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I. Topic: Electromagnetic Waves
At the end of the activity, the students should be able to:
compare the relative wavelengths of different forms of electromagnetic
cite examples that show practical applications of the different regions of
electromagnetic waves; and
explain the effect of electromagnetic radiation to living things and the
Chalk/White board marker
A. Electromagnetic Waves
Electromagnetic waves are waves which can travel through the vacuum of outer
space. Mechanical waves, unlike electromagnetic waves, require the presence of a
material medium in order to transport their energy from one location to another.
Sound waves are examples of mechanical waves while light waves are examples of
Electromagnetic waves are created by the vibration of an electric charge. This
vibration creates a wave which has both an electric and a magnetic component. An
electromagnetic wave transports its energy through a vacuum at a speed of 3.00 x
m/s (a speed value commonly represented by the symbol c). The propagation of
an electromagnetic wave through a material medium occurs at a net speed which is
less than 3.00 x 10
m/s. This is depicted in the animation below.
The mechanism of energy transport through a medium involves the absorption and
reemission of the wave energy by the atoms of the material. When an electromagnetic
wave impinges upon the atoms of a material, the energy of that wave is absorbed. The
absorption of energy causes the electrons within the atoms to undergo vibrations.
After a short period of vibrational motion, the vibrating electrons create a new
electromagnetic wave with the same frequency as the first electromagnetic wave.
While these vibrations occur for only a very short time, they delay the motion of the
wave through the medium. Once the energy of the electromagnetic wave is reemitted
by an atom, it travels through a small region of space between atoms. Once it reaches
the next atom, the electromagnetic wave is absorbed, transformed into electron
vibrations and then reemitted as an electromagnetic wave. While the electromagnetic
wave will travel at a speed of c (3 x 10
m/s) through the vacuum of interatomic space,
the absorption and reemission process causes the net speed of the electromagnetic
wave to be less than c.
B. Regions of Electromagnetic Waves
The types of electromagnetic radiation are broadly classified into the following
1. Gamma radiation
2. X-ray radiation
3. Ultraviolet radiation
4. Visible radiation
5. Infrared radiation
6. Microwave radiation
7. Radio waves
This classification goes in the increasing order of wavelength, which is characteristic
of the type of radiation. While, in general, the classification scheme is accurate, in
reality there is often some overlap between neighboring types of electromagnetic
energy. For example, SLF radio waves at 60 Hz may be received and studied by
astronomers, or may be ducted along wires as electric power, although the latter is, in
the strict sense, not electromagnetic radiation at all.
The convention that EM radiation that is known to come from the nucleus, is always
called "gamma ray" radiation is the only convention that is universally respected,
however. Many astronomical gamma ray sources (such as gamma ray bursts) are
known to be too energetic (in both intensity and wavelength) to be of nuclear origin.
Quite often, in high energy physics and in medical radiotherapy, very high energy
EMR (in the >10 MeV region) which is of higher energy than any nuclear gamma
ray, is not referred to as either X-ray or gamma-ray, but instead by the generic term of
"high energy photons."
The region of the spectrum in which a particular observed electromagnetic radiation
falls, is reference frame-dependent (due to the Doppler shift for light), so EM
radiation that one observer would say is in one region of the spectrum could appear to
an observer moving at a substantial fraction of the speed of light with respect to the
first to be in another part of the spectrum. For example, consider the cosmic
microwave background. It was produced, when matter and radiation decoupled, by
the de-excitation of hydrogen atoms to the ground state. These photons were
from Lyman series transitions, putting them in the ultraviolet (UV) part of the
electromagnetic spectrum. Now this radiation has undergone enough
cosmological red shift to put it into the microwave region of the spectrum for
observers moving slowly (compared to the speed of light) with respect to the cosmos.
C. Applications of Electromagnetic Waves
Electromagnetic waves have various application in our lives and we don’t even notice
that it is an application of it. These applications vary on every region of the
Radio waves, with the longest wavelength, are used for fixed and mobile radio
communication, broadcasting, radar and other navigation systems, communications
satellites, computer networks. Also, they are used in Magnetic resonance imaging
(MRI) to generate images of the human body.
Microwaves, with wavelength ranging from 1 mm to 1 cm, can cause water
and fat molecules to vibrate, which makes the substances hot. So, we can use this EM
waves to cook many types of food. It is also used in broadcasting and
telecommunication transmissions because, due to their short wavelength, highly
directional antennas are smaller.
Infrared are used for many tasks, for example, remote controls for TVs and
video recorders, and physiotherapists use heat lamps to help heal sports injuries. It is
used in night vision equipment when there is insufficient visible light to see. Infrared
radiation can also be used to remotely determine the temperature of objects. This is
termed thermography, or in the case of very hot objects in the NIR or visible it is
termed pyrometry. Thermography (thermal imaging) is mainly used in military and
industrial applications but the technology is reaching the public market in the form of
infrared cameras on cars due to the massively reduced production costs.
Visible light is the only electromagnetic wave that we can see. Many of its
applications are in optics. The mere fact that we see things is an application of visible
Ultra-Violet light include getting a sun tan, detecting forged bank notes in
shops, and hardening some types of dental filling. You also see UV lamps in clubs,
where they make your clothes glow. This happens because substances in washing
powder "fluoresce" when UV light strikes them - they absorb the UV and then re-
radiate the energy at a longer wavelength. The lamps are sometimes called
"blacklights" because we can't see the UV coming from them. Ultraviolet rays can be
used to kill microbes. Hospitals use UV lamps to sterilize surgical equipment and the
air in operating theatres. Food and drug companies also use UV lamps to sterilize
their products. Suitable doses of Ultraviolet rays cause the body to produce vitamin
D, and this is used by doctors to treat vitamin D deficiency and some skin disorders.
X-ray images of the body are an indispensable diagnostic tool in modern
medicine. Medical imaging allows for the nonintrusive detection of dental cavities,
bone fractures, foreign objects, and diseased conditions such as cancer. X-Rays are
also used in airport security checks, to see inside your luggage. They are also used by
astronomers - many objects in the universe emit X-rays, which we can detect using
suitable radio telescopes.
Gamma rays are used in medicine to kill and treat certain types of cancers and
tumors. Gamma rays passing through tissue of the body produce ionization in tissue.
Gamma rays can harm the cells in our body. The rays can also detect brain and
cardiovascular abnormalities. Gamma rays can be used to examine metallic castings
or welds in oil pipelines for weak points. The rays pass through the metal and darken
a photographic film at places opposite the weak points. In industry, gamma rays are
used for detecting internal defects in metal castings and in welded structures. Gamma
rays are used to kill pesticides and bugs in food. Gamma rays are also used in nuclear
reactors and atomic bombs.
Many of these applications are good but sometimes when we are overexposed
to some high frequency electromagnetic wave can be dangerous to our health. So we
must be cautious when we deal with high frequency electromagnetic waves.
Regions of the Electromagnetic Spectrum
Regions of Electromagnetic Spectrum
V. Method/Strategy: Activity Method/Inquiry Approach
VI. Learning Activities
A. Preparatory Activities
3. Checking of Attendance
4. Checking of Classroom’s cleanliness and orderliness
5. Review/Recap of past lesson
B. Motivational Activities:
The teacher will recall some concepts that will be included in the activity.
The students should be able to define wavelength, frequency, and energy.
C. Developmental Activities
1. After the motivation, the teacher will divide the class into groups. Each
group will be consisting of 4 members. This group will serve as their
learning circle throughout the activity.
2. The teacher will distribute all the worksheets to the students. Each of
them will receive one worksheet. But, the members will help each other in
solving the worksheet so that they can finish it fast.
3. The teacher will discuss some information about the topic
4. The students are going to answer the activities within an hour.
After an hour of performing and answering the activities, the students are going to
check their activity.
Delfin, John Romy P.
Penaflor, Raymond B.