Guglielmo Marconi于1874年4月25日出生于意大利博洛尼亚。他出生于意大利贵族，是意大利乡村贵族朱塞佩马可尼的第二个儿子，也是爱尔兰韦克斯福德郡达芙妮城堡安德鲁詹姆森的女儿安妮詹姆森。马可尼和他的哥哥阿方索是由他们的母亲在英国贝德福德抚养长大的。在他1909年的诺贝尔奖获奖演讲中，马可尼谦卑地谈到他缺乏正规教育。 “在描绘我与无线电报的关联历史时，我可能会提到我从未以常规的方式学过物理或电子技术，尽管作为一个男孩我对这些科目非常感兴趣，”他说。 已经对科学和电力感兴趣，马可尼18岁时回到意大利，在那里他被博洛尼亚大学物理学教授，海因里希赫兹电磁波研究专家Augusto Righi邀请到大学讲学。并使用其图书馆和实验室。虽然他从未从大学毕业，但马可尼后来在佛罗伦萨的Istituto Cavallero上课。在19世纪90年代早期还是青少年期间，马可尼开始研究“无线电报”，电报信号的传输和接收，而没有电子电报所需的连接线，这种连接线在19世纪30年代由Samuel Morse完善。虽然无线电报已被众多研究人员和发明人探索了50多年，但尚未创造出成功的设备。 1888年Heinrich Hertz证明了电磁辐射 – 无线电波的“赫兹”波可以在实验室中产生和检测，这是一个突破。在他于1896年初抵达英格兰后不久，现年22岁的马可尼找到了热切的支持者，特别是英国邮政局。到1897年3月，马可尼申请了他的第一批专利，并证明他的无线电能够在12英里（19.3公里）的距离内传输莫尔斯电码信号。 1898年，他在怀特岛建造的无线电台让女王陛下与她的儿子爱德华王子在皇家游艇上交流，给维多利亚女王留下了深刻的印象。 20岁时，马可尼开始在他位于意大利Pontecchio的家中的阁楼上试验赫兹的无线电波。 1894年夏天，在他的管家米尼亚尼的协助下，他建立了一个成功的风暴警报，当它检测到远处闪电产生的无线电波时，电铃响起。 1894年12月，仍然在他的阁楼里工作，马可尼向他的母亲展示了一个工作的无线电发射器和接收器，通过按下位于房间对面的按钮在房间响铃。在他父亲的经济帮助下，马可尼继续开发能够在更远距离工作的无线电和发射器。到1895年中期，马可尼已开发出一种能够在户外传输无线电信号的无线电和天线，但距离最远可能距离是由受人尊敬的物理学家奥利弗洛奇预测的最大可能距离。通过修补不同类型和高度的天线，马可尼很快将他的无线电传输范围扩大到两英里（3.2公里），并开始寻求建立第一个完整的，商业上成功的无线电系统所需的资金。当他自己的意大利政府没有兴趣为他的工作提供资金时，马可尼收拾了他的实验室，并与他的母亲一起搬回英国。 1899年，他的无线电信号现在跨越英吉利海峡70英里（113.4公里）的部分，马可尼前往美国，通过提供有关美洲杯游艇比赛的无线电报，建立了他快速增长的“摇滚明星”的名声。被关押在新泽西州海岸的大西洋。尽管马可尼的收音机范围不断扩大，但当时许多物理学家都争辩说，由于无线电波以直线传播，信号的传输超出了大西洋 – 就像大西洋一样 – 是不可能的。然而，马可尼认为无线电波遵循地球的曲率。事实上，两者都是正确的。虽然无线电波确实以直线传播，但当它们撞击大气层（称为电离层）的离子丰富层时，它们会反弹或“跳过”回到地球，因此接近马可尼的曲线。通过利用这种跳跃效应，可以在很大的“超视距”距离上接收无线电信号。在马可尼第一次尝试接收从英格兰发送的无线电信号后，距离马萨诸塞州科德角约3,000英里（4,800公里）的地方失败了，他决定尝试更短的距离，从英格兰西南端的康沃尔的Poldhu到圣。约翰斯，纽芬兰，位于加拿大东北海岸。
Guglielmo Marconi was born in Bologna, Italy, on April 25, 1874. Born into Italian nobility, he was the second son of Italian country aristocrat Giuseppe Marconi and Annie Jameson, daughter of Andrew Jameson of Daphne Castle in County Wexford, Ireland. Marconi and his older brother Alfonso were raised by their mother in Bedford, England. In his 1909 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Marconi humbly spoke of his lack of formal education. “In sketching the history of my association with radiotelegraphy, I might mention that I never studied physics or electrotechnics in the regular manner, although as a boy I was deeply interested in those subjects,” he said. Already interested in science and electricity, Marconi returned to Italy at age 18, where he was invited by his neighbor Augusto Righi, professor of physics at the University of Bologna and expert on the electromagnetic wave research of Heinrich Hertz, to attend lectures at the university and use its library and laboratories. While he never graduated from college, Marconi later attended classes at the Istituto Cavallero in Florence. While still a teenager in the early 1890s, Marconi began working on “wireless telegraphy,” the transmission and reception of telegraph signals without the connecting wires required by the electric telegraph that had been perfected in the 1830s by Samuel Morse. While wireless telegraphy had been explored by numerous researchers and inventors for over 50 years, none had yet created a successful device. A breakthrough came in 1888 when Heinrich Hertz demonstrated that “Hertzian” waves of electromagnetic radiation—radio waves—could be produced and detected in the laboratory. Shortly after he arrived in England in early 1896, the now 22-year old Marconi had no problem finding eager backers, particularly the British Post Office. By March 1897, Marconi had applied for his first patents and had demonstrated that his radio was capable of transmitting Morse code signals over a distance of 12 miles (19.3 km). In 1898, a wireless radio station he had built on the Isle of Wight impressed Queen Victoria by allowing Her Majesty to communicate with her son, Prince Edward, aboard the royal yacht. At age 20, Marconi began experimenting with Hertz’s radio waves in the attic of his home in Pontecchio, Italy. In the summer of 1894, assisted by his butler Mignani, he built a successful storm alarm that caused an electric bell to ring when it detected radio waves generated by distant lightning. In December 1894, still working in his attic, Marconi showed his mother a working radio transmitter and receiver that made a bell across the room ring by pushing a button located across the room. With the financial help of his father, Marconi continued to develop radios and transmitters capable of working over longer distances. By mid-1895, Marconi had developed a radio and antenna capable of transmitting radio signals outdoors, but only up to a distance of a half mile, the maximum possible distance predicted earlier by respected physicist Oliver Lodge. By tinkering with different types and heights of antennas, Marconi soon increased the range of his radio’s transmissions up to two miles (3.2 km) and began seeking the funding he needed to build the first complete, commercially successful, radio system. When his own Italian government showed no interest in funding his work, Marconi packed up his laboratory and, along with his mother, moved back to England. In 1899, with his radio signals now spanning a 70 mile (113.4 km) portion of the English Channel, Marconi traveled to the United States where he built his quickly growing “rock star” fame by providing wireless telegraphic reports on the America’s Cup yacht race being held in the Atlantic off the coast of New Jersey. Despite the ever-increasing range of Marconi’s radios, many physicists of the day contended that since radio waves traveled in a straight line, transmission of signals beyond the horizon—as in across the Atlantic Ocean—was impossible. Marconi, however, believed that radio waves followed the curvature of the earth. In fact, both were correct. While radio waves do travel in straight lines, they bounce, or “skip,” back toward the earth when they hit the ion-rich layers of the atmosphere collectively known as the ionosphere, thus approximating Marconi’s curve. By utilizing this skip effect, it is possible for radio signals to be received over great, “over-the-horizon” distances. After Marconi’s first attempts at receiving radio signals sent from England some 3,000 miles (4,800 km) away in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, failed, he decided to try a shorter distance, from Poldhu, Cornwall, on the southwestern tip of England, to St. John’s, Newfoundland, on the northeast coast of Canada.