What is the Electromagnetic Spectrum.

contributed by: Alex J.

sate of publication: 9/30/11


Figure 1: the complete electromagnetic spectrum of light

For 150 years scientist have been trying to understand the electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is a range of possibilities of electromagnetic radiation. It is the characteristic of electromagnetic radiation observed by an object. It goes from low frequencies to high frequencies. Some frequencies are radios, microwaves, x-rays, televisions, and satellites.They can cover wavelengths up to thousands of kilometers down to a fraction of an atom. It can be anywhere land, water, space, etc. Light is a form of electromagnetic so is heat. We as people take in and release electromagnetic radiation constantly all-day long.
Let me put this in the easiest way I can, the electromagnetic spectrum is light. It is made of things that are electrical and magnetic in nature. The rainbow takes up a small part of a huge spectrum. Of the spectrum is made up of electromagnetic radiation. Even though they produce different effects they still travel at an electromagnetic disturbance, and are sometimes called forms of radiant energy.
Study of the lines in the spectra has helped build an understanding of the matter. Soon after 2 men Bunsen and Kirchhoff developed a use of the lines as means chemical analysis, scientists thought they were given off by atoms that were vibrating at different rates under stimulus heat. They thought that faster vibrations caused shorter waves making the color violet.
In 1885 Johann Jakob Balmer discovered in an experiment that various vibrations in mass of glowing hydrogen bore a simple mathematical relation. This showed that one type of mechanism was at work at various rates with the hydrogen atom giving off wavelengths. Balmer could not guess what the mechanism might be. Then Johannes Rydberg showed us further information on the subject and made a formula named for him that described many more observed relations although he did not know why the atoms vibrated. Eventually the answer came from Niels Bohr a Danish physicist in 1913. Bohr’s theory, built largely upon the knowledge from the study of radioactivity, held that the hydrogen atom consisted of an electron revolving like a planet around a central “sun”.
So that is the electromagnetic spectrum. It is basically light and different colors. People for many years have been trying to find the answer for what it is and Niels Bohr found the answer. Hopefully this helped you better understand.

Related topic 1

Figure 2: some things create their own radiation waves (microwave) while others retrieve one(radio and television)
There are other forms of electromagnetic radiation. Some are radios waves, televisions waves, radar waves, microwaves, and cell phones. Radio waves have the lowest frequency. When a radio is broadcast it sends out a certain amount of waves per second. Every radio station has its own frequency, so when we tune in a radio station we are adjusting the frequency to the radio stations. When we end up on the same frequency they turn into sound waves in which produces the music we hear. Many radio stations can be playing at once as long as they are not on the same frequency. Televisions work a lot like radios but with much higher frequencies. People put satellites in to help with receiving waves. Both cell phones and microwaves have the same waves.

Related topic 2
Figure 3: an x-ray helps you see your bones or if they are dental x-rays they see your teeth
People also use radar, infrared rays, ultraviolet, and x-rays. Today radar is used for defense and civilization. Infrared rays help people see in the dark, and ultraviolet is used in florescent lighting. X-rays are used with dental. They use them with dental because they can show teeth and soft tissue. It is dangerous to be over exposed to high wave links. So if you have over exposer to x-rays can cause serious medical problems.

Radiation: the process in which energy is transferred to waves
Spectrum: a band of colors together held together by an invisible line
Electromagnetic: pertaining magnetism produced by electric charges
Frequencies: rate of occurrence