The Electromagnetic Spectrum

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The Electromagnetic Spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum is the collective name for all types of radiation. Radiation is energy that travels around in waves. The electromagnetic spectrum goes from the waves with the lowest energy to those with the highest energy.

Radio Waves


Radio waves have the longest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum. They can be from as long as a football to as long as a football pitches. Radio waves carry signals from devices from one place to another invisibly through the air.

Radio waves are used for many different jobs:

  • In Medicine – radio waves are used to transmit the pattern of a heartbeat through a monitor at a patient's home to a nearby hospital. They are also used to radio the condition of a patient from an ambulance to a hospital. Radio waves are used in medicine when paramedics are dispatched to the scene where they are needed. The hospital can tell the paramedics the condition of the person so that the paramedics can prepare a medical treatment kit.
  • In Industry - used mainly in the transportation business. Radio waves can also be used to provide communication on construction sites.
  • In Science - radio waves from outside the earth are detected using in radio telescopes. Radio waves are picked up when they hit the antenna of the radio telescope. The wave then goes to the tuner, then to the amplifier, and finally to the plotter.
  • For Consumer Goods - these waves are used in the remote control models which people buy. They are also used in radios, televisions and wireless headphones. The antennae on your television set receive the signal, in the form of electromagnetic waves that is broadcasted from the television station. It is displayed on your television screen.

Celestial bodies that transmit radio waves: Karl Jansky was the first to determine that radio emission from the heavens could be detected. At the Bell Laboratory in 1932, Jansky built a rotating antenna, and attempted to investigate the source of the short wave interference. He found that there was a hiss-type static that was the most intense when the antenna was directed downward towards the centre of the galaxy. He found that the galaxy itself was an intense source of radio radiation. Some celestial bodies that emit radio waves that sound like static, are Venus and Jupiter. These sounds are caused by terrestrial thunderstorms.

Radio telescopes look toward the heavens at planets and comets, giant clouds of gas and dust, and stars and galaxies. By studying the radio waves originating from these sources, astronomers can learn about their composition, structure, and motion. Radio astronomy has the advantage that sunlight, clouds, and rain don’t affect observations.

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Microwaves are measured in centimetres because they are so big. They range in size but it is the larger ones that we use to heat or food in a microwave oven.

Microwaves are good for transmitting information from one place to another because microwave energy can penetrate haze, light rain and snow, clouds, and smoke.

Shorter microwaves are used in remote sensing. These microwaves are used for radar ...

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This is piece of work is well written, however the information provided is fairly basic and only a few scientific terms are used. However it is clear that the candidate wrote this piece of work while in year 10 and was not an A-level student, therefore the quality of the work is actually of a high standard and includes information that I would not necessary expect a GCSE candidate to know. In addition to this, there are no real issues with spelling, grammar or punctuation.

The candidate has clearly undergone independent research to source different pieces of information for each type of the electromagnetic waves, however there are sections which have been copied and pasted from a webpage. I strongly discourage against this, your teacher or examiner is interested in what you have to say on the topic not someone else. It is a good idea to take the time to do research as this can make your essay more interesting to read and it shows a broader knowledge of the subject, however you need to take the time to read over the information and present it clearly in your own words. In addition to this, you should include a bibliography with references to any sources you have used, this should include links to any web pages that you have taken information or images form. That said, the candidates use of images in this pice of writing is appropriate as they fit in well with the candidates information and can make the essay more appealing. Finally the candidate has not written any kind of conclusion, writing a conclusion helps draw the essay to a close and can leave the reader with a good impression of your work. You should summarise your key points and ideas and try to give a personal response to your topic.

The candidate does introduce the electromagnetic spectrum and they have briefly described what it is. Which is a good start, however an introduction should also clearly state what you plan to discuss. It is also a good opportunity to engage the reader, which you can do by stating an interesting fact or quote relating to your topic. That said, the candidate goes on to give a fairly extensive report of each of the waves within the electromagnetic spectrum. Their response is clear, accurate and interesting to read.