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# What is the electromagnetic Spectrum?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Claire Harvey

What is the electromagnetic Spectrum?

In this assignment, I will tell you what the electromagnetic spectrum is and how it relates to everyday life.

I will then explain how it is so relevant in the world of medicine and communications.

The wind creates waves in a flag; ocean waves travel on the surface of the water and you can see and feel both of theses waves. There are also other kinds of waves we cannot see, but we experience them everyday. Theses are.

Sound is also a wave we cannot see, but like ocean waves, sound needs a medium to travel through. Sound can travel through air because it is made of molecules. The molecules in air carry the sounds waves by bumping off each other, sound can travel through anything made of molecules even water, that is why there is no sound in space because there are no molecules there to transmit the sound.

Electromagnetic waves are unlike sound waves because they do not need molecules to travel. This means electromagnetic waves can travel through air and solid materials but they can travel through empty space.

The electromagnetic spectrum is the name given to a collection of electromagnetic waves that share a large number of common properties but differ in wavelength.

Electromagnetic waves are formed when electric fields join with magnetic fields. Magnetic and electric fields waves are perpendicular to each other and the direction of the wave.

• They are caused by a moving electric charge.
• They travel by vibrating electric and magnetic fields.
• They are able to travel through a vacuum(empty space)
• They all travel through a vacuum at 300,000,000 m/s, which is the speed of light.
• They tend to be absorbed by matter in which they travel more slowly.
• They can all be reflected, refracted and diffracted.
• They are all transverse waves.
• They all transfer energy.
• They can all show particle properties.

Middle

This picture was taken using a special camera and film, which detect temperature

Infrared light can also be sent down optical fibres for television cable and telephone links.

This part of the electromagnetic spectrum we can see and it is the smallest part. The colours of the visible spectrum are RED, ORANGE,YELLOW,GREEN,BLUE,INDIGO and VIOLET. Each colour has a different wavelength and frequency, Red has the longest and VIOLET the shortest. When all the waves are seen together, they appear as a white line. When the white light shines through a prism or through water vapour, the white light is broken apart into the colours of the visible light. Both ultra violet and infrared are visible with the human eye. Cones in our eyes are receivers of tiny light waves. The sun is a natural source of visible light waves and our eyes see the reflection of sun light off objects around us.

Some examples of visible light can be found in television tubes, neon lights and even in some insects such as the glowworm.

These waves have a very high energy and very short wave lenghth, shorter than visible light. They are invisible to the human eye.

This part of the spectrum can be divided into 3 regions

1. NEAR ULTRAVIOLET
2. FAR ULTRAVIOLAT
3. EXTREME ULTRAVIOLET

The regions are distinguished by how energetic the ultraviolet radiation is and by the wavelength.

The near ultraviolet light is the closest to visible light and the extreme ultraviolet light is the closest to x-ray and is the most energetic of the 3.

Conclusion

Gamma=rays are the most energetic forms of light and are produced by the hottest regions of the universe. They are also produced by such violent events as supernova explosions or destruction of atoms and less dramatic events like the decay of radioactive material in space. Things like supernova explosion (the way in which massive stars die), neutron stars and pulsars and black holes are all sources of celestial gamma rays.

Gamma-rays bursts can realise more energy in 10 seconds than the sun will emit in 10 billion years. so far all the gamma-rays observed have come from outside the milky way galaxy.sientist believe that gamma-ray burst occur every few million years here inside the milky way, by solving the mysteries of gamma-bursts we hope to gain further knowledge of the origins of the universe and the rats in which it is expanding.

The ultraviolet universe looks quite different from the stars in visible light. most stars are cool and their radiation is emitted in the visible light part of the electromagnetic spectrum.ultaviolet radiation is invisible therefore if helps us to view stars at their birth of death with out this light we would not know if the stars excisted.ulta violet is not really used in celestial space because the earths atmosphere blocks it.

I n the assignment I have gone in to detail about the electromagnetic spectrum and it uses both in medicine and in space.

I found it quite hard to find information for its uses in celestial objects.

I did find it very interesting and I have learnt a lot about it.

BOOKS

As in a week- Letts

Physics basic fact-Collins gem

Universal process-open university

Websites

www.image.gsfc.nasa.gov

www.fishponds.freeserve.co.uk

www.bbc.co.uk

www.spinaweb.com

www.studentcentral.co.uk

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Radioactivity section.

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