Electromagnetic spectrum


Electromagnetic spectrum 


The classification of electromagnetic waves according to the frequency or the wavelength is called electromagnetic spectrum. The electromagnetic spectrum is the range of all types of electromagnetic radiations . Radiation as we know is the energy that travels and spreads out as it goes – the visible  that comes from a lamp in your house and the radio waves which comes from the radio station are the two types of electromagnetic radiation. The other types of electro magnetic radiations that make up the electromagnetic spectrum are infrared rays, gamma rays, ultra violet rays etc. 

Electromagnetic spectrum 

The figure given below shows you the different types of electromagnetic waves with different work carried out by each of them .

Electromagnetic spectrum, Electromagnetic waves
Electromagnetic spectrum

Electromagnetic spectrum   

Explanation of Electromagnetic waves along with properties; 

A) Radio and Micro waves :

These types of electromagnetic waves are produced by the oscillation of a charge in L-C circuit. The wavelength of  micro waves ranges from 1 mm to 0.3 m. However, the wavelength of Radio waves ranges from 1m to few kms. 


1) Radio waves and micro waves are the types of a electromagnetic waves which travel with a speed of light. 

2) These are the types of electromagnetic waves obeying the laws of reflection and refraction. 

3) when an obstacle comes in between the path of radiowaves ,the radio waves deviate from their original path. 

4) As far as, micro waves is considered, these type of waves produce heat when absorbed by matter. 

B)  Infra Red Rays :

Night vision goggles pick up the infrared light which are emitted by our skin and objects which produce heat. In space, infrared light helps us to map the dust particles  present between the stars.

These type of electromagnetic waves were first discovered by Herschell. Infra red rays are the heat radiations and therefore it is clear that all hot bodies are the sources of infra red rays. 


1) These are the types of electromagnetic waves which travel with the speed of light. 

2) The energy of infra red rays gets converted into the molecular vibration, when absorbed by the molecules. 

3) The laws of reflection and refraction are obeyed by the Infra red rays.

4) As compared to the visible light, these type of radiations are scattered less by the atmosphere. 

5) These type of radiations produce interference and can be polarised. 

6) A photographic plate is affected by the infra red rays. 

7) When allowed to fall on matter , infra rays increase the temperature of matter. 

C)  Ultraviolet rays :

Ultraviolet light is a type of electromagnetic radiation  that makes black-light  posters glow, and is the only one responsible for summer tans — and sunburns. However,  exposure to ultra violet radiation causes damage to the living tissue. This type of radiation falls in the range of the EM spectrum between visible light  and X-rays.

Ultraviolet rays were discovered by Ritter  in 1801. They can be obtained by passing discharge through hydrogen and  xenon. 


1) Ultraviolet rays are the types of electromagnetic waves which travel with the speed of the light. 

2) They also obey the laws of reflection and refraction. 

3) They undergo the phenomenon of interference and can be polarised. 

4) When ultra violet light falls on the surface of metals, they cause the emission of photo electrons. 

5) They can effect the photographic plate. 

6) Ultraviolet rays posses the property of synthesizing vitamin D, when the skin is exposed to the sunlight. 

7) These type of radiations cannot pass through the glass. 

8) It causes fluorescence in certain type of materials. 

D)  X-rays :

X-rays make up X-radiation, which is a form of high-energy electromagnetic radiation. The discovery of X-rays was accidentally made by a German professor Roentgen in 1895. In laboratary, X-rays can be produced by using Coolidge X-ray tube. Most of the X-rays have a wavelength ranges from 0.1 to 10 nanometres, corresponding to frequencies in the range of 30 petahertz to 30 exahertz and energies in the range 100 eV to 200 keV. 

properties : 

1) X-rays travel in vacuum with the speed of light. 

2) These type of radiations are not deviated by the electric fields. 

3) They affect the photographic plate very intensively. 

4) They cause damage to human bodies. 

5) These type of radiations undergo the phenomenon of reflection, refraction, interference and polarisation. 

6) These type of radiations travel in straight line. 

7) They ionize the gas through which they pass. 

E)  Gamma rays :

Gamma rays is a penetrating electromagnetic radiation which is produced due to the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei. These type of radiations consists of the shortest wavelength electromagnetic waves and so imparts the highest photon energy. These type of radiations were first discovered by Rutherford


1) They are also electromagnetic waves and have the velocity equal to that of the light. 

2) These type of radiations are having high penetration power. 

3) Their ionising power is very small. 

4) They can produce fluorescence in the substances. 

5) These type of radiations effect a photo graphic plate. 

6) Gamma rays are not deflected by the electric field and the magnetic field. 

7) Gamma rays knock out the electrons from the surface on which they fall. 

8) These type of radiations produce heating effect in the surface exposed to them. 


This article provides you information related to the electro magnetic spectrum and the radiations which are an essential part of the spectrum including their properties. By the end of the report electro magnetic spectrum ,radiations and properties is clear. 


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