The Electromagnetic Spectrum is the range of frequencies of possible electromagnetic radiation. The Spectrum ranges from 0 Hertz up to 2.4x1023 Hertz. The exact wavelength limits of the Spectrum are unknown however it is widely believed that the short wavelength limit is equal to the Planck Length (1.616x10-35m) and the long wavelength limit is the length of the Universe.
Electromagnetic radiation (EMR) is an occurrence that takes the form of self-propagating waves produced by the motion of electrically charged particles, which can move through matter or a vacuum. Physicists have observed that as well as acting like waves, EMR acts like a stream of massless particles (called ‘photons’).
The frequencies of electromagnetic radiation can be calculated by dividing the speed of light by the wavelength of the electromagnetic radiation.
Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum have been named by scientists to provide an easier way to remember and refer to the ranges; however, in reality neighbouring types of electromagnetic energy often overlap. The higher the frequency is the more harmful the rays are.
At the lower end of the Spectrum are ‘Radio’ waves. This range of radiation is Low Energy, Low Frequency and has Long Wavelength’s. Radio waves are utilised by antennae, they are used to transmit and receive data through modulation. This band contains the frequencies between 300Hz and 300GHz, or wavelengths longer than approximately one millimetre. This spectrum is typically regulated by the government, and licenses are sold to operators to utilise to reduce interference. This range of the spectrum is commonly used for Television, Amplitude Modulation Radio (AM Radio), Frequency Modulation Radio (FM Radio), mobile telecommuni...
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nm - nanometre (One billionth of a meter)
PHz - Petahertz
pm - Picometre (One trillionth of a meter)
SKA - Square Kilometre Array
THz - Terahertz
UV - Ultraviolet
W - Watt
YHz - Yottahertz
ZHz - Zettahertz
Diagram and Image Attributions:
All Images used within this document are either Public Domain, or released under a Creative Commons License.
Figure 1 - Author Unknown (Electromagnetic Spectrum) [CC-BY]
Figure 2 - Wikipedia contributors (Visible Light Spectral Colours) [CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Figure 3 - Hajor (Very Large Array at New Mexico) [CC-BY-SA 3.0])
Figure 4 - NASA (Centre of M83 Galaxy) [Public Domain]
Figure 5 - NASA (Gamma ray absorption in the atmosphere) [Public Domain]
Figure 6 - NASA (Messier 87 Radio Image) [Public Domain]
Figure 7 - CSIRO (Parkes Radio Telescope) [CC-BY-SA 3.0]
Figure 8 - XILO Studios (SKA) [CC-BY 2.5]
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