Electromagnetic Waves

Ellie Simonpietri

What is an Electromagnetic Wave?

An electromagetic wave is a wave that can travel without a medium to go through. For example, this type of wave can travel through the vacuum in outer space

What Disturbance Causes an Electromagnetic Wave?

These type of waves are devolped by a vibrating eletric charge

Electromagnetic Wave vs. Mechanical Wave

The biggest major difference is that a mechanical wave requires a medium to travel, while the electromagnetic wave does not. Also mechanical waves are typically slower.
The Electromagnetic Spectrum


Radio Ranges-

Wave length: >1

Frequency: very low

Energy: very low

Everyday Use

  • radio
  • GPS


Microwave Ranges-

Wave length: 1 to 10^-3

Frequency: low but higher than radio

Energy: low but higher than radio

Everyday Use

  • cooking
  • wifi


Infared Ranges-

Wave length: 10^-3 to 10^-6

Frequency: lower mid

Energy: lower mid

Everyday Use

  • toaster
  • television remote controls

Visible Light

Visible Light Ranges-

Wave length: 8x10^-7 to 4x10^-7

Frequency: mid

Energy: mid

Everyday Use

  • vision
  • CDs


Ultra-Violet Ranges-

Wave length: 3x10^-7 to 10^-8

Frequency: medium high

Energy: medium high

Everyday Use

  • sun beds
  • security pens


X-Ray Ranges-

Wave length: 10^-8 to 10^-12

Frequency: high but lower than gamma

Energy: high but lower than gamma

Everyday Use

  • produce photographs of bones
  • check metal componets and welds

Gamma Ray

Gamma Ray Ranges-

Wave length: <10^-12

Frequency: very high

Energy: very high

Everyday Use

  • kills cancer cells
  • sterilise surgical instruments