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7 Analysing Electromagnetic Waves
Electromagnetic Spectrum ~ Electromagnetic waves carry energy and momentum which may be imparted when they interact with matter. ~ Electromagnetic waves consist of a series of waves whose frequencies and wavelength extend over a broad range. ~ Waves in the electromagnetic spectrum vary in size from very long radio waves to very short gamma rays. ~ Visible light waves are the only waves as the colours of the rainbow. Each colour has a different wavelength. Red has the longest wavelength and violet has the shortest wavelength. When all the waves are seen together, they make white light. ~ When white light shines through a prism or through water vapour, the white light is broken apart into the colours of the visible light spectrum. ~ The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of frequencies and wavelengths over which electromagnetic waves are propagated. Sources of Electromagnetic Waves ~ Matter is made up of elementary particles called atoms. ~ Every atom has a nucleus at its centre which is surrounded by orbiting electrons ~ Electrons are charged particles and they move around the nucleus in orbits, each of which is at a specific energy level. When a charged electron moves from an orbit with a particular energy level to one of a lower energy level, electromagnetic waves are emitted. ~ Electromagnetic waves are also produced when a charged particle (electron or nucleus) oscillates. Properties of Electromagnetic Waves ~ Transverse waves ~ Energy is transferred by the waves ~ Show characteristics of polarisation ~ The waves are electrically neutral

~ Undergo the same phenomena as light: reflection, refraction, diffraction and interference ~ In a vacuum, the waves travel at the speed of light, c = 3 x 10^8 m/s ~ Do not require a medium to propagate and can travel in a vacuum ~ The magnetic and electric field components of the wave oscillate at right angles to each other and to the direction of propagation of the wave ~ Obey the wave equation, c = f ~ Where c is the velocity of light, f is the frequency of the wave and wavelength is the