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Here's an excerpt from the study guide:
Many amateurs use directional antennas because they are said to have “gain.” When this term is used, what it means is that a directional antenna will output more power in a particular direction than an antenna that is not directional. This only makes sense; You can’t get more power out of an antenna than you put in. Assuming each is driven by the same amount of power, the total amount of radiation emitted by a directional gain antenna compared with the total amount of radiation emitted from an isotropic antenna is the same. (E9B07)
To evaluate the performance of directional antennas, manufacturers will measure the field strength at various points in a circle around the antenna and plot those field strengths, creating a chart called the antenna radiation pattern. Figure E9-1 is a typical antenna radiation pattern.
The antenna radiation pattern shows the relative strength of the signal generated by an antenna in its “far field.” The far-field of an antenna is the region where the shape of the antenna pattern is independent of distance. (E9B12)