The Electromagnetic Spectrum was the topic I chose to present on today. The reason I chose this topic to present on was because of my fascination with light in the visible spectrum. Humans can only perceive a tiny portion of the Electromagnetic Spectrum meaning there is literally another universe of information out there, that without proper scientific instrumentation humans would not even know existed or be able to quantify and explain some of the things occurring in our universe. So, therefore I chose to present on the Electromagnetic Spectrum. There are seven main types of Electromagnetic Spectrum Radiation waves, the first being the longest wave out of the seven, Radio Waves. The second is Microwaves which are shorter than Radio Waves.
The third type of wave is the Infrared Radiation Wave. The fourth Wave which is my favorite that I will be discussing in the presentation because it is the Electromagnetic Spectrum Radiation Wave Humans perceive there surrounding in is the Visible Light Wave. The fifth wave is the Ultraviolet Radiation Wave. The sixth wave is the X-Ray Radiation Wave. Finally, the shortest of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Radiation waves is the Gamma Ray Radiation Wave which is also the smallest wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum Scale.
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I hope this paper will give the reader a broader understanding of the Electromagnetic Spectrum. The first wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum I will be discussing is the longest wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum it is the Radio Wave. Radio Waves are a type of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths longer than all other types of Electromagnetic Radiation waves emitted. Radio Waves can have frequencies emitted which can be very high, as well as at very low frequencies.
Like all other electromagnetic waves, radio waves travel at the speed of light in a vacuum not slower nor faster. On Earth they still travel at very close to the speed of light only slowing a little because of the Earth’s atmosphere which they must travel through. Naturally produced Radio Waves are created by astronomical objects in the universe. Radio waves are very widely used in modern technology for radio systems, radar and other navigational systems like GPS communication satellites.
Different Radio Waves have different characteristics in the Earth’s atmosphere; long waves can stretch around things such as mountains and hills or follow the curvature of the earth these are called ground waves. Shorter Radio Waves curve very little and travel on a straight line, so their distances are limited. The second wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum is the Microwave. Microwaves are a wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum with wavelengths shorter than Radio Waves.
Microwaves are mostly used in modern technologies dealing with, radar, wireless networks, radio astronomy, as well as for cooking your food with microwave ovens. Your smartphone and Wi-Fi all connect using microwaves, as well as when you pair a device with Bluetooth. In 1965, scientists using microwave detection devices discovered a background noise present in all directions. If it was from something on our planet such as radio transmissions from a nearby source, it would have come from one direction. The scientists soon realized that they had discovered cosmic microwave background radiation. This type of radiation fills the universe and is a clue to the origins of everything in it, it’s known as the Big Bang. What these discoveries revealed were different temperatures in the universe that eventually became known as the interstellar clusters that we see today. This background radiation data has also given astronomers knowledge to the chemical make-up of the universe.
The third wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum scale is the Infared Wave. Infared Waves are longer than Visible Light Waves and are just outside of the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum Visible Light Waves that humans can detect using only their eyes. Most people think of thermal Radiation when they think of Infared Waves or the heat signature which an object radiates against cooler objects like a human body against room temperature. However, there are many applications in which Infared Waves are useful. In military applications such as night missions, Infared goggles and night-vision goggles are used to detect people in total darkness where no visible light is. Because of the heat the human body generates, and the Infared Wave length emitted from the body one can be detected using these Infared Waves. The heat produced by fire can be seen in the Infared Spectrum, the warmer the object the higher the Infared Wave.
About half of the energy arriving from the Sun to the Earth comes as Infrared light. Even things you would think of as cold such as ice give off heat and therefor have a heat signature and can be detected using Infared waves. Infrared light can travel through dense dust and thick gas. Infared waves are also given off by stars, interstellar dust clouds, galaxies, and everything else in the universe.
All objects warmer than absolute zero produce Infrared Radiation Waves. The fourth wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum is my favorite because this is the wave spectrum that humans can detect without scientific instrumentation lol, we can just use our eyes and we see this spectrum, it is the Visible Light Wave. The largest source of light in our solar system is the Sun.
Sunlight helps create the energy that plants, and algae use to create photosynthesis which provides basically all the energy used by all living organisms except for the organisms by thermal vents in the deepest parts of the ocean, which do not require this energy source as they get their energy from gas vents on the bottom of the ocean! Another important source of light for humans has been fire, from camp fires to fossil fuel lamps, thanks to the development of electric light, lighting has effectively replaced the need for light by fire, however it’s still the best light for camping. The primary properties of visible light are the intensity in which it is visualized. Light travels at 186,282 miles per hour, which is incredibly fast however it is still slow when talking about the time it would take to traverse the universe because of the insane distances. Visible Lights color is usually detected by the energy being produced by the source that creates it. The hotter an object is the more energy it releases. Stars produce different colors of light because of their temperatures at which they burn. The surface of the sun’s temperature causes it to produce a yellow-white light.
Star’s with a cooler temperature usually produce a reddish light. The Hottest stars produce a blue light. The fifth wave on the Electromagnetic Spectrum is the Ultraviolet Radiation Wave.
Ultraviolet Radiation waves are shorter than Visible Light but are longer than X-Rays. Ultraviolet Radiation is present in sunlight, sunburns are an effect of too much exposure to the skin from Ultraviolet Radiation. Living things on Earth would be severely damaged by the Ultraviolet radiation coming from the Sun if most these rays were not filtered by the Earth’s atmosphere, there is a hole in the Earth’s atmosphere which lets in a lot more Ultraviolet Rays, but it is over the South Pole and is gradually reducing in size. The Sixth wave on the Electromagnetic Radiation Spectrum Wave is the X-Ray.
X-ray waves are shorter than Ultra-Violet rays and are longer than gamma rays. X-rays are a type of Electromagnetic Radiation known best for their abilities to see through a person and reveal their bone structure beneath the skin. Thanks in part to their small size and power to penetrate deep into materials. X-rays are used in a lot of applications, examples being, uses for identifying cracks in concrete or poor welds in pipes as well as detecting breaks or cracks in bones. X-rays are also used in transportation security like the checking of luggage. Electronic imaging machines allow for scanning of the contents inside packages and to check to make sure a person is not carrying something they shouldn’t be, like a weapon or a bomb.
Cosmic or natural X-rays occur in close multi-star systems containing black holes. Black holes can produce X-rays as they feast on stars and gas clouds that fall into their gravity’s grasp. The Seventh and final wave on the Electromagnetic Spectrum is the Gamma Ray Wavelength it is also the smallest wavelength on the Electromagnetic Spectrum Scale. Gamma rays are the most energetic type of radiation on the Electromagnetic Spectrum, packing a hulk like punch strong enough to slice through metal or concrete. Containing more energy than X-rays, these bad cosmic rays are born in the deaths of exploding stars. Natural sources of gamma rays produced on Earth are as a result of radioactive decay.
Gamma Rays are also created in the process of nuclear fusion. Brain surgeons also you Gamma Rays as a tool for operating in brain surgery. The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope detects Gamma Ray signals from space that have comic origins.