Comparing Wavelengths of Red and Violet

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Description

To find out more about the diagram above . . . . read on!

Comparing Wavelengths of Red and Violet

Look carefully at the diagram at the top of the page. Now check out the following questions (and answers)!

  1. Name two units used to measure the wavelength of electromagnetic waves?
  2. What is the largest unit used to measure wavelength?
  3. What unit is used to measure wavelength within the visible spectrum?
  4. Do gamma rays have a shorter wavelength than visible light?
  5. How many picometres in a metre?

About the Diagram

Introducing the diagram! Read back and forward between the image at the top of the page and the explanation below!

This diagram compares the wavelength of two electromagnetic waves that correspond with an observer’s perception of red and violet.

  • The diagram also looks at the units used when wavelength is being measured.
  • Notice that the wavelength of the red wave is much longer than the violet wave.
  • The wave cycle is measured from peak to peak and is marked by the dotted line.
  • The amplitude of both waves is the same.
  • Because the wavelength of the violet wave is shorter than the red its frequency is higher.
  • The unit of measurement of wavelength is the metre.
  • Because the wavelength of electromagnetic waves is so small, metres are sub-divided into micrometres, nanometres and picometres.
  • The number of each unit per metre is shown on the diagram.

Remember that:

  • The position of an electromagnetic wave within the electromagnetic spectrum is determined by its frequency or wavelength.
  • The electromagnetic spectrum includes, in order of increasing frequency and decreasing wavelength: radio waves, microwaves, infrared radiation, visible light, ultraviolet radiation, X-rays and gamma rays.
  • The electromagnetic spectrum includes all possible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from low energy radio waves through visible light up to high energy gamma rays.
  • The full range of wavelengths of visible light, between red and violet, is called the visible spectrum.

Follow the blue links for definitions . . . . or check the summaries of key terms below!

Some Key Terms

Move to the next level! Check out the following terms.

Electromagnetic radiation

Electromagnetic radiation is a type of energy more commonly simply called light. Detached from its source, it is transported by ...
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Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum includes electromagnetic waves with all possible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from low energy radio waves through ...
Read More (without leaving this page)

Electromagnetic wave

An electromagnetic wave carries electromagnetic radiation. An electromagnetic wave is formed as electromagnetic radiation propagates from a light source, travels ...
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Nanometre

A nanometre is a unit of measurement of the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation ...
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Wave diagram

In physics and optics, a wave diagram uses a set of drawing conventions and labels to describe the attributes of ...
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Wavelength

Wavelength is a measurement from any point on the path of a wave to the same point on its next ...
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