Electromagnetic interference (EMI, also called radio-frequency interference or RFI when in radio frequency) is disturbance that affects an electrical circuit due to either electromagnetic induction or electromagnetic radiation emitted from an external source. The disturbance may interrupt, obstruct, or otherwise degrade or limit the effective performance of the circuit. These effects can range from a simple degradation of data to a total loss of data. The source may be any object, artificial or natural, that carries rapidly changing electrical currents, such as an electrical circuit, the Sun or the Northern Lights.
EMI can be intentionally used for radio jamming, as in some forms of electronic warfare, or can occur unintentionally, as a result of spurious emissions for example through intermodulation products, and the like. It frequently affects the reception of AM radio in urban areas. It can also affect cell phone, FM radio and television reception, although to a lesser extent.
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