It occurs to me to wonder whether we -- that is, humanity in generally -- really understands RF propagation and antenna theory. I don't doubt that we can work out the behaviour of ideal antennas made of ideal materials in an infinite volume of free space; but I wonder how much of that theory really still applies in practical applications?
Books, websites, and personal conversations are full of conflicting advice about antenna construction and installation. I can't help thinking that if we _truly_ understood this stuff, the 'right' answer would be known in most practical applications. But I suspect the advice given by most authorities is based on experience and rules-of-thumb rather than on theory. So relatively minor changes in the operating conditions and environment could mean that a particular person's advice, however much based on long experience, is not helpful.
So do we understand this stuff? Is it even worth studying the theory?