Electromagnetic Radiation And The Electromagnetic Spectrum

EMR is a dynamic form of energy that propagates as wave motion at a velocity of c = 3 x 1010 cm/sec. The parameters that characterize a wave motion are wavelength (A,), frequency (v) and velocity (c) (Fig. 2). The relationship between the above is c = vA.

Figure 2: Electromagnetic wave. It has two components, Electric field E and Magnetic field M, both perpendicular to the direction of propagation

Electromagnetic energy radiates in accordance with the basic wave theory. This theory describes the EM energy as travelling in a harmonic sinusoidal fashion at the velocity of light. Although many characteristics of EM energy are easily described by wave theory, another theory known as particle theory offers insight into how electromagnetic energy interacts with matter. It suggests that EMR is composed of many discrete units called photons/quanta. The energy of photon is

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