So, today’s a physics post! Hope you’ll enjoy what follow.
All right, let’s do this!
What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum?
Okay, first things first- I’m not going to say electromagnetic spectrum everytime. I’m just gonna say EMS, because the full form is a mouthful to say and a pain to read.
Moving on. By definition, the EMS is-“the range of wavelengths or frequencies over which electromagnetic radiation extends.” I find this definition absolutely pointless, and way too vague.
So, here’s how I understand it. Radiation is energy that travels, and as it travels, it spreads out. The EMS maps all of these kinds of radiation- from radio waves to light to gamma rays.
But why the name electromagnetic? Well, all of these waves mentioned are basically very synchronized oscillating electric and magnetic field. This is an oscillation-
All of the waves in the EMS travel at the same speed as light.
The 3 Sections->
I’m not sure if most people study the EMS like this, but here’s how I simplify it- I just divide it into three main sections.
Section No. 1 is ONLY radio waves. There are a bunch of things that count as radio waves, like microwaves, UHF[ultra-high frequency] waves etc.
Section No. 2 consists of light as well as ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Light is the only visible electromagnetic radiation- visible to humans, that is. Insects like bees and butterflies can see ultraviolet and infrared radiation as well!
Section 1 [Radio waves]->
Out of all 3 sections, these have the longest wavelengths and the lowest energy. Radio waves are mainly used to communicate and broadcasts. They’re used for TV and [obviously] radio broadcasts. Radio waves are not all that harmful to humans, but only turn dangerous when they’re absorbed by the body in excess. Like they say, too much of any thing is bad for you!
Section 2[Light, UV and Infrared]->
Light is just… well, light. It’s made of photons, and Einstein recognized photons to be a fundamental particle. By this, he means that photons cannot be broken down any further. [Small heads up- protons and neutrons are not fundamental particles. Despite popular belief, they’re actually made up of even tinier objects called quarks. Electrons, however, are fundamental particles.]
UV radiation damages the body since it causes skin cancer and can damage eyes… It constitutes about 10% of the Sun’s total electromagnetic emissions.
Infrared radiation are used in security alarms as well as lamps. They’re also used in a few heaters and grills.
Section 3[X-rays and Gamma rays]->
X-rays are blessing. Imagine all the undiagnosed fractures without them! This aside, they have an insanely unique property. X-rays may cause cancer, but they can also kill cancer cells! Is that not amazing? Sort of like using a gun to heal a bullet wound.
Gamma rays are what keeps our food clean and free from pathogens. They’re not only used to sterilize food, but they’re used to depurate medical equipment. These rays are emitted by radioactive substances such as radium, uranium and thorium.
Yep, that’s all for today guys. Thanks for reading! Any questions? Drop them in the comment section and I will try to answer them ASAP!