A telephone is an electrical communication device or machine that receives and sends voice messages. It is one of the most effective communication tools that humans use. By dialing just seven numbers you can get in immediate voice communication with people nearby, and with just a few extra numbers you can connect with people in another city, state, or even as far away as another continent. In fact, the word telephone is made up of two Greek words meaning far and sound.
Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone in 1876. This patent is a license that gives Alexander Graham Bell recognition for his invention and prevents other people from copying his product and selling it.
Telephones are connected through a complicated network. The network use computers, huge lengths of copper wires, cables buried in the ground and even on the ocean floor, radio transmitters and receivers, as well as artificial satellites which orbit far above the earth.
Most telephones are connected with the telephone network by cable or wire. The messages run through wires. These wires run through the walls of our houses and buildings.
The part the people pick up or to answer a phone is called the handset. This handset has an earpiece and mouthpiece. The earpiece is the end that receives the messages and the mouthpiece is the end that people talk into to send messages to the person on the other side of the wire. These handset devices send and receive messages across the world for business and social purposes.
Other phones, for example, the cellular phone, are not connected by wires to the telephone network. Cellular phones use radio waves to connect to the telephone network.
How a Telephone Works
If a person decides to dial to communicate with another person on the phone, they must first listen to a dial tone. This dial tone sounds like a continuous tone, This sound tells the person that the phone line is available for the call. The caller then dials a specific number to communicate with the other person. These different numbers are used to connect to different phones and each phone has its own number. When the caller speaks into the mouthpiece, the network uses different kinds of machines to change the sound waves of your voice into electric currents which then are transmitted through the telephone network.
A telephone has three main parts. One of these parts is a dialing mechanism. The second part is a transmitter and the third part is called a receiver. The dialing mechanism is used to allow people to enter numbers in the telephone. The dialing mechanism is usually located between the ear and mouthpiece, or sometimes located on a separate base that connects to the telephone by a cord.
The receivers contain a diaphragm inside a flexible frame, which is surrounded by a permanent magnet. This magnet pulls on the diaphragm. There is another magnet, the electromagnet, which is hooked onto the other side of the diaphragm. This magnet is metal with wiring around it.
Different Types of Phones
There are very different kinds of telephones which are used to do different things. For example, there are computer modems. The computer modems are what people use a lot today for sending written messages. E-mailing and instant messages are written messages sent back and forth to one another using the telephone line and a computer modem.
The Fax Machine is another different use of the telephone network. The fax is like a copy machine except you can send a document to someone else using telephone lines.
Videophones are a very different use of the telephone network because instead of talking through a phone and not seeing the person, you get to see who you are talking to through a camera that sends a visual image through the network to a television.
The telephone network allows immediate voice, print and visual contact between people separated by thousands of miles. Our world seems a lot smaller after Alexander Graham Bell`s invention because now instead of taking 10 days to talk to someone on a different continent it only takes about ten seconds.
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