Electromagnetic Waves

A quick lesson on what they are and how they work.

What kind of disturbance creates an EM wave?

Vibrations of electrons are what creates electromagnetic waves. It moves in a push-pull motion. This means that they have both electric and, you guessed it, magnetic components.

What are two ways that EM waves are different from mechanical waves?

The first difference is that mechanical waves require a medium where as EM waves do not. The second difference is that EM waves have a higher range of frequencies compared to mechanical waves.

Different ranges of the EM spectrum with respect to wavelength, frequency and energy.

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How the waves above are used everyday.

Radio waves are captured by radios which allows you to listen to music, morning talk shows, and more. These waves are also emitted by stars in space. Microwaves are most commonly used in a culinary sense to ¨cook¨ food. It may shock you, but the same waves that pop your popcorn are used by astronomers to learn about the structure of galaxies far far away. Microwaves are also used in cellular phones. Infrared waves are used for night vision goggles, TV remotes, and finding the dust between stars. Visible waves are what we see when something like a lightning bug or flashlight is glowing. Ultraviolet waves are what gives us nasty sunburns and gorgeous tans. They are also emitted by ¨hot¨ objects in space, like the sun. X-rays are used to see your teeth and what is inside your bag at the airport. Gamma rays are what allow us to see inside your body and fight cancer.
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Gamma Rays

Electromagnetic waves and the electromagnetic spectrum | Physics | Khan Academy

This flyer was created by Aubrey Dobler