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The Electromagnetic Spectrum.

Extracts from this document...


Sean Tuffy

Electromagnetic Spectrum

The Electromagnetic Spectrum is a range of all the electromagnetic waves, these range from radio waves with the lowest frequency and the biggest wavelength to gamma rays with the highest frequency and the smallest wavelength.

The main eight categories of electromagnetic waves are:

1. Radio Waves                                              5.Ultraviolet

2. Microwave through far infrared                        6.X - Rays

3. Near infrared                                        7.Gamma Rays

4. Visible                                                8.High Energy Gamma Rays

...read more.


Radio Waves are a type of electromagnetic wave and like all others travel at the speed of light. They occur naturally in our environment by lightning or some astronomical objects, we produce them with our mobile phones, radios, GPSs and many other electronic devices.


Microwaves have frequencies between 1010 and 1011 Hz, and have a wavelength of 10-2 to 10-3 , they are produced by microwaves, ovens and microwave transmitters and are detected by microwave receivers.  We use them in cooking foods, communication and radar so when you use a microwave you’re using microwaves or when you’re using a mobile phone you’re using microwaves.


Infrared covers waves with wavelengths between 1mm to 50 nm and frequencies from 300GHz to 400 THz; however it can be split into three different parts:

  • Far – Infrared            Wavelength: 1 mm -10 μm           Frequencies: 300 GHz – 30 THz
  • Mid – Infrared           Wavelength: 10 μm - 2.5 μm           Frequencies:        30 THz - 120 THz
  • Near – Infrared         Wavelength: 2500nm – 750nm           Frequencies: 120 THz – 400 THz
...read more.


Gamma Rays

Gamma Rays were discovered by Paul Villard in 1900, since then they have had multiple uses, some of these are:  They can be measured with extremely high accuracy using Compton scattering. A standard Gamma ray will normally have frequencies of more than 1019 Hz, and wavelengths smaller than 10 picometres. Gamma Rays are produced mainly when a nucleus emits an α or β particle, the daughter particle will split into a lower energy state and a gamma ray.  If your body is exposed to gamma rays they damage your cells, this can lead to mutation and finally cancer. We use gamma rays to sterilise food, medical equipment etc., and to treat cancer through chemotherapy.

...read more.

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Here's what a star student thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Response to the question

The candidate has written a strong response to this topic, they have clearly discussed each type of electromagnetic radiation and they mention physical properties and uses of each. Though I feel their introduction has some room for improvement, this is ...

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Response to the question

The candidate has written a strong response to this topic, they have clearly discussed each type of electromagnetic radiation and they mention physical properties and uses of each. Though I feel their introduction has some room for improvement, this is your chance to grab the readers attention and get them interested in what you have to say, which you can do quite easily by mentioning an interesting fact or quote that is relevant to your topic or my discussing background information. It is also useful to make it clear exactly what you plan to discuss so that the reader can immediately see what your work is going to be about.

Level of analysis

The candidate gives a brief description relating to each type of electromagnetic wave, while the information they provide is accurate they could have gone into more depth and discussed topics such as how each type of wave is formed and how they are detected etc. This additional information shows your interest in the subject and can make your work more enjoyable to read. Furthermore taking the time to research a topic and rewrite the information in your own words is a useful skill and one in which is necessarily for higher education. This essay could also have been improved had the candidate put together a conclusion, this helps to bring your work to a close and it gives you the chance to leave the reader with a good impression of your work. A good conclusion should summarise the key points from your essay, in this case that would include points such as the fact that all electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed and you could then go on to state similarities or differences between each type of wave. It is also important that you write a personal response, this could include what you have learnt from writing your essay or it could be why you think your essay is important, perhaps in this case you could discuss why it is beneficial to understand the different types of electromagnetic radiation.

Quality of writing

This piece of work is laid out clearly and the information is easy to follow, the candidates writing is coherent and they have used appropriate technical terms throughout their work which demonstrates a good understanding of the principles that they have discussed. In addition to this there are no errors with spelling or grammar.

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Reviewed by pictureperfect 27/07/2012

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