Electromagnetic Spectrum

Edited by Jamie (ScienceAid Editor), Taylor (ScienceAid Editor), vcdanht, Sim and 4 others

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Electromagnetic Spectrum

Light is just part of a continuum of waves called the electromagnetic spectrum. This spectrum includes many types of wave that you will recognize including X-rays and infra-red.

The electromagnetic spectrum is normally given in order of decreasing wavelength or increasing frequency. A summary of the spectrum showing the wavelength and frequency is as follows:

the electromagnetic spectrum

Properties, Dangers and Uses

The properties dangers and applications of the various waves on the em spectrum are in the table below.

Wave Uses Dangers
Radio Waves
  • Radio transmitters
  • Radar
  • Television
None
Microwaves
  • Microwave ovens
  • Communication system
Internal heating of body tissue
Infra-red
  • Thermal imaging
  • Remote controls
Burns skin
Light
  • Optic fibers
  • Seeing!
Strong light causes damage to vision.
Ultra-violet
  • Washing powder (whiter than white)
  • Security marking
Skin cancer and blindness
X rays
  • Taking images of the skeleton
Mutations in cells and severe burns to the skin.
Gamma Rays
  • Cancer treatment
  • Sterilisation of equipment
Cancers and cell mutation

Questions and Answers

Hi Jamie, What why is electromagnetic wave called electromagnetic?

Just a confusion I have with understanding this. light isn't electric or magnetic. Just a curious mind. thinking why it is chosen to be named this way.

Electromagnetic wave means a wave that can propagate because of the periodic variation of the intensities of both the electric and magnetic fields.In other words, it means, when the intensities of the electric and magnetic fields change periodically, the wave can propagate. It doesn't mean that light (an example of electromagnetic wave) should be magnetic or electric.

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What are the uses and dangers of the electromagnetic spectrum?

The x-ray above is one of the many types that medical professionals use.

There are many uses in the Spectrum as well as Dangers.

Some uses include:

  1. 1
    Radio waves
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  2. 2
    Microwaves
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  3. 3
    Communications; Cell phones, Satellite and so on
    .
    Depending on the device we're talking about, a combination of microwaves and radio waves are used.
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Some Dangers include:

  1. 1
    Radio Activity
    .
    Think X-Ray
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  2. 2
    Sunburn; Think UV Rays
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  3. 3
    Radar; Though very useful for obvious reasons but (if you get too close to the transmitting Antenna) can cook your insides like a Microwave.
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Can you explain more about uses and dangers of the wave?

I could not understand the uses and dangers only for some

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What order do waves length go in and in what order of length?

Hello I'm Jamie too and I have a question please and thank you

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Electromagnetic Spectrum. (2017). In ScienceAid. Retrieved Sep 25, 2017, from https://scienceaid.net/physics/waves/emspectrum.html

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Article Info

Categories : Waves

Recent edits by: SmartyPants, callmedaddy123, Sharingknowledge

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