Electromagnetic spectrum

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Description

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

Electromagnetic spectrum

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

  1. What unit is used to measure the frequency of visible light?
  2. Which type of electromagnetic radiation has the highest frequency?
  3. Do radio waves or gamma rays transport more energy?
  4. Shorter wavelength = higher frequency or lower frequency ?
  5. Lower frequency = longer wavelengths or shorter wavelengths?

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 shows that the electromagnetic spectrum includes waves with all possible wavelengths, ranging from low energy radio waves through visible light to high energy gamma rays.

  • Notice that a wave with a longer wavelength has a lower frequency and carries less energy.
  • Notice that a wave with a shorter wavelength has a higher frequency and carries more energy.

Remember that:

  • 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.
  • There are no precisely defined boundaries between the bands of electromagnetic radiation in the electromagnetic spectrum. Each band is associated with different properties and applications – think of radios, microwaves, x-ray machines etc.
  • Visible light is only a very small part of the electromagnetic spectrum.
  • Energy (electromagnetic energy) is the radiant energy (light) transported by electromagnetic waves.
  • The term light can be used in three different ways:
    • Light can be used to mean the whole of the electromagnetic spectrum from radio waves, through visible light to gamma rays. A better term is radiant energy or photon energy.
    • Light can be used to mean the range of wavelengths and frequencies that can be detected by the human eye. A better term is visible light which refers to the wavelengths that correspond with the colours between red and violet, the visible spectrum.
    • Light can be used to mean the range of wavelengths and frequencies between infra-red and ultra-violet. This usage is useful because the outer limits of the visible spectrum change under different lighting conditions and for different individuals.
  • Referring to visible light simply as light is short-hand.
  • Visible light is not the same for all living things.

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.

Electronvolt

An electronvolt is a unit of energy commonly used to measure the energy carried by electromagnetic radiation. Electronvolts can be ...
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Energy

Energy is a property of matter. Everything contains energy including all forms of matter and so all objects. Energy is ...
Read More

Frequency

The frequency of electromagnetic radiation (light) refers to the number of wave-cycles of an electromagnetic wave that pass a given ...
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Hertz (Hz)

The hertz (symbol: Hz) is a unit used to measure the frequency of electromagnetic waves. Hertz are used when measuring ...
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Nanometre

A nanometre is a unit of measurement of the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation ...
Read More

Wavelength

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

More Information

ABOUT SLIDES

Slides


All images on the lightcolourvision.org website are available for download as either slides or diagrams.

All slides share common specifications:

  • Titles: All slides have titles.
  • Backgrounds: Black, framed with a violet gradient.
  • Size: 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • Slides are available in two file formats: JPG, AI (Adobe Illustrator).

Slides are optimized for viewing on-screen or with a projector.
Diagrams are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.

ABOUT DIAGRAMS

Diagrams


All images on the lightcolourvision.org website are available for download as either slides or diagrams.

All diagrams share common specifications:

  • Titles: No titles.
  • Backgrounds: White.
  • Size: 1686 pixels wide. So all diagrams reproduce at the same scale when inserted into Word documents etc.
  • Labels: Calibri 24pt Italic.
  • Diagrams are available in two file formats: JPG, AI (Adobe Illustrator).

Diagrams are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.
Slides are optimized for viewing on-screen or using a projector.

FILE TYPES - JPG

JPG file format


Download the image at the top of this page as a JPG file:

  • All JPG images available for download are 1686px wide.
  • Text on JPG images with white backgrounds is styled as Calibri 24pt Italic.
  • If the image you need is not exactly right, download it as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file and edit it.
  • All the images on these Resource Pages were created in Adobe Illustrator and are vector drawings.

Did you know:

  • JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group who created the standard.
  • The JPG file extension is used interchangeably with JPEG.
  • JPG files can be compressed for use on websites.
  • JPG files can be placed or pasted directly into MS Office documents.

FILE TYPES - AI

AI (Adobe Illustrator) file format


Download the image at the top of this page as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file:

  • All AI images available for download from lightcolourvision.org are 1686px wide.
  • All the images on these Resource Pages were created in Adobe Illustrator and are vector drawings.
  • Vector drawing can be scaled up or down without any loss of quality.

Did you know:

  • AI  files downloaded from lightcolourvision.org can be re-edited using Adobe Illustrator for your own personal use.
  • Adobe Illustrator can save or export AI files to other formats including PDF (.pdf), PNG (.png), JPG (.jpeg) and SVG(.svg) etc.

DOWNLOAD AGREEMENT

Download agreement

Download Agreement


Before downloading or cutting and pasting from lightcolourvision.org we ask you to agree to the following terms:

  1. All information, images and other assets displayed or made available for download on the lightcolourvision.org website are copyright. This means there are limitations on how they can be used.
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If you are a student, educator or researcher you might also like to read our posts Copyright: Credit where credit’s due and Citation and bibliographies before copying and pasting material into essays, assignments or other academic work. They include advice on avoiding plagiarism and how to credit other people’s words, images and assets before submitting your work for marking or assessment. If you are confused, just ask a friendly teacher, librarian, or other member of academic staff.


Like to know more?

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