Electromagnetic Waves

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Electromagnetic Waves

Electromagnetic Waves

Kenny MatzWednesday 4:15

HS-PS4-1.Use mathematical representations to support a claim regarding relationships among the frequency, wavelength, and speed of waves traveling in various media. [Clarification Statement: Examples of data could include electromagnetic radiation traveling in a vacuum and glass, sound waves traveling through air and water, and seismic waves traveling through the Earth.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment is limited to algebraic relationships and describing those relationships qualitatively.]


Electromagnetic radiation (EM radiation or EMR) is a form of radiant energy released by certain electromagnetic processes. Visible light is one type of electromagnetic radiation, and in some contexts light can refer to all EMR. Other familiar forms are invisible electromagnetic radiations such as X-rays and radio waves. Lightning can produce electromagnetic radiation across a broad part of the EM spectrum.

A remote control uses light waves just beyond the visible spectrum of light—infrared light waves—to change channels on your TV. This region of the spectrum is divided into near-, mid-, and far-infrared. The region from 8 to 15 microns (µm) is referred to by Earth scientists as thermal infrared since these wavelengths are best for studying the longwave thermal energy radiating from our planet.

ltraviolet (UV) radiation is defined as that portion of the electromagnetic spectrum between x rays and visible light, i.e., between 40 and 400 nm (30–3 eV). The UV spectrum is divided into Vacuum UV (40-190 nm), Far UV (190-220 nm), UVC (220-290 nm), UVB (290-320), and UVA (320-400 nm). The sun is our primary natural source of UV radiation. Artificial sources include tanning booths, black lights, curing lamps, germicidal lamps, mercury vapor lamps, halogen lights, high-intensity discharge lamps, fluorescent and incandescent sources, and some types of lasers (excimer lasers, nitrogen lasers, and third harmonic Nd:YAG lasers). Unique hazards apply to the different sources depending on the wavelength range of the emitted UV radiation.


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