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Electromagnetic spectrum

All the electromagnetic waves travel with the same velocity (i.e. 3 X 108 m/s) in the free space with different frequencies. The arrangement of electromagnetic radiations according to wavelength or the frequency is referred as electromagnetic spectrum.

As we know electromagnetic spectrum has no definite upper or lower limit and various regions of EM spectrum do not have sharply defined boundaries.

The electromagnetic spectrum types, their frequency, wavelength, source and applications have been outlined in the table below. As mentioned EM waves include electric wave,radio wave,microwave,infrared,visible light,ultra violet,X-rays,gamma rays and cosmic rays.

EM
wave type
Frequency
(Hz)
Wave-
length
(m)
Source Applica-
tions
Electric Wave 50 to
60
5 x 106 to
6 x 106
Weak radiation
from AC circuit
Lighting
Radio Wave 3 x 104 to
3 x 109
1 x 10-1 to
104
Oscillating
circuits
Radio
communication,
television
Microwave 3 x 108 to
3 x 1011
1 x 10-3
to 1
oscillating currents
in special vaccum tubes,
Gunn,IMPATT,Tunnel diodes
Radar,TV,
Satellite
communication,
remote sensing
Infrared 1 x 1013 to 4 x 1014 7.5 x 10-7 to 3 x 10-5 Excitation of atoms and molecules Gives
information on
the structure
of molecules
and of external
atomic electron
shells,
remote sensing
Visible light 4 x 1014 to 8 x 1014 3.75 x 10-7 to 7.5 x 10-7 Excitation of atoms and vaccum spark Gives
information
on the structure
of molecules
and of external
atomic electron
shells,
remote sensing
Ultra violet 8 x 1014 to 1 x 1016 3 x 10-8 to 3.75 x 10-7 Excitation of atoms and vaccum spark Gives
information on
the structure of
molecules
and of external atomic
electron shells,
remote sensing
X-ray 1 x 1016 to 3 x 1019 1 x 10-10 to 3 x 10-8 Bombardment of high atomic number target by electrons X-rays therapy,
industrial radiography,
medical radiography,
crystallography
Gamma Ray 3 x 1019 to 5 x 1020 6 x 10-15 to 1 x 10-10 Emitted by radioactive substances Gives
information
about the
structure
of atomic
nuclei
Cosmic Ray > 1020 < 10-11 Stars from
other galaxies

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