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Learning objectives

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • List three “rules of thumb” that apply to the different frequencies along the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Explain why the higher the frequency, the shorter the wavelength of an electromagnetic wave.
  • Draw a simplified electromagnetic spectrum, indicating the relative positions, frequencies, and spacing of the different types of radiation bands.
  • List and explain the different methods by which electromagnetic waves are produced across the spectrum.

The information presented in this section supports the following AP® learning objectives and science practices:

  • 6.F.1.1 The student is able to make qualitative comparisons of the wavelengths of types of electromagnetic radiation. (S.P. 6.4, 7.2)

In this module we examine how electromagnetic waves are classified into categories such as radio, infrared, ultraviolet, and so on, so that we can understand some of their similarities as well as some of their differences. We will also find that there are many connections with previously discussed topics, such as wavelength and resonance. A brief overview of the production and utilization of electromagnetic waves is found in [link] .

Electromagnetic waves
Type of EM wave Production Applications Life sciences aspect Issues
Radio&TV Accelerating charges Communications Remote controls MRI Requires controls for band use
Microwaves Accelerating charges&thermal agitation Communications Ovens Radar Deep heating Cell phone use
Infrared Thermal agitations&electronic transitions Thermal imaging Heating Absorbed by atmosphere Greenhouse effect
Visible light Thermal agitations&electronic transitions All pervasive Photosynthesis Human vision
Ultraviolet Thermal agitations&electronic transitions Sterilization Cancer control Vitamin D production Ozone depletion Cancer causing
X-rays Inner electronic transitions and fast collisions Medical Security Medical diagnosis Cancer therapy Cancer causing
Gamma rays Nuclear decay Nuclear medicineSecurity Medical diagnosis Cancer therapy Cancer causing Radiation damage

Connections: waves

There are many types of waves, such as water waves and even earthquakes. Among the many shared attributes of waves are propagation speed, frequency, and wavelength. These are always related by the expression v W = size 12{v rSub { size 8{W} } =fλ} {} . This module concentrates on EM waves, but other modules contain examples of all of these characteristics for sound waves and submicroscopic particles.

As noted before, an electromagnetic wave has a frequency and a wavelength associated with it and travels at the speed of light, or c size 12{c} {} . The relationship among these wave characteristics can be described by v W = size 12{v rSub { size 8{W} } =fλ} {} , where v W size 12{v rSub { size 8{W} } } {} is the propagation speed of the wave, f size 12{f} {} is the frequency, and λ size 12{λ} {} is the wavelength. Here v W = c size 12{v rSub { size 8{W} } =c} {} , so that for all electromagnetic waves,

c = . size 12{c = fλ} {}

Thus, for all electromagnetic waves, the greater the frequency, the smaller the wavelength.

[link] shows how the various types of electromagnetic waves are categorized according to their wavelengths and frequencies—that is, it shows the electromagnetic spectrum. Many of the characteristics of the various types of electromagnetic waves are related to their frequencies and wavelengths, as we shall see.

Questions & Answers

Propose a force standard different from the example of a stretched spring discussed in the text. Your standard must be capable of producing the same force repeatedly.
Giovani Reply
What is meant by dielectric charge?
It's Reply
what happens to the size of charge if the dielectric is changed?
Brhanu Reply
omega= omega not +alpha t derivation
Provakar Reply
u have to derivate it respected to time ...and as w is the angular velocity uu will relace it with "thita × time""
Abrar
do to be peaceful with any body
Brhanu Reply
the angle subtended at the center of sphere of radius r in steradian is equal to 4 pi how?
Saeed Reply
if for diatonic gas Cv =5R/2 then gamma is equal to 7/5 how?
Saeed
define variable velocity
Ali Reply
displacement in easy way.
Mubashir Reply
binding energy per nucleon
Poonam Reply
why God created humanity
Manuel Reply
Because HE needs someone to dominate the earth (Gen. 1:26)
Olorunfemi
why god made humenity
Ali
Is the object in a conductor or an insulator? Justify your answer. whats the answer to this question? pls need help figure is given above
Jun Reply
ok we can say body is electrically neutral ...conductor this quality is given to most metalls who have free electron in orbital d ...but human doesn't have ...so we re made from insulator or dielectric material ... furthermore, the menirals in our body like k, Fe , cu , zn
Abrar
when we face electric shock these elements work as a conductor that's why we got this shock
Abrar
how do i calculate the pressure on the base of a deposit if the deposit is moving with a linear aceleration
ximena Reply
why electromagnetic induction is not used in room heater ?
Gopi Reply
room?
Abrar
What is position?
Amoah Reply
What is law of gravition
sushil Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, College physics for ap® courses. OpenStax CNX. Nov 04, 2016 Download for free at https://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11844/1.14
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