Electromagnetic radiation is a type of wave that transfers energy. These waves range from low-energy, long-wavelength radio waves to high-energy, short-wavelength gamma rays. In between are microwaves, infrared waves, visible light, ultraviolet light, and X-rays.
To better understand the electromagnetic spectrum…
LET’S BREAK IT DOWN!
Waves and Their Characteristics
Waves are repeating patterns that transfer energy and not matter, like a “wave” travelling around a stadium as fans stand up and sit down without moving away from their seats. Examples of waves include sound waves, water waves, and electromagnetic waves. All waves can be described by their amplitude, frequency, and wavelength. Amplitude is the height of a wave from its resting point. Waves with larger amplitude transfer more energy. For example, louder sound waves have a larger amplitude than quieter sound waves. Frequency measures how many waves pass a point in one second. For example a wave that passes a given point three times in 1 second has a frequency of 3. Wavelength is the distance from one wave peak to the next. Wavelength and frequency are related to each other. When the wavelength is shorter, more waves pass in one second, so the frequency is higher. And when the wavelength is longer, the frequency is lower. The frequency of waves is also related to the amount of energy they transfer. High-frequency waves, like gamma waves, transfer more energy than low-frequency waves, like radio waves.