You are on page 1of 7

# Module: Waves/Colors and Light

Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE Wave characteristics: wavelength, frequency, and speed Metric prefixes Scientific notation

## Knowledge and Skills

TIME FRAME: 4 days Concept Name Beyond the rainbow: light and the electromagnetic spectrum

VSC CONTENT OBJECTIVE Expectation 5.4 The student will explain and demonstrate how vibrations and waves provide a model for our understanding of various physical phenomena. Indicator 5.4.1 The student will compare qualitatively how waves are propagated and transmit energy. Indicator 5.4.2 The student will describe wave characteristics using both diagrams and calculations. VSC SKILLS AND PROCESSES Expectation 1.5 The student will use appropriate methods for communicating in writing and orally the processes and results of scientific investigation. Expectation 1.6 The student will use mathematical processes. Expectation 1.7 The student will show that connections exist both within the various fields of science and among science and other disciplines including mathematics, social studies, language arts, fine arts, and technology.

## Module: Waves/Colors and Light

VOCABULARY Amplitude Amplitude modulation Frequency Frequency modulation Gamma rays Diffraction grating Electromagnetic wave Frequency Infrared Light Medium Microwaves Radio waves Spectrometer Spectrum Ultraviolet Vacuum Wavelength X-rays

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

BIG IDEA Waves represent many physical phenomena in which energy is transmitted without transferring matter ESSENTIAL QUESTIONS What is a electromagnetic wave? What are the characteristics of electromagnetic waves? How are the wave parameters frequency, wavelength and speed related? What is the electromagnetic spectrum? How do the wavelength and the frequency vary along the electromagnetic spectrum? What are the regions of the electromagnetic spectrum? What wavelengths are included in the visible part of the spectrum? What are some of the applications of electromagnetic waves in technology, communications, medicine, and scientific research? How are radio waves used for communication? What are the effects of the electromagnetic waves on living organisms? How can we protect from the harmful effects of electromagnetic radiation?

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

CONCEPTUAL UNDERSTANDING Light is the visible part of a range of electromagnetic waves called a spectrum. Electromagnetic waves transfer energy through space in the form of periodically changing electromagnetic fields. All electromagnetic waves travel through vacuum at the same speed (c=3x108m/s) which is constant. This is the maximum speed in the universe and decreases when the wave travels in a medium such as air, water, etc. The electromagnetic waves vary in wavelength and in frequency and form a continuous spectrum. As with all waves, the frequency, wavelength, and wave speed are related by the equation c=f. As the frequency increases, the wavelength decreases and their product, the speed of light remains constant. The electromagnetic spectrum is divided into seven regions according to the wavelength (or the frequency). These regions are: radio waves, microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet light, X-rays, and gamma rays. The visible part of the spectrum includes wavelengths between 400nm=4x10-7m (violet) and 700nm=7x10-7m (red). Each region has specific applications in technology, communications, medicine, and scientific research. Some electromagnetic waves are very harmful to living organisms. The greater the frequency, the greater is the harmful effect. Electromagnetic waves with frequencies higher than the frequency of the visible light are harmful to living organisms. The earths atmosphere absorbs most of the harmful radiation from the sun and from other sources in outer space. However, some ultraviolet radiation penetrates the atmosphere and causes skin cancer. Sun screens protect from UV radiation. X-rays and gamma rays are the most dangerous electromagnetic waves. Radio waves are used for telecommunication because they are not absorbed in the atmosphere. There are two ways to transmit information using radio waves: amplitude modulation (AM) and frequency modulation (FM). In AM signals the information is encoded by varying the amplitude of the carrying wave which has the frequency assigned to the radio station. In FM signal, the carrying frequency is altered. The receiver separates the two signals.

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

Common Student Misconceptions White light has no color Mixing light colors is the same as mixing pigments Sound is part of the electromagnetic spectrum Radio waves transmit sound All electromagnetic waves are dangerous The effect of light is instantaneous, light does not travel with a finite speed Pla n LEARNING ACTIVITIES AND STRATEGIES Activity Observe a rainbow CPO PHYSICS FIRST Investigation 24A: The frequency and wavelength of light Day 1 Description Using diffraction gratings or a compact disk, students observe that white light consists of all visible colors. If spectrometers are available, students can determine the wavelengths at the ends of the visible spectrum as well as the wavelengths of different colors of light emitted by the LEDs. Students observe evidence of UV light by illuminating hidden marks on currency, driver license, and credit cards under UV light. Students observe evidence of IR light from a remote control using a digital camera. Students watch and discuss a presentation showing how the different regions of the spectrum are used by homeland security professionals.

Materials Diffraction gratings (may be substituted with CDs) Incandescent lamp or sun light Spectrometer (optional) Green, blue, and red LEDs (optional) UV lights \$5, \$10, \$20 bills Driver license, credit card Remote control Digital camera (cell phone works)

Sug g est ed

L ear ning

## Module: Waves/Colors and Light

The electromagnetic spectrum Research project Day1 and day 2

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

Students work in groups researching the electromagnetic spectrum and the applications of the different types of waves and prepare presentations which a presented to the class on the second day of the lesson. The projects are evaluated by the class using a scoring rubric. Each group may specialize in one of the regions of the spectrum or the regions may be assigned to different group members. Each group is required to incorporate a homeland security related topic in their presentation. Students solve problems involving the speed of light and the equation v=d/t. Students solve problems using the equations c=f and f=1/T as well as scientific notation and metric prefixes. The activity reinforces the conceptual knowledge and skills learned previously. It provides opportunity to extend the knowledge of the electromagnetic spectrum. Students read about radio transmissions, AM, and FM. They draw and analyze diagrams of AM and FM signals. Next, students determine the frequency and wavelength of the carrying wave of some radio stations they can hear on the radio. DIFFERENTIATION/ACCOMODATIONS

Internet printed materials on the electromagnetic spectrum Poster boards Markers, scissors, glue, assorted poster-making supplies

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

Provide verbal directions for students who have reading skills bellow grade level. During group activities, you may want to assign the job of reading and rephrasing directions to a team member with more advanced reading skills. Provide vocabulary practice for students who have difficulties with the terminology used in this lesson. Some students may need individual tutoring and/or peer help with math skills (substituting in equations, isolating the unknown, scientific notation). Show students how to us scientific calculators.

Reso ur c es CPO CPO PHYSICS FIRST Investigation 24A: The frequency and wavelength of light Other Physics Textbooks

Other Resources Electromagnetic spectrum lesson plan Homeland security presentation Light math worksheet

## Active Physics: Communication Chapter 3, activity 4, page C126

Glencoe Physics: Principles and Problems: Enrichment- Radio Waves, page 51 Advanced Concepts in PhysicsRadio Transmissions, page 45 CONCEPT ASSESSMENT

Asse

## Concept 1: Beyond the Rainbow: Light and the EM Spectrum

ssments
Office of STEM Education