed by H. Hertz on generation, the detection of electromagnetic waves, and the application of parabolic reflectors, considering the level at which they were performed, must, of course, be included in the field of radio physics. At the same time, the first experiments by A. S. Popov on the application of an antenna wire, a coherer, and a precoherer are radio-engineering experiments, although atfirst they served to record storm discharges but then became the foundation of radio communication. Onthe other hand, the work of the great Russian physicist P. N. Lebedev on obtaining, studying, and receiving millimeter waves, and likewise on the creation of analogs of optical instruments with which reflection,refraction, polarization, and other optical phenomena were reproduced using a wave must undoubtedly beincluded among the most brilliant pages of modern radio physics.The same should be said of the phenomena of radio-wave propagation in the bottom layer of the atmosphere, in the troposphere, in the ionosphere, and in space, where depending on the medium and the wavelength we encounter different fields of science notwithstanding the common nature (at least qualitative) ofthe problem of radio transmission by means of electrostatic waves.Personally, I never felt myself able to draw a sharp boundary between radio engineering and radiophysics. When the editorial board of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia (Second Edition) proposed that I writea paper titled “Radio Engineering, ” I requested I first be shown the paper titled “Radio Physics”; true, itdid not become any easier for me after I became acquainted with the other paper, since due to the imprecision of the separation between the notions of “radio physics” and “radio engineering” they overlap inmany ways.At the beginning of the 1950s the term “radio electronics” became generally accepted, but this notion hardly introduced any greater clarity into the problem which we are examining.Let us try to reproduce, almost exactly, the deffmitions of all three terms given in Volume 35 ofGreat Soviet Encyclopedia. There it says that radio engineering is the science of high-frequencyelectromagnetic oscillations and radio waves; the division of engineering that applies then to communication, broadcasting, image transmission, radar, navigation, control, astronomy, etc.
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