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The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Electromagnetic radiation travels as waves. The waves carry energy.
Electromagnetic radiation can travel through a vacuum (space)
Wavelength and Amplitude of a Wave
Frequency of a Wave
How many waves pass by in 1 second.
Measured in Hz (Hertz)
time = 0
time = 1 second later
3 waves have gone past in 1
second.…read more

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The Electromagnetic Spectrum
Type of Radiation Wavelength Frequency
Gamma radiation shortest Highest
X rays
Visible light
Infra red radiation
Radio waves Longest Lowest
Speed of Electromagnetic Waves
All electromagnetic waves travel at the same speed
wave speed (m/s) = frequency (Hz) x wavelength (m)
(if you need to use this it will be printed in the exam paper)
e.g. A radio signal has a frequency of 2000 000 Hz and a wavelength of 150m.…read more

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Electromagnetic waves can be reflected off a substance or transmitted through it or absorbed by it.
When electromagnetic waves are absorbed by an object the object heats up. The waves might cause an
alternating current in the substance.…read more

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Can't get through thick
Gamma Rays
Kill or damage
Can cause cancer
living cells.
Can also be used to kill
cancer cells.
Kill bacteria on food so it
stays fresh for longer
Sterilise surgical instruments
by killing microbes on them.…read more

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Can damage living cells
and cause cancer
Stopped by thick
X rays
Absorbed by bones but not soft
tissue.…read more

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Security markers
Coating inside fluorescent tubes (write in ink that can only be seen
when ultra violet radiation shines on
Some substances absorb ultra
violet radiation and give out
visible light
Ultra violet radiation
From sun and sun beds.…read more

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Eyes see different wavelengths as different
Longest Lowest
red frequency
White light (from the Sun or a lamp)
is a mixture of all colours of light.
violet Shortest Highest
wavelength frequency
Visible light
Given out by Sun, lamps etc.
Transmitted through optical fibres
for communications.…read more

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Can burn the
Night vision cameras "see" infra
Hotter objects give red
out more infra red
Used in radiant heaters,
toasters, grills.…read more

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Damage or
Microwave ovens kill body cells
Absorbed by water
molecules, heating the
water up
Mobile phone and satellite TV Signals to and from
Signals in mobile phone networks satellites
microwaves pass
through the
J Wilkinson Page 10…read more


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