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# Electromagnetic

Spectrum

Instructions
Duration of Lesson: 60 Min
Read through this powerpoint presentation and
attempt the EM wave quiz
You can also find this chapter in your textbook,
chapter :
The grades of the quiz will be taken into you CA for semester 2, and
you can only do it ONCE, so please make sure you understand the
content of this unit.

Introduction
Objectives:
At the end of the lesson, you will be able to

## Describe the main components of the

electromagnetic spectrum.
State the properties of ALL EM waves.
Discuss the role of the respective EM waves
and some of their applications.

## What are Electromagnetic

Waves ?
If you have ever tuned in to listen to a radio,
spoken on a handphone, turned on a light, had
an X-ray taken, felt the warmth of sun on your
skin.
You have experienced electromagnetic wave

Electromagnetic wave
Produced by Simultaneous vibration

Electric field
Magnetic field

Electric field

Magnetic field
http://www.phy.ntnu.edu.tw/ntnujava/viewtopic.php?t=52

## Hence this is the complete EM wave spectrum (the waves below

in ascending order of wavelength;
descending order of frequency )
Gamma
rays

Highest

Shortest

x-rays

Ultra-violet Visible
ray
light

Infrared ray

Microwave

Lowest

Longest

Properties of EM Wave
1. All electromagnetic waves are transverse
wave

## 2. They do not require any medium to travel

through (recall: Radiation Infra red is an EM Wave)
3. They travel at the speed of 3x108 ms-1 in
vacuum (recall: speed of light light is also an EM Wave)

matter

## 6. They all obey the wave equation

v =f x
Where v = speed of wave (m/s)
f = frequency of wave (Hz)
= wavelength (m)

## 7. Their frequencies do not change as

they pass from one medium to
another. However, both their speed
and wavelength will change.

v =f x

## 9. They are all of

neutral charge as all
of them oscillate
with electric and
magnetic field
perpendicular to
each other.

Overview of EM waves

Waves
Longitudinal Waves

Transverse Waves

Sound waves

Electromagnetic Waves
Classified into

Properties
Comprises of

Microwave

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Infra-Red

Ultra-Violet
Light

Applications

Gamma ray
X-ray

Gamma rays
Gamma rays have the shortest
wavelengths and highest
frequencies in the EM spectrum.
It is generated by :
Changes in energy levels in the nucleus

## Some radioactive substances and certain

nuclear reactions produce gamma rays.

## Because of their great penetrating ability,

gamma rays can cause serious illness.
However when used in controlled
conditions, gamma rays is useful in cancer
treatment.

X-rays
X rays is generated by :
a) Rapid deleceration of fast moving
electrons
b) Changes in energy of innermost orbital
electrons
X-rays are used for :
diagnostic tool in dentistry and medicine.
Doctors and dentists can examine the
condition of a persons bones, the root of
this teeth or the state of other inner part of
the body.
Custom officers at airports inspect the
content of your luggage using X-rays.
Industry wise, it is used to find cracks in
structures just like cracks in bones.

## Both Gamma rays and X- rays can be

detected by:
a) photographic plates
b) ionization chamber
c) phosphorescence

Ultra-violet
The main source of ultra-violet radiation is sunlight and it is this
radiation which gives rise to suntan and also sunburn.
Ultra-violet radiation is used in hospitals to sterilize the surgical
instruments and operating theatres as it kills bacteria and viruses.
UV can be detected by:
a) Photographic plates
b) Photoelectric cell
c) Fluorescence

Visible Light
Visible light is the part of the EM
spectrum which can be detected by the
human eye.
The visible light has its own spectrum
which consist of the 7 colours of light :
Red Orange Yellow Green Blue Indigo
Violet
An example of visible light is the
colourful laser light or the light from a
firework.
Some of the uses of light is in
optical fibres in medicine and
telecommunications.

Infra-red waves
Heat can be transferred through infrared
We often think of infra red as being the same
thing as 'heat', because it makes our skin feel
warm.
Most of you might have seen infra-red waves in use
during the SARS period. (picture on the top right hand
corner). It shows a thermo-detector which is placed
outside hospitals/airport to identify the warm and cool
parts of a person by analyzing infra-red radiation
emitted from the persons body. And through this we
can see if someone is having a fever.
Infra red is useful for:
- For navigation through fog & haze as it is less
easily scattered compared to visible light
- Medical treatment : to warm injured muscles/sports
injuries

Microwaves
One of their most common uses is in
microwave ovens. When you switch on
a microwave oven , it gives off
electromagnetic waves that bounce
around inside the oven, penetrating the
food. Water molecules in the food
absorb the energy from the microwaves,
causing the food to get hot.
Other uses of microwaves:
a) Radar communication (as it is not easily
blocked of by buildings/trees)
b) Analysis of fine details of molecular and
atomic structure
c) Useful demonstration of all wave
properties on macroscopic scale
d) Telephone communication (mobile
phones, etc)

Radio waves are the electromagnetic waves
with the longest wavelengths and lowest
frequencies
Like all electromagnetic waves, radio waves
can travel through a vacuum. However
traveled through air. Take the radio as an
electromagnetic waves into the sound
that comes out of the radio speakers.
(to transmit sound and picture
information over long distance)
c) Navigation or ships & aircrafts

Waves
Longitudinal Waves

Transverse Waves

Sound waves

Electromagnetic Waves
Classified into

Properties
Comprises of

Microwave

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Infra-Red

Ultra-Violet
Light

Applications

Gamma ray
X-ray

EM Spectrum
Rajas Mother Is Visiting Uncle Xaviers Garden
wave

Micro
wave

Infra-red
Rays

Visible
light

## Visible Light Spectrum

Run Off You Girls Boys
red

orange

yellow

green

blue

Ultra-violet
ray

X-rays

In

View

indigo

violet

Gamma
rays